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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 February 2006, 16:32 GMT
Driver Derek stays loyal to Skoda
Derek Wright
Derek Wright has bought 19 Skodas in 40 years
Motorist Derek Wright has a wry chuckle whenever he hears people making jokes about Skodas - he has owned 19 of the cars over the past 40 years.

Mr Wright, 76, from Woodhead, Derbyshire, said he went for a vehicle that was reliable and cheap to run.

"I just want one that you can switch on and it goes. The Skodas have always been good and they got better when they joined Volkswagen," he said.

Mr Wright even used to drive his Skoda to Greece when he went on holiday.

Heavy steering

His first car was a Skoda Estelle: "It cost me 620. The cheapest Mini was 850. That was in the early 1960s and I was earning between 200 and 300 a year.

"At first it was a bit heavy on the steering but I just got used to it and after a while I didn't notice it.

"I've got a house in Corfu. I used to throw everything into the Skoda and drive over there. If I'd got three weeks off I'd regularly go, although now I fly."

Two people bought Skodas after they'd driven mine
Derek Wright

Mr Wright, a nurse for 40 years before he retired, has heard all the jokes about Skodas.

If other motorists laughed at his choice of car, he used to get them to drive his and form their own opinion.

"Two people bought Skodas after they'd driven mine."

Now Mr Wright drives a Fabia Elegance 1.4 hatchback automatic and he is already thinking about his next Skoda.

"I walked around the showroom, saw one and thought it looked good. But then I had to take a step back because I haven't had my current one a year yet!"

David Ovenden, head of operations for Skoda UK, said: "We owe our continuing success to customers like Derek who have supported us throughout the years."


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