First there was the red Fiat 500 or Bambino. It was an early model. When I first saw it I couldn’t believe there was a 2 cylinder car that would run on the road… I actually got this car for my girlfriend who lived at Leichhardt. She fitted right in with the locals in this car.
I kind of adopted it as my own by servicing it. We shared the car from time to time. Actually it fired me up to get to work for weeks on end during the petrol strikes in the 1970’s. It didn’t have a lot of power but it gave me a long reach with just a little fuel. And the size of it meant I could squeeze through lots of tight spots and dodge a lot of long traffic queues.

It had a crash box—no synchromesh in any gear—so you needed to double shuffle—meaning you had to let the clutch out between gears, going faster or slowing down. I really learned how to change gear well in this car!

It was cute and fun at the same time. It was a bit rough all round, but it had a sunroof and people used to love going for a drive in it.

The parking was great, particularly in the city where I worked.

Then there was the red Alfa Romeo 33. This car was lent to me by my brother in law who went overseas for 15 months. What a gift! And it was a fiery machine!

It had a great gear box and it was fun to drive. It had synchromesh in every gear and there were 5 of them, a new thing for me. It was all about the driving. It was the first front wheel drive car I had ever driven—a great start.

I can’t tell you much about what I did with this car because it belonged to someone else… but it was a buzz to get around in.

Currently I ride a red Ducati 750SS. This too is a two cylinder, but on a different scale altogether.

As a young fellow I always loved the idea of a motorbike but the money, maintenance and the danger always created obstacles to actually owning one.

Once I got a bit older though, after riding a few different types of bikes, I saw this one at a friend’s place. “Now here is a good looking bike with some firepower,” I said. I discovered it had not been on the road for a few years and was out of registration. It needed a bit of work to get it on the road. But I didn’t have the money… A few weeks later my friend put it on a trailer and brought it to my place and said why don’t you get it going? And I did.

But the most important fire in my life has been the Holy Spirit! When Jesus left this world He said ‘I will give you the Holy Spirit to help and to guide you’. The Holy Spirit is God’s presence here on earth. It’s now been 35 years since I gave my life to Jesus and accepted His gift of the Holy Spirit walking with me to guide and help me. The power of the Holy Spirit has given me joy, fun, freedom, strength, and endurance.

The Spirit has been a comfort to me too. It’s granted me courage to speak up when needed and enabled me and qualified me to lead others. I couldn’t do anything without the power of the God!

About Paul Mowen

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