For a year I was driving around in my Lada, completely oblivious to how much it was blighting my social status. Then I got my Ford Escort. Granted, it wasn't that much of an upgrade considering the Ford's scratched panels and 1995 birth date, but it ticked over much better than the 1985 Lada Combi with home-made LPG conversion. I noticed a difference right away. I was able to drive in the fast lane without a bigger car driving on my tail just to prove a point. I got cut up less, and people didn't block me in at parking spaces.