Sir Vince Cable recalls buying his first car in Kenya for Sunday Times feature

Vince Cable wedding in Nairobi
Sir Vince Cable and wife Olympia at their wedding in Nairobi in 1968.

Outgoing Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable has been reminiscing about former cars during an interview with the Sunday Times. 

In the article, titled ‘Me and My Motor’, Sir Vince tells how the first car he owned was a VW Beetle bought in Kenya where he had landed a job as Treasury Finance Officer to the Kenyan government 1966 after studying economics at Cambridge University. 

“I lived in an area with very rough tracks, so it got a pretty hard beating. I once got stopped by highwaymen in the middle of the night but forced my way past them and got away,” he tells the newspaper.

During another ‘high speed’ drive in Kenya with his future wife Olympia, a wheel of the Beetle spun off after he had failed to screw the wheel on properly after a puncture. Following the incident, Olympia insisted on walking the rest of the journey. 

After driving the Beetle “into the grave”, Sir Vince spent his last few months in Kenya driving a “flashy” 1930s Mercedes-Benz 170V saloon, a car he describes as “a source of considerable admiration”.

Sir Vince returned to the UK in 1968 to lecture at Glasgow University and marry Olympia.

You can read the full article on the Sunday Times website

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