Jean’s Mazda lines up at launch

A familiar sight greeted Ian Donaldson as he headed for the press conference at the launch of Mazda’s newest model in Northumberland – his wife Jean’s car sitting in pride of place outside the venue, 197 miles from its Leicestershire home.

Jean’s blue 1998 Mazda 323F was on parade after Mazda PR director Graeme Fudge decided to add a model timeline to the launch of the new Mazda3 and asked for the 75,000 mile veteran to be included, alongside old cars from the company’s own collection.

It has been owned by Jean since she bought the car as a 20,000 mile one-owner example in 1999 and has proved utterly reliable ever since.

It was taken to the Mazda3 launch hotel by a delivery driver who dropped off a new Mazda2 from the press fleet for Jean to use while her car was away on launch duties – and returned a week later with a lovely shine and full tank of petrol.

Jean said: “I thought the new Mazda2 was a lovely car, smart looking and so easy to drive, but nothing could replace my own car, which I love to bits. I was tickled pink when Graeme asked to borrow the car and hope the journalists he invited to the launch admired it as much as I do.”