Drunken purchase connects Bournemouth couple to past and fuels love story

Owen Stevens and Sal Rowberry
Owen Stevens (left) and Sal Rowberry (right)

A seemingly impulsive car purchase made during a stag do has had an unexpectedly sentimental outcome, leading to a beautiful love story being captured in a short film by an award-winning online motoring magazine.

Owen Stevens, 35, while on a stag do for Sal Rowberry, made the unlikely decision to buy a Peugeot 205. This classic car caught his attention because it shared a striking resemblance with his Lancia Delta Integrale, not only in its red colour but also in its near-identical number plate. Little did he know, this spontaneous purchase would solidify an extraordinary connection with his wife’s past.

The couple, who met during their university days at Bournemouth, couldn’t help but see this coincidence as a sign of “drunken fate.” This sentimental tale has been beautifully narrated in a short film by Influx, a renowned online motoring magazine.

For Sal Rowberry, 33, the Peugeot 205 holds a special place in her heart. “It’s been my dream car for quite a while because my grandad drove one and he was a really important person in my life,” she shared in the Influx edition titled ‘Lancia Delta and Peugeot 205: In Love, With Cars‘.

Lancia Delta Integrale
Lancia Delta Integrale and Peugeot 205

Rowberry cherishes the newfound connection to her grandfather through this car, creating a “weird triangular connection” between her husband, her late grandfather, and herself. She keeps her grandfather’s driving licence, a gift from her grandmother after his passing, in the car as a constant reminder of him.

Interestingly, both Stevens and Rowberry were born in the same years their respective cars were made. Now living in Camden, the pair recall their university days fondly. Stevens reminisces, “I had this lovely Alfa, and we used to go for drives and just sit and chat while at Uni. We’d go and sit by the beach and have sandwiches and chats.”

Rowberry also relishes the shared drives in their matching cars.

It’s kind of nice driving together. It’s really fun if we drive behind each other – people clock the Lancia first, and then they see another neo-vintage car behind it with an almost identical number plate, in the same colour. Then they’re even more confused by what’s going on.

Sal Rowberry

The Lancia Delta, particularly the Integrale version, is recognized for its prowess in rallying during the 1980s and 1990s and is often a favorite among car enthusiasts. Meanwhile, the Peugeot 205 GTI is also highly regarded as one of the best hot hatches of its era.

You can watch the short film on the Influx website or below.

Influx is an online magazine that celebrates motoring culture in all its forms. Started by insurance broker Adrian Flux, it has grown to become a leading digital platform sharing stories about the world’s finest cars, bikes, and the enthusiasts who cherish them.

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