Thursday, 27 January 2011

First car

I don't know why, but I fell to thinking about this on my way to the bottle bank this morning.  It was a Morris Minor, 850cc side valve model, did 0-60 in about four minutes.  Semaphor indicators, nice red leather upholstery, the back seat as comfortable as the front (don't ask).  Strictly speaking, it was my mother's, not mine: on my earnings of £10/10/- a week, after meeting my needs - beer, cigarettes, records - I couldn't be expected to finance transport as well, could I?  (Though I did have to put petrol in.)

I reached the bottle bank, and as I started to offload another hundred quid's worth of green glass, what should pull in behind me but, yes, you guessed it.  It wasn't a dead ringer - red rather than beige, the souped-up 1000cc OHV version - but I wasn't complaining.  I congratulated the owner, who was, he told me, eighty-five.  This was his fourth or fifth Minor, he thought; he bought them cheap, had them restored and kept them for a few years, then sold them at a modest profit.  'Wonderful machine,' I suggested, not quite meaning it.  'Yes,' he said.  'It's my life, really.'

For some reason, I felt old and young at the same time.

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