Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My thoughts exactly!

Although we'd probably not agree about a whole lot else, it would appear that Fleming and I share similar ideas about cars. (Would it be too much to say kindred spirits, Anne?) Read the following paragraphs and see what I mean.
So when it came to buying a car, they were all determined that it shouldn't be just ANY car, but something a bit different from everyon else's—not one of those black beetle sedans that looks much the same back and front so that, in the distance, you don't know if it's coming or going, but something rather special—something rather adventurous. ...

"Well, there she is," said the garage man sadly. "She once knew every racing track in Europe. In the old days, there wasn't a famous driver in Britain who hadn't driven her at one time or another. She's still wearing England's racing green, as you can see—that from early in the 'thirties. She's a twelve cylinder, eigh-liter, supercharged Paragon Panther. They only made one of them and then the firm went broke. This is the only one in the world. ...

They all had the same look in their eyes. The look said, "This must once have been the most beautiful car in the world. If the engine's more or less all right, and if we all set to and scrubbed and painted and mended and polished, do you suppose we could put her back as she used to be? It wouldn't be like having just one of those black beetles that the factories turn out in hundreds and thousands and that all look alike. We'd have a real jewel of a car, something to love and cherish and look after as if it were one of the family!" ...

And do you know? There were almost tears of happiness in the garage man's eyes as he shook them all by the hand. As they climbed into their taxi to go off home, he said seriously, "Commander Pott, Mrs. Pott, Master Pott, and Miss Pott, you will never regret buying that car. She's going to give you the time of your lives. You've saved her from the scrap heap, and I'll eat my hat—if I had a hat to eat—if she doesn't repay you for what you've done today." He was still waving happily after them when they drove out of sight.

Ian Fleming, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Wild Adventures of a Spirited British Family, (New York: Random House, 1964), 11-12, 13, 17-18.

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