Blessed Are They That Run Around In Circles... #56
By Graham Bell
...for they shall be known as wheels
For reasons long lost in the mists of time I remember this slogan from when I was around 10. Britain’s seaside town gift shops were well known for saucy postcards (now almost a 60’s cultural icon) but alongside these were also pithy postcard plaques. A mix of proverbs and aphorisms holidaymakers added to their gift-bag, perhaps the precursor of a fridge magnet?
To say I am not technically adept would perhaps be an understatement, but I do have a fascination with how trains, boats, planes – and cars – operate. I also confess to actually not having a clue about ‘how’ they work but I remain fascinated with them. I was not brought up in a car-owning family, boats were only a very occasional treat and my first flight was taken in my 20’s, but I did know buses and trains well. I was first in the family to pass a driving test and the gift of an aging Morris Minor by an old uncle, made me feel as if I was driving a Rolls Royce.
I still love driving and reckon I have clocked up over a million miles driving at home and abroad. Many cars on from ‘Rosie’, The Morris Minor, I still like to see ‘classic’ cars on the road. It is slightly discombobulating to realise that my first car is now in that category.
A few years ago, on a visit to Prince Edward Island in the Canadian Maritimes, I stopped in at a little local car collector’s personal museum. Pride of place went to a Minor, the same age as mine! What a well-travelled little car.
Anyway, this is a long way round of sharing some photos from a classic car outing that came visiting my area recently. I always think that the Firth of Clyde, on a lovely summer’s day, twinkles in the same way as the San Francisco Bay.
The cars coming through were owned by members of the splendidly titled Scottish Western Thoroughbred Vehicle Club. In other years they would be happy to stop and show off their prized automobiles in more detail, but the pandemic ruled that out.
Cars can trigger all kinds of memories and emotions. A Scottish car icon is the Hillman Imp, made in Scotland. Not the most high-performing or successful of cars, nonetheless it retains a special place in the hearts of many Scots. This little gem reminded me of the first car accident I was in. My friend had an Imp this colour, and he had taken us on a drive to Loch Lomond. A careless driver side-swiped us and fortunately no-one was hurt but there was great angst at the damage done to his pride and joy.
You probably do need to be somewhat eccentric to maintain and run these old cars, but the club members I had the chance to speak to seemed to laugh at themselves a lot. They knew that they could be sitting comfortably in a modern, comfortable, safe, and economical saloon, but would rather be grease monkeys, scrambling around the underside of old automobiles.
This was just one of those days that stuck in the mind because of the sheer pleasantness of it. It was gentle and enjoyable and was filled with interesting anecdotes and memories. And a beautiful west of Scotland day to cap it off!
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
Stay safe, lead well
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