The things people stick on the back of their cars...
Before I do anything else this week I need to release the results of our Salon Privé competition from a month ago. The competition was to guess the auction prices of 4 cars at the most recent Historics at Brooklands auction. Unfortunately 3 of the 4 cars I picked didnt sell and Ive now decided this wasnt sucha good idea for a competition and next time Im going to hold a massive Twister tournament, or have some sort of classic cars top trumps festival to decide who gets the prize.
The car that did sell was a Ferrari 250 GTE from 1961 which went for £99,050. Most people were well out on their values for this car and the closest guess was from a Mr Trevor Griffith who estimated £93,000. So very many congratulations to him. He will shortly receive two tickets worth £400 to the Salon Privé event taking place at Syon House on the 24th of June.
Now to completely change the subject, this week I have spent quite a while considering the stupid things people stick on the back of their cars, which is what I intend to prattle on about today.
This initially came to mind because my chrome GB badge for the back of my Mini has started to peel off and I was deciding on whether I should replace it or learn to survive without it. No classic car owner will go to France and stick a P&O GB sticker on the boot of their car so I decided that, yes, it did need replacing. To clarify this is actually a legal requirement if you dont have Euro plates for your car and want to drive on the continent. And as classic car owners, you probably wont want a rather nasty coloured piece of plastic stuck on your car. So I feel I am justified sticking two gigantic chrome GB letters on the back of my car. I find they are also helpful when dealing with natives as they let people from the rest of Europe know, I do not speak your language and nor will I make any effort to abide by your customs- if youre lucky I may remember to drive on the correct side of the road but dont get your hopes up.
The other universal badge classic car owners will frequently put on their cars is the old chrome AA grill badge. This is a badge I am fairly fond of as it does look quite fetching, even if it doesnt serve any actual purpose. But these badges are period and can lend character to a car.
I had a look online and came across a website called ClassicCapsule.com which could be worth a visit. They seem to have a variety of period stickers and badges for anything but they all seem to be in good taste which brings me to my next point.
On Wednesday my sister gave birth to a further boy child and although his father owns a new Ford dealership, he in all likelihood, wont have to deal with many other challenges growing up. This means hopefully at no stage in his early years will he be sat in the back of a 10 year old Vauxhall Vectra with a sticker in the rear window saying Baby on board.
I saw three of these stickers in my ten mile drive to work this morning and they drive me crazy. Firstly they limit your visibility which seems daft if youre already worrying about the screaming infant that defied the promises of Durex. Secondly I cant imagine anyone seeing this sticker and thinking to themselves I best try to drive more safely as that car has children in it. Have you ever thought this in your entire time driving? No, thought not.
So if we take out the safety aspect of the sticker the only reason for having them I can see is to show off your ability to procreate. Being proud of your children is one thing but being proud just because youve proven capable of having them and putting them in a car is quite another. I am starting my own range of window signs with this theme which shall include;
Irritating, opinionated, Guardian reading, vegetarian - with two children, who have unpronounceable names - on board.
I have failed at everything else in life but have proven capable of reproducing so I bought this sticker
The next thing that people stick in their car windows that I never fail to be amazed by is Football stickers. I am a committed Spurs fan and support my team passionately, even Gomes who really should be put down. But I draw the line at putting a Spurs sticker in my car window for fairly obvious reasons. A fair number of football fans are thugs and if they dont like your team they will smash your car up. Can you imagine what would happen if you were to park a DB5 outside the Milwall grounds with a great big West Ham sticker in the window? Exactly, which is why you only see these stickers on 15 year old Fiestas.
My final bug bear for the day is the fish that I see on the back of cars. Christians supposedly put this on their cars because of the whole fish miracle thingy. But I cant help feeling that there are enough ways to make our religious beliefs known without having to get our cars involved. Im not entirely sure how this works but I assume the people with fish on their cars let other fish people go past them or give up their parking spaces. Either way if youre a Christian arent you meant to help everyone regardless of religion etc. so doesnt this become somewhat redundant?
Anyway, I feel much better getting all this off my chest. Next week I am tempted to road test something, as the weather appears to be improving. If anyone has any interesting suggestions please get in touch.