I’ve little interest in cars these days but in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s I was truly in love with my little jalopy – a 1969 Triumph Herald. I loved it for the throaty rumble of its engine, its small but significant tail fins (like a baby cadillac!) and a stylish dashboard in glossy walnut veneer that looked as classy as a piece of elegant antique furniture. Even its distinctive smell of leather and petrol was a heady mixture to me. This feisty little motor could give cars 20 years its junior a run for their money (if you didn’t mind the vibrations almost making your teeth fall out). It was famous for its tight turning circle which got me out of many a scrape, and its quirky front-opening bonnet which meant you could almost climb right inside the engine compartment if you really wanted to get down and dirty. I loved its shiny chrome fittings and its massive steering wheel and I adored the fact that it was a classic ‘60s car. It didn’t matter that there were no head-rests, only four gears and the wing mirrors felt like they were half a mile away on the bonnet. I called it - perhaps I should make that “her” - Prudence. She was a sweetie. At least, that is, until her engine finally started to give up which meant I had to floor the accelerator pedal just to reach 20mph. Then, sadly, she had to go (albeit, very slowly…)
As a little tribute to the Triumph Herald 13/60, my first car, here’s a nice ‘60s ad I recently found:
And here’s dear Prudence! RIP.