Something borrowed, something green …

This story was inspired by a car key fob from the magic story bag

I borrowed a hundred pounds from my grandma to buy my first car. I don’t know why she was so willing to lend it to me. Perhaps, to her, it wasn’t a lot of money. For me it was a fortune – in 1968 my monthly take home pay at the BBC was £39/12s/0d (£39.60).

I looked in the Yorkshire Post for the car ads. I wanted to buy from a garage – in that way I would know it had been serviced and prepared for sale.

Ford PrefectAt the wheel of a green Ford Prefect I drove carefully out of Bracken Edge Garage in Leeds. They had my £100.00, I had my car. It had been a year since passing my test and I’d driven very little since. Until now I had hitch hiked everywhere. Nervously I pulled out into the city centre traffic.

In the middle of a main road, the car coughed and stalled. Four lanes of traffic and one traffic jam piled up behind a green Ford Prefect.

I tried everything but the car wouldn’t start. I found a phone box and called the garage I’d left only minutes earlier. They towed me in and found a fuel blockage in the carburettor and the remains of an old rag in the petrol tank.

Two hours later I pulled out again into the same street – this time the car took me all the way home to Huddersfield.

Years later The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy immortalised the name “Ford Prefect”, but my hitchhiking days came to an end the day I spent my grandmother’s £100 on my own car.