Just a few of the great cars made in Britain – Ford Anglia, Prefect, Zephyr and Cortina, Morris, Austin, Riley and Vauxhall and the mighty Land Rover.
Back in the 1920s there was a guy called Adolph Rickenbacker who realised nobody was making electric guitars. In fact, he realised nobody had even invented one. Along came another guy, George Beauchamp, who had a patent for an electric guitar but didn’t know what an electric guitar was yet. So between them, they invented one. It had a very long neck and small round body and they said ‘Hey, it’s a fry pan’. Fry pan was already taken so George said ‘What shall we call it then, Rickenbacker?’ and Adolph said ‘OK, let’s call it Rickenbacker’. So that was settled and they started making guitars. As is often the way with guitar sales, the ebbs and flows are affected by who is playing what and when. One afternoon, while test driving a new bright red Vitesse, a young fella called John spotted one in a shop window. John immediately rang Ed Sullivan and said ‘Hey Ed, I can get you a Rickenbacker on your show, what do you reckon?’. So John, with some of his mates, went to America for the now legendary ‘1964 Rickenbacker appearance’ on the Ed Sullivan show. Not long after, John’s mates George and Paul joined the Rickenbacker club. Then John noticed everyone had Rickenbacker’s except poor ol’ Ringo, who only had drums – so John gave Ringo one he didn’t want and that’s how the four lads from Liverpool became The Rickles. What?
When my wife was a design student some years ago, her car of choice was a Morry. Common to students at the time, insurance was beyond her budget once the weekly pub expenses were covered (she has always had an admirable sense of priority). She also has a strong sense of social responsibility and having no insurance was something of a burden. With this in mind, she developed a strategy to keep her, and her fellow motorists, safe on the road. Every panel on her Morry was painted a different colour. Rough as guts its was. My wife (who was always ‘very creative’, according to her mum) regarded it as a work of art, others regarded it an old banger. Whether a work of art or old banger, it made other drivers nervous. Change lanes on the motorway, no problem, everyone stayed clear. Park at the supermarket, no problem, everyone stayed clear. Shoot an orange light, no problem, everyone stayed clear. Worked a treat it did, never so much as a scratch.