A Life In Cars

The life story of Dickie Sutherland

1971

Exert from Diary

Over Seas, UK providen an Estate Austin four three adventurers from South Australia.

Aylesbury UK

Saturday 28. 8.71 :

Sold the mighty wagon, bargain £2.  That night we went out to Marlow for a meal at Britannia pub, an excellent country pub atmosphere with Dick, Rita, and Jim a few drinks, reflections of the majestic trusty rusting Austin, a few fond farewells, “another drink, we Richards three”, Jim and Rita.

Reflections of the Trusty Rusty

Austin Cambridge Estate 5417 RW

Austin Cambridge, Eroupen adventure machine.

The car carried us three from London, down through France, where we encountered the heaviest rain storm I had experienced.  So heavy was the rain we slowed but dare not stop in case some other crazy driver ploughed into the back of us. 

Camping in France after the Rian

Out of France high over the Pyrenees through a landscape covered with snow, down across the dry plains and past Gibraltar.  That Austin informed us the battery had jumped out of the battery tray saving us from a dire emergency in a strange land. 

Camping in Italy Sunny and warm.

On up the Mediterranean coast into Italy, stopped briefly for a blessing in Rome then on through Naples the city of burning Tyres, not a place to linger if you are shod with four tyres of your own.  From Italy after the inaccessible (for the Austin) city of Venice on to Yugoslavia. Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.  Germany where once again the mighty Austin withstood the onslaught of a German Taxi from behind.  Oh! Our protector.  Denmark turns right at Copenhagen back to Germany through Holland, Belgium into France and then back to England.

Holding parts on with Tin can tops

Then to London via Wales, Scotland with the final resting place in a field just outside Aylesbury.  20,000 leagues under the Northern skies.  More like fifteen thousand miles on the Grand tour, without missing a beat, (no radio just Dyke, “I did what I did for Maria” over and over), held together by Tin Can Lids, PK screwed to the body, roped together in part, and the Tailgate locked shut after the top hinge had broken. 

Not a groan, hardly a squeak or rattle, all that long adventurous way, the Grand Tour, the Grand Tourer. 

Log Book: 26 miles to the gallon, some oil, not much, one flat tyre, some make-do repairs, just simply, trouble-free motoring.

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