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Gillam Drive 2014 162

Well, now.

Gillam Drive 2014 163

At the outset I must state that I am in favour of orange cars – whether it is the General Lee 001 or the latest Ford Focus, I think the colour is exciting and cheerful. I would have said gay but this just gets people riled up. I missed out on a chance to own an orange car myself in 1973 when I was offered a Toyota Corolla in this colour with a brown vinyl interior – I regret that I opted for a red car with black interior at the time. Were it now I would unhesitatingly pick orange.

Here, indeed is an orange car. No doubt about it. Orange. And a car. Orange car.

I am afraid, however, that I am in danger of seeing, not the overall car, but the details. Some of them seem so singular as to hide the rest of the build.

Gillam Drive 2014 164

To start with, I take it I am seeing a fibreglass body intended to represent a 1930’s Ford phaeton. Perhaps a glass fibre radiator cowl – certainly a glass bonnet. A glass top covered in white vinyl? It seems reminiscent of the sort of coverage referred to as a Carson top, though this may be a misnomer. It is certainly the sort of top to challenge the builder – chiefly in the provision of side windows.

Now the chassis, suspension, and running gear are undoubtedly modern on this car – and good luck to them for that. Reliability contributes a lot to the enjoyment one gets from motoring, and if modern components mean that the owner is not constantly sitting at the side of the road bolting something back together, well so much for the better. This looks the sort of car that would get to go for long cruises on country roads.

I applaud the choice of wheels and tyres and the blending of the rear mudguards is a good design decision. Full marks for the styling of the rear lights, as well. Can’t quite say the same for the wireless antenna, but that is just being picky.

I am a little nonplussed, however, with the spare tyre at the back. Not so much because of the lettering on the spare tyre cover – the owner is possibly advertising his own business – but with the steel tube projecting out of the back of the car that supports the tyre. I suppose it is a form of bumper protection…Likewise the Fleurs de Lys on the front. Perhaps they are towing hooks for when the car gets stuck crossing a trench in No Man’s Land…

Gillam Drive 2014 166

At least the interior looks comfy. The wood grain dash, pink trim and upholstered upholstery all look homey and well-mannered. The orange steering wheel is a bonus, as is the Betty Boop doll. I hesitate to suggest lounge music for the CD player, but perhaps a little Barry Manilow. Or the Partridge Family.

 

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