Remember that little girl in the Flintstones? Pebbles?
It's her I named my Triumph Spitfire after because of the bright orange colour. It all started out with a bit of luck. I had just got a job at IBM, lived on the UK South Coast and longed for an open top car, with a bit of quaint character and a good shape.
When I walked on Albert Road in Southsea one day I saw a Spit standing right there at the curb, a very worn and dirty purple colour, dusty, top down, on a hot summer day just smoldering in the heat. I could not keep my eyes off it. There was nothing shiny about it. No chrome that reflected the sunlight... nothing.
But the shape. The way the hood curved up, the way the doors curved down and the way the car just ended in a silky smooth rear roll.
The hunt was on. I had calculated that I would have one salary available, as my previous job paid after the month worked and IBM paid up prior to the month worked and that meant Wahey! Some extra cash in the value of a whole 1300 UK pounds.
After some searching I found one in a small village just north of Portsmouth. She was a 1500, bright orange, had some rusty spots but was very doable indeed. I bought it off its disappointed owner who made the impression his newly wed wife made him sell it to pay for an extension to the kitchen. What a horrible thing to have to do I thought to myself, but the deal was done for 1250 UK Pounds including 6 months tax.
Summer was about to come up. I bought the best pair of Ray Bans I could afford, got my flyest outfit, and cruised to work the next day. Now you have to imagine that at IBM there are mostly people who drive closed cars and the odd one who drives a convertible. When I pulled up in my Spit I turned some heads. It's the combination of sound, curves, colour on a sunny day that really makes the difference.
I enjoyed driving with the top down so much I became addicted to it. The fresh air and most of all the scents, you smell everything when you are driving with the top down and it makes you feel alive. I drove around with the top down while others had long ago already fixed their hard tops and carefully oiled up the soft tops.
I had turned into a hardcore Spit Convertible man.
But, as life goes, the IBM gig finished, I started to work abroad and Pebbles waited and waited for me. I was forced to sell her in the end to an enthusiast who would give her a new lease of life. Pebbles is still driving around I think, soaking up the salty sea air of Hayling Island or Portsmouth or Chichester somewhere along the UK south coast.
But before I close the book on Pebbles, I will post another article about our week in Cornwall with Pebbles and the naughty sheep.