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  • Versailles car
  • I spotted this vintage Citroën Traction Avant on a street in Versailles, France. This emblem of “French chic” from the 50s and 60s was immortalized in many classic French films, and is surely one of the most beautiful French cars ever made.

    Seeing it today reminded me of a car I nearly bought back in 2012. I was looking to buy some wheels to tour New Zealand when I saw a 1930’s Morris for a remarkably cheap price. It was small but I thought touring in it would surely make for some great stories.

    I spoke to the owner of the car, an older gentleman who was selling it because he was moving back to England. He was prepared to let it go for a shockingly low price, but wanted the next owner to “love it as he had.”

    In the end he persuaded me that it probably wasn’t the best idea to buy that old car. He loved the idea of his old Morris having an unforgettable journey around New Zealand, but felt it might be unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.

    “She’s an old old lady,” he told me, “And I think her days of climbing hard mountain roads are behind her. You might just kill her if you try.”

    He was right, of course, but seeing this car today reminded me of that old Morris. I wonder what happened to it. I remember the man said that his ad had received little interest, even at the cheap price. As the day of his leaving New Zealand approached he told me that he was worried she might end up in a junk yard somewhere, forgotten and deserted. I hope she didn’t.

    Stand here using Google street view.

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