Modern Fairy Tales.


The Car Salesman.


Once, there was a car salesman. He had three handsome sons. Everybody was happy because the business was going well. Father and sons worked well as a team.

One day the father gathered his sons together in the lounge of his house in Ongar and said, "I am going to retire soon. I've had a full and rewarding life and now I want to spend my last days relaxing with my favourite past-time". The sons knew that he was referring to coarse fishing. He continued, "I will hand over the car business to whichever one of you brings me the most unusual and magnificent car".

The three sons, all eager to inherit the profitable car showroom, set out in different directions to scour England for the most unique car they could find.

The eldest son travelled by train to Northumbria . There, he hired a car and searched the towns and villages of that romantic county. Presently he came to the environs of Black Haddon. He had an instinctive feeling that a vehicle of true beauty was languishing in the shadows of a garden lean-to in that cluster of wind-blown houses. Sure enough, his hunch proved right, for, knocking on a door in the main street, he was delighted to learn from the householder that a Bugatti Royale was parked under a plastic corrugated shelter at the end of the garden. The car had seen better days but still reeked of class. Only 8000 miles on the clock! Without more ado the first son paid the man, transported the car south and repaired it to concourse condition.

The second son decided to head South-West. He set out on foot and after many weeks arrived in Somerset , tired out. He'd made enquiries on the way but no car had he found. "It has to be special", he said to himself, already fulminating at the thought that his brothers would discover cars more beautiful than his. Extraordinary then, that as he passed a public house tucked behind trees in a country lane, he saw the dull mauve lustre of a car body unpolished for years. He drew back the invading foliage that had grown round the car like a secret. He fell breathless to the ground. There, its windscreen yellowed with age and with a young sycamore collapsed across its roof, was a 1937 Delahaye! The second son's alert eyes recognised the potential inherent in his discovery. Feeling smug, he paid the disinterested publican the price of a bottle of malt whisky and towed the vehicle away. Soon it was gleaming and worthy of being displayed in a museum.

The third son travelled to Norfolk where he'd heard that rareties are still to be found. Quite soon he met a farmer who told him of an old wreck in a shed on his land. "You can have it if you can take the damned thing away", he said. Although the hopes of the third son were not high, he speculated that this was a lead worth investigating.

The pre-war Lanchester languished under cardboard boxes and chicken droppings, its rubber trimmings perished and discoloured. This car was a disappointment. Though bearing an interesting pedigree, it had none of the charisma of the other brothers' finds. The third son felt despondent because he'd spent too long looking for a car with which to impress his father. Exhausted and with tears in his eyes, he opened the creaking front door and sat in the driver's seat. Imagine his surprise when he found the ignition key still in its place! He turned it and the engine sprang into life. Next to him in the passenger seat, appeared a beautiful woman with big lips and breasts of amazing fullness. She said, "Thankyou my darling, for delivering me from the curse of invisibility which I've had to endure for fifty seven years. Don't ever leave me!"

You can believe that the third son had no difficulty in complying with her wishes. He decided there and then to abandon the fraternal competition. He sent his father a letter renouncing his claim to the car showroom. Fortuitously, he'd included his address, for soon afterwards, a reply arrived from his father. "Please change your mind, dear son, and save a poor old man's heart. Your two brothers have killed each other in their passion to gain ownership of my salesroom and you are the only one to continue the family business".

The third son got married to the beautiful woman and they lived happily ever after with their ten children in Ongar. The car business was conducted with great dignity, becoming renowned throughout all England . And what's more, he and his wife gained possession of the Bugatti and the Delahaye as well!


June 1997.


© Fabian Peake