Elan Peter wrote:Wow another truly fantastic story, kindness like that is rarely seen anymore (shame).
What a lovely gentleman for doing that and what a coincidence that he happened to know his elans!
There is something wonderful about a classic car that runs on nothing but magic and TLC.
Best regards, P
It was one of those 'in the moment' things and I was just so happy to escape the fog, keep the Elan running and get back to Bedford that I neglected to get his name, address, shoe size etc - or even properly register the area. It wasn't until I had a little time to reflect that I thought I should thank him properly - with a bottle of something as good as or better than that which he so happily dispensed to complete strangers - and I had a bottle in the Elan for the next weekend.
And the next - and the next...customs (in Belgium, France and the UK) didn't care back then and I was in the services so I was one of them
Retraced my steps the next weekend but I couldn't remember if it was "just before this roundabout" or just before this roundabout so I failed to deliver the goods.
Towards the end of her 3 months notice, the weather was better, nights were lighter and I didn't feel quite so compelled to hasten back to Bedford so I took the time on a couple of the trips to actually stop the car - I had finally installed a new battery - and knocked on a few doors. A bit embarrassing for me as I was just in my unpolished twenties and must have appeared like either an inept con man, a purveyor of religious tracts or a vacuum salesman when I burbled away in my thick tongued Scots burr (Scots have a burr - never a brogue) getting more and more red in the face as I tried to explain.
Most of the people were very nice but couldn't help...I would like to say I found this gentle soul and thanked him properly - not for the coffee flavoured libation - but simply for his kindness and grace to complete strangers.
I never did. One of the few, true regrets I have.
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Thanks for sharing the story.
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Epilogue: the problem with the bike was in the charging system, and it wound up being a hair-puller to figure out.
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
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