This weekend we went to the Vintage Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. Besides racecars droning by on the curvy track, there was a cool vintage car show with all sorts of models from different countries. We even brought our own cool British car and did 3 parade laps of the track. Nothing fell off, so it was a great day!
“Mini Mouse” joined our family a few years (and too many repair bills) ago. My husband wanted a Mini ever since our 3 year assignment in England, and finally found this one. She’s a vintage, c.1982 or so, Mini, not a Cooper, but a model called the Mayfair. What could be more perfect? She’s great fun, so noisy and rattly that when you’re going 30mph it feels like 60.
The Watkins Glen event marks the end of car show season. I’m more of a horse person, but I’ve come to really enjoy these events. Seeing all those gorgeous cars from different time periods is fun. The “horseless carriage” pictured here dates from 1904. Doesn’t it look just like a phaeton (not the high-perch kind, of course) sans ponies?
My own fantasy car, should I ever start pulling in those 6-digit advances, would be a vintage Jaguar in British Racing Green, of course. Couldn’t you just see me arriving for a booksigning in one of these, hair in a chic scarf? Ok, maybe not but I can imagine.
I still like horses best and would love to own one someday. Here’s me on my friend Davina’s horse, Jack, now sadly deceased though I immortalized him as my hero’s horse in LORD LANGDON’S KISS. At over 17 hands high, he was half Thoroughbred, half Irish Draft, all good nature. The epitome of the equine gentleman, he could jump higher obstacles than I would dare put him at and never shied at pheasants darting from the hedgerows. His only quirk was that he detested pigs. It was quite difficult to get him to go past them!
So how would you satisfy your Need for Speed, Regency style? Would you ride a well-bred steed, wearing a flowing habit and plumed hat in the latest mode? Would you ride alongside your beaux in a dashing curricle, or would you take the ribbons yourself?
Back to modern times, do you own or dream about a fantasy vehicle? What is it that excites you about it?
LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE, RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Best Regency Romance of 2005
The only car I’ve ever owned is a 1965 Volvo P1800 (like the one from THE SAINT, but red). I totally feel you on the repair bill front. I sometimes dream of a car with a warranty (and air-conditioning), but then I remember how damn cool I look in my little sports car . . . and I remember that I can’t seem to find a modern car under 100K that has a low-slung, lounge-type seat (the ones in most cars make my hip hurt).
I’m pretty sure if I was one of my own heroines I’d be a horse girl. I grew up with horses. I love ‘em. And I can even ride sidesaddle (or I could as a child). My absolute baby was a horse I was hired to exercise for three years: Isle Mover. An eighteen-and-a-half hand English Thoroughbred off the Steeple Chase track. God I miss that horse . . .
See, that would be the problem with me in Regency era. . . I’m so not into horses. The one time I got on one was at my 8th grade graduation class trip to this ranch in upper New York someplace. (once or twice I saw it was actually a prize on Jeopardy! LOL) And there were are, on the horses. . . traveling around on this path. . . heading into the mountains. Now this path in the mountain were like a foot wide and I start sliding to the left. . . left is where the ground was. Looooon way down by then. The guides were no where near me, so I had to try to figure out how to get out of it, and some how I did. I think I prefer modes of transportation without their own brains thank you. 😉
As for those modes of transportation that have many horses, but not the organs of one, I still don’t drive at the age of 29, but the first car I fell in love with was the Back to the Future Delorean. Then came Knight Rider’s Kitt. Now, my latest and still there love, the BMW Z3 Roaster from Goldeneye. And it could be without Pierce Brosnan, I don’t mind. 🙂
LOL, Lois! One of the few times I went riding as a young thing, I got into a bit of trouble when we started trotting… Every bounce bounced me a little more to the side… They thought my saddle was slipping, but no, it was just me, not as experienced as everyone else and looking like a fool. (I never quite fell off, though! Thankfully.)
Keeping that in mind, I think my Regency self will stick to a curricle, and leave the riding bit for others. 🙂
My dream car would be a hybrid. But actually, my current car (a ten year old tiny purple Hyundai) has been a very trusty car — and I love having a tiny little car that actually fits in compact spaces (or would, if the SUV in the next compact space weren’t two feet over) and that gets great gas mileage. (My mother’s always asking what gas costs out this way, but I never know — it just doesn’t matter to me. I use maybe ten gallons a month. Heaven.)
Actually, come to think of it, when I was living in London I didn’t have (or need) a car at all. And that was pretty great. 😉
Been years since I was on a horse, and I was never much of a rider–but since this is a fantasy, my Regency self would naturally ride a dashing steed. I’ve never tried driving a carriage, but it looks like fun, and has the added benefit that you don’t have to simultaneously worry about both making the horse go where you want it to and not falling off.
I’ve always been more of a sensible-car kind of guy, I’m afraid; but again, as long as we’re fantasizing, I’d love to have the vintage Aston Martin that James Bond drove. (Not necessarily with the oil slick and the ejector seat, though.) Or going back a bit further, a Daimler racing car like Lord Peter Wimsey’s would be very nifty as well.
For my next car, I think I will skip over the hybrids and get a vehicle powered by Helium-3/Deuterium fusion. A bit high-tech, but it gets over 500,000 miles to the gallon!
Oh totally agree, carriages, curricles, I would ride anything that is attached to the horse. I wouldn’t mind what. LOL
I could never get into the Bond Aston Martin. Call it modern influence from when I got into Bond. But hey, I’ll take the stinger missiles and the oil slick, but most especially those ejector seats. . . I mean, never know when you just really need to get rid of that passenger. 😉
My fantasy car? One of those real little ones you see in England, the ones that look like half a car. I love little cars, but probably would be afraid those pesky SUVs Cara told about would run over me like a bug.
In real life I drive a hybrid, a Prius.
Maggie in The Mysterious Miss M was a horse lover, part of her downfall and her redemption! If I’m sticking to fantasy, the idea of galloping over green hills in England sounds like heaven. My own experience with riding was, alas, confined to pony rides.
Oh Diane, I wish you lived closer. We’d give you a ride in Mini Mouse–she’s exactly what you’re talking about! But you are right, we have to be careful driving a small gray car around. Avoid doing it at night or in gloomy weather. She’s really the best for going out for ice cream or to the park. People always smile to see four people get out of her.
I would also love to have a Mini! One of those bright blue ones with the white top. 🙂 But I am spoiled with my car–it’s a 10 year old Toyota with great gas mileage and quite trusty. I dread the day (probably coming soon) when I have to replace it…
I’ve never tried driving a carriage, but it looks like fun, and has the added benefit that you don’t have to simultaneously worry about both making the horse go where you want it to and not falling off.
No, you have to worry about getting the horse/s to go where you want and not TIPPING OVER and breaking your neck. LOL! I can both drive and ride and I’m MUCH rather ride.
I used to ride pretty often (will again someday when the children are older and I find the time!) but I’ve never driven. Would like to try it sometime, too.
But I second what Kalen said. It wasn’t necessarily safer. Some of those carriages look pretty easy to tip. Check out the image of a high-perch phaeton on Candice Hern’s website at http://www.candicehern.com/bookshelf/glossary.htm.
That link added a “www.blogger.com” in for some reason or other. Trying again…