The Giveaway Car

Ray C Doyle First Car

Corruption starts at the top of society. Here are my thoughts on the first time I found this out.

I don’t know about you, but I like the modern cars today. There is one thing that frustrates me. When the thing breaks down it’s normally involving a part or parts operated by a computer set-up. You always hear at a car show – they don’t build ‘em like they used to. In some respects that’s absolutely true.

My father had an old 1938 Morris eight which had a fold-up luggage rack at the back with a second number plate on it. I loved that car. The real polished wood dash had a speedo, an oil pressure gauge, a water temperature gauge, a battery indicator, and a clock. The brakes were operated with a brake fluid system and the seats were leather. We are talking 1938. It would knock spots of some of the rubbish built today. There was one problem that I inherited and that was a rusted running board on one side and was near to falling off. My father, being a carpenter, fixed it. We took the board off and replaced it with a plywood board painted black.

I enjoyed riding around in it and used the car to get around on my job as a cub reporter for a local newspaper. A few months later a policeman of all people trod on the running board while inspecting the car, and snapped it off. It was the beginning of the end for the Morris. It was rusting through the doors by now and the luggage rack was held in place by string.

I decided to take any metal parts I could take off the car and get a few shillings from the scrapyard. It was early one morning when one of my friends and I arrived at the scrapyard, only to find it closed. Not wanting to go back home with the scrap, I left it neatly stacked against the entrance with a note to John ‘Pudding’ Everitt, the owner. He knew me well and I let him know I would return later that week. That evening there was a knock on the door and my father found a huge policeman standing there with my number plate in his hands. Not doing the right thing by not leaving the parts outside the scrap yard earned me a ten pound fine for littering the highway. My editor nearly fired me.

This incident taught me one of the many lessons I learned about the law and more importantly about how being privileged gets you out of many sticky situations. A contact of mine worked in a chop shop in the Eastend and was arrested and fined. The owner ended up with a warning because he stated he didn’t know what was going on during night shifts. It turns out he knew someone on his green for whom he did maintenance favours – a local councillor who knew a few magistrates. You can’t trust anyone.

If you look carefully you will also see that Corruption starts at the top of society.

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