I WAS THERE... A BIT LATER

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Way We Were -

Dur­ing the 1990s, I was a reg­u­lar visitor to the Marl­bor­ough area. Like Reg Pres­ley of The Troggs, I had a fas­ci­na­tion for the crop cir­cles that formed around the nearby Ave­bury and Sil­bury Hill pre­his­toric sites each sum­mer. While I’m happy to ad­mit that some, per­haps many, were the work of a few blokes with a plank hav­ing some noc­tur­nal fun to­gether in a field and not telling any­body, I still main­tain oth­ers were so in­tri­cate that more mys­te­ri­ous forces were at work.

It was on one of th­ese trips, from my home in Poole in the neigh­bour­ing county of Dorset, that I man­aged to kill my Saab 900. The 1984 flat-fronted four-door sa­loon was my first Swedish ve­hi­cle and I loved it – it felt so much bet­terengi­neered and safer than any­thing I’d had be­fore. One day, with one of my more ethe­real friends, Mandy, I was driv­ing along the A4 ap­proach­ing Ave­bury when we spot­ted a crop for­ma­tion in an ad­ja­cent field. At the first op­por­tu­nity, I pulled rather too quickly off the road into a roughly madeup layby. A rock struck the Saab’s sump and ripped the oil plug and some of its thread out, with the re­sult that the en­gine’s oil drained into the Wilt­shire coun­try­side. At­tempts at alu­minium weld­ing failed and the teenage Saab ended up be­ing scrapped. I still blame the aliens for its pass­ing.

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