You probably know someone who keeps old newspapers; yellowed, full of mold, faded to brown at the edges and decaying with both alacrity and odor…
The headlines are usually “Pearl Harbor Bombed”, or “Kennedy Assassinated”, or “Long Live the Queen”. The ones lying about the office of VeloceToday are old and yellowed enough, but the headlines are “Famous Cars and Their Badges”. We all have our quirks.
All three pages seen at left are from “The Topper”, an English tabloid-sized comic book which was published by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd and ran from 1953 to 1990. The “Famous Cars and Their Badges” page may be familiar to our British readers. These date from December 1953 and January 1954, and were shipped (literally) from England to the U.S. some fifty-six years ago.
In those days, schools encouraged their students be a “pen pal”, and write to students overseas, thus learning about others in strange and distant lands. My late sister was one such avid letter writer, and when she was about ten years old began a pen pal relationship with a student about her age living in England by the name of Mary Ellerby. Back in the USofA, from Mary we learned about Queen Elizabeth, Cadbury’s chocolates, and a bit of the history of Great Britain. The Queen was pretty, the Cadburys sweet, but please send me something about the cars, said I through my older sister. And so she did, sending these clippings which now lie dormant and decomposing.
Take a look at the Ferrari, no doubt an artist’s conception of a Vignale bodied 212 and based on S/N 0090 E, which had been tested by “Autocar” magazine in June of 1951. Even though already two years old, the Ferrari made other designs seem hopelessly outdated, as if they were hastily drawn up to be outfitted on some pre-war chassis. This was also very obvious to even a seven-year old, probably sowing the seeds of a passion for Italian cars that has yet to subside, which is probably why these crumbling English comics are still hanging about the office. Now that we’ve had them this long, no use in throwing them away now, is there? So we thought we’d share them with our readers. Did the pen pals separated by the big waters ever meet each other? Nope.
And there you have it, just for fun, on this day of December 2nd, 2009.