Fiat 500 Trip
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Life is nothing if it was not for ideas. As the occurence of thought and ideas has been going on since time itself, it is perhaps unsurprising to find that man has found a need to classify their own thoughts and ideas into various sub categories:

Level 1: A powerful thought. This may lead to a good idea, which will probably benefit oneself or those within your sphere of influence. These ideas should be acted upon.

Level 2: A fleeting thought. Not of sufficient substance to construct from it an idea of any merit, so usually dismissed instantly.

Level 3: A ridiculous thought. One so distorted that it will lead to the construction of bad ideas. Bad ideas have a net negative impact on ones own welfare and on that of those people within ones sphere of influence. Bad ideas should therefore not be acted upon.

SO when I saw my childhood dream car, a 1965 Fiat 500, while browsing on ebay one day was it a particularly good idea to press ? On first appearances no, but lets give the man a chance here.

Located in Turin, Italy? OK, now this is wandering down towards the Level 3 thought zone. Couple with that the fact that I spoke no Italian and would have to drive a 40 year old car across 2 countries and across a stretch of water back to get it back to the UK, this was looking like a really really bad idea.

...but they took PayPal - SOLD!!! It seemed the right thing to do, so then it was up to figuring out how on earth this was ever going to come to fruition:

First visit was a 3 day summer trip to the Val d'Aosta and French Alps, with a chance to stop in Turin on the way and check that I had been sold something that did actually exist. There are enough stories about wealthy Nigerian oil ministers and their Swiss bank accounts that always makes us feel like a bit of a mug as soon as we send someone we have never met a bunch of cash!

Chamonix, Val d'Aosta and the last shot is going into Val d'Isere over the Col d'Iseran

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Fortunately the car existed and started, so we left it there in the middle of summer to pick it up and do the impossible - drive it back to Ol' Blighty.

Unfortunately there are no pictures of this Hannibal like conquest of the Alps in Isabella, as a delightful French kid helped himself to my camera one night after a long day on the road (when you are moving at 50 mph across 3 countries, every day is a long day!). But I can say that

* Travelling at snail's pace is the best way to see a country. Old people know this - that's why they do it!

* Ridiculous feats should always be attempted, as you will always find people willing to help you out of any trouble you may encounter. I suspect they do this just so they can continue laughing at you as you move on toward your destination, but I'll keep an altruistic view for now.

* With a set of ignition leads, a new exhaust, 18 litres of oil (don't ask!), 1 spare tyre and 80 litres of petrol, you can drive an car found on ebay from Italy to England in a week and still be on speaking terms with your accomplice.

                                                                                                                                           The engines in the back you muppet!

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This Page Last Updated On: 06 Jan 2010