She was from Paris. She’d been a real head turner in her prime but now she’d been abandoned half way up a mountain. Coco lived in the valley, just a few miles away. It was 1957, 12 years since the war had ended but France was still recovering. Coco, like many in rural France, was living hand to mouth. He kept a few chickens and a small flock of sheep who grazed on steep pockets of land near the base of the Vaucluse mountains. It was Coco who’d discovered her, a deep inky blue beauty with a claret interior. But Coco didn’t love her for her looks. The Lincoln had broken down near Grenoble and was left stranded at Albertini’s garage, until Coco towed her 20 miles south and flipped her on to her roof in a field. It was her chassis he was after, it would make a perfect trailer for his tractor. Years later, Coco’s friend  Marie-Hélène took Gerry to look at the car. Gerry was visiting from England, he’d grown up with a dad who spent weekends buffing the family’s Mark 10 Jag – and Gerry had inherited his love of cars. This number plate is Gerry’s memento of the old Lincoln, he also took a pair of Bakelite door lock stalks that he plans to make into earrings for his girlfriend Louise.

16 Mar 2016