I started driving at 15 years old. Legally at 19. My sister wanted to see her secret boyfriend so as a bribe for not telling my parents, my sister would let me take her fancy car for joyrides around Malibu. Not only did I not have a driver’s license, I didn’t even have a permit. One time, when I was cruising around Point Dume in Malibu, I accidentally drove right past my parents. I was in such shock and so scared that I did not know what to do so I just waved and kept going. I remember seeing the reaction on their faces. Their mouths were open like little donut holes. The funny thing is that they waved back!
My second run-in with cars did not end so well. My father acquired a little vintage 911 Porsche when I was 17 years old. Still, I had no driver’s license. I might have had a permit but not a real driver’s license. My parents went out of town and entrusted the keys to our nanny, Amalia. Basically, at this point of my career of being a teenager, nothing was safe. Not the house, not the cars, not my sister’s clothes. Nothing. I was like the Tasmanian Devil. So, after some very convincing threats to the nanny about the livelihood of her future at our house, she eventually succumbed and gave me the keys to the Porsche. Like taking candy from a baby! Off I go in the Porsche with my best friend Jenny. We zoomed over Malibu Canyon insulting the speed limit and naturally get pulled over by a policeman. OMG, I was in so much trouble. The police impounded the car and I never saw it again. I guess as a condition my “probation” I was not allowed to get a driver’s license until I was 18 years old. I got lazy and didn’t really get it until I was 19.
So, when I got to France the first time my father’s friend let me drive his French Citroen Deux Cheveaux! He was unaware of my driving history. I was in heaven! Driving around the little roads of St. Tropez in that car was a thrill I will never forget. His Citroen was maroon and black. The top was a convertible and it peeled back like a little can of sardines. Loved it loved it loved it.
I love all the vintage cars around the south of France. The Citroen is my favorite. Here is a little history of the car that I found on Wikipedia. It’s kind of interesting:
“The Citroën 2CV (French: "deux chevaux" i.e. "deux chevaux-vapeur" (lit. 'steam horses'), "two tax horsepower") is a front-engine, front wheel drive, air-cooled economy car introduced at the 1948 Paris Mondial de l'Automobile and manufactured by Citroën for model years 1948-1990 in a single four-door body style.
Conceived by Citroën Vice-President Paul Boulanger to help motorize the large number of farmers still using horses and carts in 1930s France. The 2CV featured a low purchase cost; simplicity of overall maintenance; an easily serviced air-cooled engine (originally offering 9hp); low fuel consumption; and an extremely long travel suspension offering a soft ride, often called "an umbrella on wheels.”Manufactured in France between 1948 and 1989.
A 1953 technical review in Autocar described "the extraordinary ingenuity of this design, which is undoubtedly the most original since the Model T Ford". In 2011, The Globe and Mail called it a "car like no other." Noted automotive author L. J. K. Setright described the 2CV as "the most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car”, calling it a car of "remorseless rationality."
Check out the next two pictures. They are of my husband and his mother. I love their cars! My husband told me that his family drove all over France together in the summer. They would pack delicious picnic lunches and drive and drive and drive. What a wonderful life.
A tout à l’heure!