Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Find a car with your name on it.

If you are a woman called Mercedes, then this is easy. In the past, any man called Austin or Morris could have found a motor car to satisfy them. Rover is less assignable unless you are a dog. I have never seen a car called a 'Martin' but at last I have encountered a 'Lloyd'. 

The Lloyd car was built by a subsidiary of the Borgward Motor Company in Germany. I knew, as an enthusiastic schoolboy, that such a vehicle existed, along with that other German quirk, the Goggomobil but although I had seen the latter I had never espied a Lloyd. That lacuna has now been expunged thanks to the Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile in Turin.

Hotel Torre, FIAT and Sauze d'Oulx

Hotel Torre, Sauze d'Oulx, Italy.

Sauze d'Oulx is a village in the Piedmont district of Italy. It is now a popular ski resort, particularly with the British. Whenever we visit we always stay at the Hotel Derby which is a modest pension superbly situated in the village centre. From this position one can see the Hotel Torre, pictured here. This hotel and its two sisters in the neighbouring resort of Sestrière were built in Art Deco style in the 1930s by the Fiat motor company to provide holiday accommodation for its employees.

I would have liked to have cast a glance inside the hotel to admire the architecture but it is apparently being renovated and all I could see through the locked and grimy glass doors was a stack of mattresses and a classic Art Deco stair rail curling up into the heights.

Perhaps next year...

Monday, 16 September 2019

The Italian Job in Turin.

Imagine three Mini cars being chased by a Fiat up onto this roof.

Thanks to the faulty map illustrated on the previous blog we walked about two kilometres more than we needed in order to find the Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile. However, all was not a catastrophe because I recognised the venue that we were incorrectly directed to as the former Olympic skating rink on the roof of which the three Minis in the film The Italian Job had driven to escape from the Italian police.
And they raced on the rooftop track of the Fiat factory.

On leaving the museum we disregarded the map and made our own way back to the Lingotto metro station. There we discovered the former Fiat motor factory which has now been turned into a shopping centre. As the cars were assembled they made their way to the top of the factory and out onto the roof which was constructed as an oval test track. The three Minis in the film also raced around here. We could not reach the roof but at one end of the long shopping corridor we found the ramp up which the cars were driven.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile, Turin

 Useful information for those wishing to visit the National Motor Museum in Turin, Italy.

Take the metro to station Lingotto

Obtain a copy of this official map issued by the City of Turin, illustrated left.

Then ignore it.

See below.

Do not send this lorry to England

French lorry seen near Lons le Saunier.

Not really the quality of transport 
 that we want on British roads.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

A Bristol in Durham

A Bristol single decker of the 1950s sitting in Market Square, Durham.

We were hoping that it would take us somewhere but it was just sitting there to look pretty.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Meandering around Durham

I had never been to Durham. The only thing that I could recall about the city was that it had been built in a defensive position in a meander of the River Wear and that fact had been drummed into me by Mr Newton, the Geography master at school. It did not impress a thirteen year old boy much.

The nave, Durham Cathedral.

But Durham cathedral did.

I particularly liked the Millennium Window which depicted in stained glass amongst other aspects, the industrial heritage of Durham such as railways, iron founding and coal mining.

The Millennium Window, Durham Cathedral.
And then, in the crypt we found not only a restaurant serving excellent food but a Lego model of the cathedral itself which had been built as a fund raiser over a period of three years, by members of the public paying one pound to place a brick.
Durham Cathedral built in Lego bricks.
My photograph does not do it justice. For the full story, click here.