26 Nov 2014

Barry Hannah Quote

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Jaguar XK-120

Steve Bodio quotes Mississippi writer Barry Hannah:

“Walthall bought an ancient Jaguar sedan for nothing, and when it ran, smelling like Britain on the skids or the glove of a soiled duke…”

— from Get Some Young, 1997.


Lee Ellis, in a New Yorker tribute titled “Sabres, Gentlemen,” quotes Hannah on the burden of Southern history:

“All the generations of wonderful dead guys behind us. All the Confederate dead and the Union dead planted in the soil near us. All of Faulkner the great. Christ, there’s barely room for the living down here.”

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If you would like to make your current car have that great smell and feel of an older 1950-60’s English sports car try the following. Dip a chamois leather in a stagnant pond making sure to pick up just a bit of the scum and squeeze part, but not all of the water out, then place your chamois in a warm, dark place for about ten days before putting it under the passenger seat of the car.

Next take an unused or slightly used cloth diaper and wipe all of the oil off of the underside of an older lawnmower, then sprinkle about a 1/2 cup of gasoline on the diaper and let it rest for a few hours to let some of the fumes dissipate, place this under the driver’s seat of the car.

Now take an old rubber insulated extension cord and put it on top of a hot closed grill for about 15 minutes then remove it and place in the glove compartment of your car.

When you drive the car, regardless of the weather turn the heater on low making sure a steady flow of hot air circulates under the seats of your car to enhance the interior aroma of the British sports car.

In order to continue to enjoy your motoring experience no matter what the weather always maintain a two inch open clearance at the top of each window to allow a free flow of air and water into the car while making sure, no matter what the weather, the defrost setting is never fully engaged.

One more process to add to your British Motor Car experience will be to retain at least a quart of motor oil the next time you have an oil change and then pour the oil on the floor of your garage or on your driveway where you usually park your car, refresh as needed.

And finally engage the services of a neighbor to come by at random times at least once per week and raise the hood (bonnet) of the car and disconnect a wire or two in no particular pattern. An option is to have him drain about half the brake fluid without your knowledge in order to making stopping the car more interesting when driving at speed.

At that friends is a way you can enjoy the British experience whilst you are driving your current, reliable, modern motor vehicle.

Steve Bodio

Ever see a T shirt for Lucas electric systems? “Lucas, Prince of Darkness”.

I’d still take an XK120 like that any day. It goes wioth my Best hammer 16 shotgun by Stephen Grant. Who needs practical?


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