Monday, February 09, 2009

More on the Gingermobile...

As you might remember, I've been seriously considering what my next 'Gingermobile' will be.

The cars of literary heroes James Bond and Simon Templar helped me define some of the essential characteristics of a Gingermobile, but there's another important influence to consider.

When it comes to the soul of the Gingermobile, you have to look down south - to the fictional county of Hazzard, Georgia, and a '69 Dodge Charger that two boys used to run moonshine across the territory in.

The General Lee.

When you get down to brass tacks, the General Lee represents everything required in a Gingermobile. It's a massive great beast of a car, born of NASCAR heritage and with some of the finest lines ever seen emerging from Detroit.

The original General Lee was a 1969 Dodge Charger, painted in Corvette Flame Red with a 383 cubic inch V8 mounted to a three speed A727 Torqueflites automatic transmission. The car rolled on 14X7 inch American Racing brand "Vectors" wheels and B.F.Goodrich racing tyres. With the doors welded shut for stability, a full roll-cage installed inside and front 'push bars' added, it was a serious tank.

I wrote earlier that my next Gingermobile will have to fit the specifications of Bond and Templar's cars - fast, big and luxurious. The Dodge Charger fits all three of those, although the General Lee itself wasn't so 'luxurious' - as befits a racing car, the luxuries were pared down to the essentials.

The General Lee, however, reiterates two points about Simon Templar and James Bond's cars that I missed. Although not nearly to the same extent as the Duke boy's chariot, both Simon's Hirondel and Bond's Bentley were heavily modified and unique.

Simon Templar was forever taking his cream and red Hirondel to the factory for additional modification, while Bond's Bentley's were 'mildly' modified (by the addition of an Arnott supercharger and coat of matt, battleship grey paint) or heavily modified (with a custom-built, two seater convertible body that Bond boasts is 'really convertible') depending on the book.

Taking all of this into account, it seems obvious now that in addition to being big, fast and luxurious, my Gingermobile will have to be uniquely modified. That's what makes it a 'mobile' rather than just a car.

Also, like The Saint's car and Bond's Bentley, the General Lee was perfectly suited for high octane adventure. It was fast and tough, with a big boot (for running moonshine) and comfortable seating for four or five people (with bench seats up front.)

What's more, there was something rough and ready about it. I used to love climbing in and out of the windows of Tiffany III. My new Gingermobile will also have to have 'fenestral-entry' and two doors, to make sure it's obviously 'sporty.'

So, thanks to the General Lee, my list of Gingermobile requirements stands at:
  1. Fast
  2. Big
  3. Luxurious
  4. Tough
  5. 'Rough and Ready'
  6. Two-door with a big boot
  7. You can climb in and out of the windows.


sxychikadee said...

Seriously.... one of my neighbors has one of these - painted just like that. I vote you buy it from him and drive it around NY for a while. I'd love to hear about your experiences doing so!

mre30seattle said...

At one point in my life I had american cars. Gasp!!! Say it isn't so!!

Yes it's true, and they were huge cars too. My favourite was my 1979 Cougar XR7. Silver, full gage package, 351 Windsor and a trunk you could pack with the complete death toll of the Godfather Trilogy.

I can see it in orange with a confederate flag on the roof.

paisley penguin said...

Can you just picture mini militant in his "roll cage racing seat" in the back?

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