July 24th, 2015

bunter, wimsey

Cricket and cars (and Wimsey)

Today I am supposed to be tidying my office and listening to the cricket. I am not listening to the cricket. Not because it is raining, but because the Test match is next weekend…

Tomorrow I have the joy of a 200 mile drive to north Wales for an extended family celebration on Sunday. It really ought not to be 200 miles, which involves going almost as far north as Warrington*, but there is no decent alternative. I have been warned off considering a short cut via Wrexham by several people. As my only memory of Wrexham is of sitting in the back of the car while my parents got lost in it, I shall heed this advice. But it will be fun when I get there. I was also planning to listen to the cricket in the car, so I will need to dig out some CDs.

On the subject of motoring, finally I am approaching the end of the Wimsey bodyswap fic (it is not that long, it has just taken forever). In tribute to this, I present Lord Peter Wimsey’s gearbox, the Wilson pre-selector (as used on all Daimlers in the 1930s). And because the internet is full of enthusiasts, I present the man to tell you what it is like to drive it. To which the answer turns out to be “surprisingly easy”.

I had always assumed that an enormous car like a racing-style Daimler would be a nightmare of double-clutching to drive, and that Peter’s taste for fast driving went with someone who was a genuinely good driver. But not so! It’s the 1930s equivalent of a semi-automatic that cannot stall, involves little finesse with the clutch pedal, and sounds like it is actually easier to drive than my Ford Fiesta** - and also enormous fun. Exhibit 427 in “the rich are better at things because they have better tools to do them with.” I do recommend the article - it makes a subject I would not normally find interesting rather fascinating, and presents a potential method for murder that I like to think Harriet later used in a short story.

*But sadly not close enough to want to swing by Ikea.

**Except for the lack of power steering, because it must weigh an awful lot.

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