Little white cloud love at first sight

Little white cloud love at first sight

Pat Howell's Fiat 500 was known as 'the little white cloud'.

My first car was a Fiat 500, bought secondhand from a small garage near Yarmouth.

I remember thinking when I first saw it that it was little bigger than a fairground dodgem car. It was love at first sight.

Although it was the smallest car I had ever seen on the road, it could take three passengers, tightly packed.

It had no synchromesh, so I had to learn to double-declutch pretty quickly. The little 500cc air-cooled engine was rather noisy but fuel economy was good.

She was a sweet little car and soon became known by my circle of friends as ‘the little white cloud’, not because of clouds of smoke, or anything like that.

In the three or four years that I owned her she never needed any major repairs, but faithfully rose to every occasion.

When the time came for me to reluctantly part with her, I was anxious she should go to a good home. Friends laughed at me when I refused to sell her to a man who derided and criticised her, yet offered a good price.

Instead I sold her to a woman who needed a car to take her children to school, and I accepted a much lower price for ‘the little white cloud’ – my first car.

Pat Howell, Mill Lane, Bradwell.

If you’d like to share your own first car story, send your photos and memories to Sadie.Jennings@archant.co.uk.

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