My first car was a German Auto Union Wanderer, well at least a quarter of it was.
While serving with the RAF at Guilenkirchen in Germany I, and others discovered two cars in a building on the camp. One car was the Wanderer and the other a Rolls-Royce. Four of us decided to find the owners and buy one of the cars but unfortunately our friends did not match the Rolls’s price.
I don’t suppose either of us gave much thought to insurance, perhaps thinking the RAF would handle that sort of thing. Anyhow at that time we didn’t know the car would get three bullet holes in it with one bullet nearly killing the driver.
One day the lads decided to take a trip in the car to Heerlen in Holland – luckily, being on leave at the time, I was not with them. I’m told that the car, on leaving Holland in the dark failed to comply with a signal to stop. No doubt wartime memories were still high enough in 1955 so perhaps the guards seeing the disappearing German car did not need much provocation to open fire. A bullet through the windscreen had the desired effect of stopping the car. We ran the car about for some time after that with a perspex windscreen.
I left the RAF shortly after and never did find out the results of the border incident inquiry.
My share of the car was sold to a Norwich lad and, if my memory serves me right, it’s him sitting on the car bonnet.
Roy Williamson, Hickling.
If you would like to share your first car stories with drive24, send some of your memories with a photo to Sadie.Jennings@archant.co.uk