Darstardly deeds on the hills

Film and fiction mix with brake fluid as murder comes to Worcestershire

Shocking case of sabotage at Shelsley Walsh recently – brake lines cut, car in flames, someone biffed on the head with a hammer. A good thing it was all part of the filming for BBC1’s Father Brown daytime drama, shown in January. MAC and VSCC members had a lot of fun staging the murderous hill climb last September, Chris Williams obscuring clues with clouds of Napier-Bentley tyre smoke, while the GN Spider opened the show with a spirited ascent.

While the killing involved the traditional blunt instrument, there was also a murder attempt centred on the well-known Frazer Nash ‘Terror’, which had a brake line cut .

I’ve seen many variations of this means of mechanical murder, or the alternative “the steering’s been tampered with, sir!”, but it’s never struck me as sufficiently definite. Brakes might only fail as your victim pulls up, or the steering break while parking. Hardly lethal. But I did read in a 1930s story of a more effective night-time method – a large mirror placed to dazzle the driver with his own lights approaching a mountain bend with a sheer drop… No car tampering needed and a flash of fatal ingenuity. [James Bond fell for this trick in Goldfinger! – ed]