Ford Pilots

Your informant's memory is playing tricks if he can only recall black and blue Ford Pilots (A Family's Cars, Motor Sport, December 1987). The relevant owners' club can, no doubt, provide the definitive list of colour options, but there was certainly a light green— a friend of my father owned just such an example for many years.

Car nicknames ("What's yours called?" asks Renault) are nothing new. Mr Jackson's green Pilot was "Ferdinand" (after Ferdinand the bull), while my father's contemporary Austin 16 was known as "Winston", because Dad reckoned it had obvious similarities to a Churchill tank! Both cars gave excellent service over a long period but, sadly, both succumbed to the cutting torch during 1963. Ferdinand had been given insufficient anti freeze that winter and cracked its block, so Winston decided to burn a valve in sympathy.

Although (unlike today's two well-rotted scrappers) the two old campaigners are remarkably solid and even looked quite smart and rust free, they simply weren't worth the cost of repairs. So off they went, at a fiver apiece, to be replaced by "modern" cars: a brand-new Cortina and a nearly new Minx. Boring bits of tinware, neither of which, significantly, ever seemed to merit the accolade of a nickname.

David Landers, Morpeth, Northumberland