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The day wasn’t going well. Caine Hutchings planned to propose to his girl friend of two and a half years, Emily Dukeson. He would drive her to a local beauty spot on the Somerset coast, and then surprise her by getting down on one knee and producing an engagement ring. But then his Citroen car skidded and they ended up hitting a tree.
Neither Caine nor Emily was injured. But the car was a mess. The police attended and PC Nicola Rickards offered them a lift to a pub nearby. However, during the short journey, Mr Hutchings decided to seize the moment and popped the question in the police car. Fortunately, the answer was a resounding ‘yes’ – but only after PC Rickards prompted Emily, who for a moment was too stunned to speak.
And the officer turned photographer once they reached the pub, giving Caine a chance to kneel and formally propose.
"We had to get a photo of me going down on one knee in front of the police car after we got to the pub or no one would have believed what I'd done," he said. "We were only in the police car a short time, but the accident had put everything in perspective so I decided that I would ask there and then because anything can change in just a moment and I didn't want to wait any longer."
Le Mans and LeMons
Now, even if you little about cars, you’ll have heard of the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race. But have you heard of LeMons? Yep, the word-play there is deliberate, because this event – held annually since 2009 in New Hampshire, in the US – is very much a walk to the weirder and wilder side of auto racing. Witness, for instance, the upside-down Camaro. It is what it seems: a Chevrolet Camaro, rotated through 180deg and bolted to the chassis of a Ford Festiva.
The effect, of a car competing in a circuit race while flipped over, is genuine and deliberate. It’s the creation of speedycop.com, aka Jeff Bloch, a serving police officer and spare-time wacky racer.
As for LeMons itself, it’s described as ‘the original endurance race for $500 cars.
Reverse-parked, with 6ins to spare
What are you like at parallel parking? Would you consider yourself a champ, able to slip your car into a space barely longer than it, first go? Or is it something you avoid, preferring to seek out a spot streets away from where you wish to be, purely because there’s yards of space beside the kerb?
Whichever is you, the skills shown by this driven will have you green with envy.
Apparently, the space he swings his Mini into is just 5.91 inches longer than the car. That’s deeply impressive – but there’s no way he’ll leave that space, until, at least, one of the other Minis drives off.
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