While I was in Brighton recently I took the time to visit the Sussex Toy Museum, a must-visit if, like me, every day you fight your inner child to avoid filling your beautifully decorated and partner-friendly living room with bits of LEGO and old Hot-Wheels.
Seeking a souvenir, I was pleased to notice a glass-fronted cabinet in which some of the displayed articles bore price tags. On the bottom row, on the left was something that caught my eye. I bought it for £3.95 and put it in my pocket, where I couldn’t resist jiggling it between my fingers in that tactile way that you might a pocket knife or set of keys.
Finding it was a double-win. Not only is it a lovely little model, but it also represents one of the most fascinating footnotes of motoring history. It gives me an excuse to write about the Pininfarina 1800, Leyland’s would-be worldbeater.