Today I went on a training mission for the hand that feeds me in the real world, and I came back with a Mercedes-Benz memory stick as a souvenir for my trouble. I now have a couple of free Benz USB sticks, and one from Ssangyong, and that pretty much sums up my entire list of gratis-gotten-gains from the car companies.
There are more out there, to be sure. It’s just a case of finding them, and finding the opportunity for their legitimate procurement. Take the battered grey box above, and click through to the grand unveiling below. It may well be the most exciting event of your evening. It certainly was for me.
This battered grey box, I am reliably informed, was “…given to motoring journalists at the official press launch of the car at the Mas D’Artigny Hotel on the Cote D’Azur in , I think, 1991“. Motoring journalists, eh? It’s just freebie after freebie after freebie. And I’ll bet they didn’t buy their way into the hotel, either. I’ll bet the bottomless pockets of some press organisation or, just as likely, BMW themselves flew the recipients of The Grey Box (unbattered at that stage) to the Mediterranean coast, at great expense, in chartered jets with lavish amounts of legroom and hot towels on demand.
Jeff Glucker, I hear, doesn’t even have to declare his endless dancing girls and complimentary massages on his tax return, you know.
So, the Battered Grey Box. Inside it there resides a 1:43 scale model of the E36 325i Coupe. Manufactured in Germany by Gama, it sits somewhere between toy and collectible, being neither crude nor intricate. Its opening doors reveal a detailed interior, though surfaces are painted rather than trimmed.
It’s colour accurately depicts Hellrot (bright red, colour code 314, fact fans) and there is also a reasonable reproduction of the underside, with its full exhaust system picked out in silver. The 15″ alloy wheels (Style 17s) are also recognisable, though one of the tyres has split with age. Overall, I’m going to say it’s A Nice Thing.
Would have been better if it was free, though. I got it because I bought it. It came from a gentleman on eBay, I was the only bidder and “won” it for 99 pence. Plus four quid postage. So my journalistic freebie has cost me a fiver all in, which kind of makes me a loser. Not like Jeff. He’s a winner in anybody’s eyes.
Not wanting to tread on young Mr Emslie’s feet, but it’s worth me posing a Hooniverse Asks sub-question here; what’s the coolest swag you’ve ever scored from a car firm, and / or is anybody out there actually measurably more sad and tragic than I am?