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e-VOLV Oh!

Hats off to the good folks at Alton St Pancras Motors Ltd who this year celebrate 75 years in the motor car retailing business. Offering first class service to discerning motorists in the Dorset region since 1948, the family-owned enterprise has been a household name to dozens whose dream of public-transport-free travel have been made a reality thanks to the family's expertise in both arm-twisting [Alton St Pancras Magistrates Court Case 2403 2015 etc etc passim] and [Threadbone Bank-based] credit finance.

Grandson of founder Andrew "Knuckles" Cutten-Shutt - Simon Cutten-Shutt - today cracked open a bottle of champagne over the bonnet of the company's flagship all-electric showpiece V2690eSR [shorting the lithium battery and causing a major conflagration] whilst emphasising just how much the business and its technology have evolved over the years.

"It seems unbelievable now to reflect on the fact that one of our first celebrity customers was Ms Audrey Badminton-Court who purchased a 1953 Volvo estate as a gift for her friend - and later companion - Ms Celia Noto-Pointy". "We like to think that it was the car that cemented their relationship", he continued "since both were avid car enthusiasts for whom a wide bench seat and a wheel mounted shift were an absolute must".

Ms Badminton-Court can be seen in a contemporary advertisement in which, racquet in hand ["she was always ready for action"], she takes possession of the car from an unknown Alton St Pancras Motors Ltd salesperson. The man - who no one now remembers - appears to be holding a spare stretched rubber band - the main propulsion method employed in the innovative vehicle's design.

Automotive historian Stiki Carr-Burretta says the 1953 Volvo was an iconic vehicle which liberated many a family from the otherwise intolerable drudgery and boredom of a suburban weekend. "You have to remember", he says, "that there was once a time when the highlight of any weekend was Stars on Sunday, Dr Findlay's Casebook and - if you were adventurous, The Forsyth Saga*, so just getting out and away for a few hours brought the same sense of escape as tunnelling out of Broadmoor. To many the Volvo Estate was the equivalent of a sharpened trowel and a wooden horse."

* a racy DBC adaptation of the John Galsworthy novels, the series featured a shocking "encounter" between Soames [Eric Porter] and his wife Irene [Nyree Dawn Porter - no relation before and certainly not after]. Neither actor was ever seen "in the same light" again. [Ray Dio-Tyms, Entertainment Editor]

Today, Mr Cutten-Shutt is proud to be offering vehicles in the same tradition. "Our source of supply has remained the same over the years", he offered reassuringly, "even if the personnel have necessarily changed from time to time as arrest, incarceration, remission and recapture scedules have dictated".

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