Tolkien and His Car

“There was the unforgettable occasion in 1932 when Tolkien bought his first car, a Morris Cowley that was nicknamed ‘Jo’…After learning to drive he took the entire family by car to visit his brother Hilary…At various times during the journey ‘Jo’ sustained two punctures and knocked down part of a dry-stone wall near Chipping Norton, with the result that Edith refused to travel in the car again until some months later – not entirely without justification, for Tolkien’s driving was daring rather than skilful. when accelerating headlong across a busy main road in Oxford in order to get into a side-street, he would ignore all other vehicles and cry ‘Charge ’em and they scatter!’ – and scatter they did.”

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, by Humphrey Carpenter, 162.

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