The mystery of the blue Plymouth

Pavia, 22th July 1958. It was a day like any other, but that Friday would be full of emotion for the quiet Italian city. We can read this story in an article of the “Corriere della Sera”, written by Guglielmo Zucconi.

That morning, the “drowsy peace” of Pavia was suddenly disturbed by ad “enormous thing”, quite “monstrous” in the eyes of citizens: an old, big American car, abandoned from months (probably a Plymouth, as we can see in the old photo). “In a country like Italy, where everyone’s dream is to become a motorist”, said Zucconi, “there can be no a car without an owner”.

Immediately, people though to something shady, maybe because they were influenced by the recent Montesi scandal, and started to sweep the car: somebody found a magazine, someone else a pair of glasses, some people focused on the exotic plate of “New York”, some other thought it was a murder.

At the end, the dusty car, with its “remote blue colour”, was removed by the police.

The anguished mystery, however, was solved by the journalist; indeed, it wasn’t so anguished.

The car, he discovered, was owned by an Italian-American student, living in the same street where the car was: nobody, “in that Pavian thriller vibe”, thought to check.

When the young man no longer saw his car, he thought that it had been stolen. And he was happy! This because the car was given to him by a friend, but he soon got sick of it. He tried to sell it, and then he tried to abandon it for three times (and police always returned it, with expenses to pay!).

But why did the student want to get rid of his “bathtub”, that he liked so much at the beginning?

In addition to many reliability problems, he explained, Plymouth’s real fault was petrol consumption. “When he noticed that to go from Pavia to Santa Margherita, he spent 11.000 lire for fuel”, he decided to dispose of that big car. He first tried to sell, then to abandon it.

After failing also this last attempt, he asked to Zucconi if he “knew any thief? I’m ready to pay a good tip”.

Marco Mocchetti

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