A Morris 1100. The meekest, mildest, most improbably lethal little car.

It’s 1973, and I’m driving from Solihull to Leamington Spa for a client meeting. Ten or twelve miles of twisty country roads, and I turn into the client’s driveway and onto their gravel carpark.

I turn the steering wheel to pull into line with the parking spaces and it just gives way. I mean it spins like a top with the front wheels doing nothing. For just a second I thought it was because of the gravel, but then a cold shiver ran down my spine.

Turns out the cotter pin in the steering column had failed. Had it happened ten minutes earlier, I’d have been upside down in a ditch or wrapped around a very large oak tree.

I’ve had far more powerful cars since then, and more than a few scary moments brought on by over-confidence, but nothing quite as chilling as that Morris. It’s always the quiet ones you have to watch out for ...