My Car Quest

July 4, 2020

Fiction: The Blue Goose

by Wallace Wyss –

The old man was glad his son took him to the, what the hell did they call it, the concours d’-sumpthin’-or-other? Hell, he didn’t know one classic car from another though, as a boy in Wisconsin, back in the ’30s, he had seen some gangsters driving a Duesenberg. Now there was a grand touring car–and made in America, for Chrissake. To hell with furrin’ tin.

So right now he didn’t know where his son was. He would call him but he left his flip-phone in the car and it was a little chilly on the turf at Pebble Beach this morning. The fog was still socking in the coast line and he almost bumped into more than one classic car. He wondered where the owners were? Maybe their minions, their detail men and such–had brought the car out and per-positioned it. His son had told him the owners didn’t toodle out onto the green until 9:30 or so, after having a breakfast on the veranda at the Lodge.

The Lodge. He bet a muffin was $4.50 there if they’d sell you one but you had to have reservations on Concours day so they had stopped at MacDonalds on the way in. That’s when it happened. He’s in the fog and he sees vague shadows of large cars, then one that’s a little more rakish, an odd Robin’s Egg blue color. Something about it was damn familiar.

There was a thickening of the fog just then, he thought maybe it was the fact they were on a peninsula for Chrissake so you couldn’t predict the weather. I mean this was ocean weather on three sides not land weather, right? Then he adjusted his backpack and regretted he had brought so much ammo. His patrol wasn’t in the lead element, they all expected any resistance to be gone from Berchtesgaden by the time they got up here. Nobody expected Der Fuhrer to be in Eagle’s Nest but of course there were maps and battle plans to capture and oh, yeah, word had come up to get some souvenirs for HQ. They would be a good crowd draw at the war bond drives back home. And his unit, US Army, C Company, 326th Engineers, 101st Airborne Division aka “The Screaming Eagles” deserved some credit for Chrissake. They were, in a word, pissed. They had fought their way across all of Europe to get Hitler’s ass and no, he had split. But if they couldn’t catch Der Schickelgruber, they at least wanted some war loot. I mean that’s what was was all about, right?

The sergeant signaled to stop the jeep at a Bavarian style mini-castle (that’s what the Yanks called called them) that was about four miles down hill from the Nest. Damn, it was pretty, with a slate roof built to take the weather and window shutters and the medieval wall around it. And it had a courtyard. The sergeant had the patrol fan out while he led the gate busters. The last thing the CO wanted was a damn ambush of the lead unit on the way down. Intelligence expected a shitload of paperwork and if it was highest priority, so the lead unit would descend first and the others would be on mop-up.

They waited until a big Dodge truck could get into position to crash through the gate, He remembered standing behind the truck, locking and loading his M1 carbine. The gates swung open and he saw several cars in the courtyard. He didn’t recognize one big one, but was told it was a Maybach then next to that was a slightly smaller one, a Horch. The sergeant went right by those and tore the cover off a long low one in the garage, to reveal a two seater Mercedes with a mile-long hood, polished exhaust pipes sprouting out the side, and some kind of shield behind the two seats that looked like it was was retractable.

The sergeant then led a unit into the mansion. Five minutes later, he emerged, shaking his head. “They split. And it looks like they left in one helluva hurry. There’s clothes all over the floor including one cape. Who the hell wears a cape? Was this the house of some damn stage actor or the Reichsmarshall?”

Buzz followed the sergeant back to the garage. The sergeant climbed behind the wheel and attempted to start the Mercedes but Buzz waved him to stop, walked over, opened the hood (it had two hoods, one on each side to reach the long six cylinder engine) and connected the battery. The sergeant got back in, turned the key, and smiled when it roared to life. Buzz shook his head–was he the only guy in the whole unit who knew how to get a car running?

“Bulletpooof,” he heard the sergeant say. Buzz took that as a challenge. He whipped out his .45, aimed it at the door and fired. The sergeant jumped a foot. The bullet didn’t penetrate.

“Jesus H. Christ, Buzz, what if it hadn’t been bulletproof?”

Buzz reholstered his .45.

“Don’t you worry about it, Sarge. You can bet when Der Reichsmarshal orders a bulletproof Mercedes, he damn well gets one.”

The sergeant pointed an accusing finger at him “Buzz–you’re really pushin’ it, y’know that?”

Mercedes-Benz 540K

1941 Mercedes-Benz 540K

Another of the guys, an Austrian who’d joined the Army back in the States after Pearl Harbor, and of whom it was said had been a racer before the war, volunteered to drive it down to HQ. But they didn’t want to be mistaken for escaping Krauts. So they stopped the Mercedes in front of the damaged gate to plant American flags in the flag holders on the fenders and to paint white lettering on the bumpers that proclaimed throughout the realm that, as of this moment this piece of rolling Stuttgart iron was now the property of the 101st Airborne. Take that, you Heinies!

So Johnny drives it downhill to HQ where they heard later a General commandeered it, puts a plate with two stars on on the bumper, and drives it through the town they liberate to show the Germans there’s a new Sheriff in town. Then later when the surrender was announced, the word came back that the car got to America and was the main attraction in war bond drives. “Pay a quarter and See Hitler’s Mercedes” the signs said. Of course fact was Hitler didn’t own a two seater, but what they hey, you knew it belonged to someone pretty high up the food chain. Not every General had a bulletproof 540K.

****

The fog started to lift, Buzz could see the car better now. It was not restored. Presentable, sure, but by no means anywhere as squeaky clean as the other cars were, (some said concours standards were so picky now that they were a little better than of the factories when the same cars were still brand spanking new!). Buzz couldn’t stop himself. He put his hand on the driver’s door and ran his fingers across the door until he hit a hole and then he knew. Not just a hole, for Chrissake, his bullet hole. Put there on May 4, in the Yer of Our Lord nineteen hundred and forty five at precisely eleven hundred hours, 10 clicks downhill from the Eagle’s nest.

There was a tap on his shoulder. He swung around with his carbine, cocking it in one fluid motion, and then realized a bit sheepishly that he didn’t have a carbine and Christ almighty it was what 60-70 years later?

“Ya having fun,dad?” he heard his son say and then turned around to see him.

His son grinned, handing him a woolen scarf. “I swear you jumped a foot when I tapped you. You seen a ghost?’

Buzz managed a weak smile. “Sort of, son, sort of.”

He managed a crooked smile, So maybe it wasn’t Hitler’s car after all but hell, glomming onto Goering’s car had been a good prize for the Unit. Too bad Goering had popped those cyanide capsules at Nuremberg, it would have been a damn good car to take to his hanging.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

 
 
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is writing an anthology of car-based short stories. Interested parties can reach him at photojournalistpro2@gmail.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Summary
Fiction: The Blue Goose
Article Name
Fiction: The Blue Goose
Description
The fog started to lift, Buzz could see the car better now. It was not restored. Presentable, sure, but by no means anywhere as squeaky clean as the other cars were. Buzz couldn't stop himself. He put his hand on the driver's door and ran his fingers across the door until he hit a hole and then he knew. Not just a hole - his bullet hole.
Author

Comments

  1. patrick faucompre says

    8 cyl, Wallace, not 6.

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