Reading through my back issues of CAR Magazine to research a feature about the Jaguar X300, I unearthed a brilliant piece that I’d forgotten all about. Back in 1994, TV journalist Michael Kirsch had trekked into the war zone of Bosnia-Herzegovina to extricate three locals who’d saved his life a year previously and subsequently become his friends.
I won’t spoil the story for you – and you can click on it here to read it for yourself – but it certainly brings into focus just what a troubled past we’ve had in Europe. The Balkan conflict was a long way from being resolved when this story was published in November 1994 and, for me, it’s amazing and incredibly sad to think that this was going on – on our doorstep – little more than 20 years ago.
However, it’s equally uplifting to see just how far Europe’s progressed since the dawn of the 21st century. There’s complete freedom of movement within the European Union (EU27) and it’s largely peaceful and conflict-free now. It would be nice to think that commercialism has won over the idiocy of religion and politics and that people Europe-wide will be able to enjoy the freedom we now take for granted for all the future…
Oh dear, that sounds like some socio-political rant. So, er, sorry about that.
That aside, I also began to wonder whether we’ll ever see stories like this again in mainstream motoring magazines? Could you imagine the super-slick media and PR-savvy CAR Magazine running a story with a rusty Marina in it like this – despite the amazing story underpinning it? There’s no supercar content and the driver of the car wasn’t enjoying the benefits and safety of a manufacturer-supplied new car (and back-up crew) to see him safely to his destination. The fact is that Michael Kirsch could have died on that trip. Nowadays, we need to look to Sam Glover’s exploits in Practical Classics.
Is it me, but isn’t a really good road trip all about overcoming adversity and meeting all kinds of weird and wacky characters along the way? Anyway, enjoy the story and, if you want more back-catalogue stuff like this uploading in future months, I’m always happy to take suggestions.
This blog was first written in 2014.