I had a call from a reader who said: “Don’t knock yellow cars. They might save your life.” File picture.
Soon after I wrote the column about yellow cars and the chap who said they were associated with police vehicles I had a call from a reader who said: “Don’t knock yellow cars. They might save your life.”

He explained that he was a retired panel beater and after a lifetime of restoring and patching crashed vehicles he could not remember ever having to fix a yellow car.

“We worked on hundreds of silver and white vehicles and plenty of black ones and blue ones, but not a single yellow.”

He thinks this is because yellow vehicles are so highly visible on the roads that the drivers of other cars become aware of them and avoid them.

There might also be the subconscious connection with police vehicles.

Maybe your brain whispers to you: “Cop car! Be careful,” when a yellow vehicle appears, so you drive with extra caution.

For all that, I don’t think there’s a yellow vehicle in my future. The yellow scooter at the head of this column was not actually mine. I was taking it for a test drive when I was photographed.

Talking about car colours I am sure there will not be a black car in my future either, in spite of black being the official colour of VIP vehicles.

I grew up on the Highveld where they have real summer weather and I know from experience that black is an unsuitable colour for a Highveld vehicle. Black absorbs heat and a black car parked outside on a summer’s day soon becomes too hot to touch.

The wife of a Johannesburg friend wanted a black car and in spite of dire warnings she persuaded her husband to buy her one.

Before long she found she had to keep a bottle of cold water in her handbag whenever she went out. She needed to pour it on the door handle of her car to make it cool enough to touch.

Even here in the relatively mild climate of the Cape the dashboard of my car becomes too hot to touch in summer.

I often wonder why car designers consider black to be the standard colour for a dashboard.

The car dealers will say it is to reduce glare, but it’s pointless having a glare-free car if it’s too hot to drive.

My first car, a Volksie beetle, had a pale green dashboard that was never too hot to touch and I can't remember ever being bothered by the glare.

Last Laugh

A man saw a newspaper advertisement offering a 2017 Porsche for R500. He thought there would obviously be a catch but he went to investigate and to his amazement there was an almost brand-new Porsche gleaming in the seller’s garage.

“I can’t believe this,” he said to the woman selling the car. “Why such a ridiculously low price?”

The woman said: “My husband ran off with his secretary and he left me a note saying: ‘You can keep the house, but please sell my Porsche and send me the money’.”

* "Tavern of the Seas" is a daily column written in the Cape Argus by David Biggs. Biggs can be contacted at [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus