Yep, it’s true, chef Jamie Oliver is selling the van and trailer he drove around Italy for the book Jamie’s Italy.
I recommend it. The book I mean, because if you’re like me you’re unlikely to be able to afford the van. It’s expected to go for upwards of $100,000 at an auction in London on Sunday:
The van has had VIP treatment since Oliver bought it in 1999. It’s fitted with satellite navigation, a Play-Station, TVs and a high-spec audio system. Driving the rear wheels is a 2.4-litre VW/Porsche 914 engine. A specially built trailer kitchen Oliver towed around Italy is part of the package. ~ The Good Oil: Jamie Oliver’s mobile kitchen for sale
Ok, so it’s special. I suppose driving a real beat-up old 1959 van around Sicily would have upset the locals.
I don’t want to seem harsh, but breaking down in a remote area can be a real experience, if you catch my drift. Once, when we had come to an unexpected stop along the superstrada somewhere in Sardinia, we sent the womenfolk out for some benzina. The gas guage was obviously unreliable. Here’s the conversation they had with the Italian carabinieri who stopped when they saw them:
C: What are you doing out here along the superstrada. It’s dangerous!
Womenfolk: We’ve run out of gas, and our men, who are cowering in the bar having a cafe, sent us to get more. They said that it was certain that some nice men would stop for the likes of us! They have promised to help us get the gas in the tank when we return.
C: Well, you shouldn’t be walking along the highway. It’s dangerous!
Then, he walks out into the road and flags down the next car coming along.
C: Signori! Take these women to a gas station.
Reluctantly, and after transfering the junk that covered the back seat into the trunk (i.e.-boot), two grisly looking dudes loaded up our womenfolk and the gas can and zoomed off toward the gas station.
I found a nice shepherd’s knife by the side of the road on my way to the bar.
Just think, the women met some locals, the coffee was decent—it was a good day, one we wouldn’t have had if we drove reliable transportation with a decent gas gauge. See what I mean?