"One might not expect to find cars in crime books, but even here there are some interesting references. In one of the most absorbing but sad books I have ever read, " Kidnap—The Story of the Lindbergh Case " by George Waller (Hamish Hamilton, 1961) the type of cars on the American scene or a period just past the vintage era are revealed, in the form of Col. Lindbergh's air-cooled Franklin saloon which he kept in the three-car garage at his house in Hopewell, New Jersey, at the time when his first child was kidnapped and murdered. It Was a contrast to the Ford coupe. of Dr. Condon's friend, which was used to go to the demander of the 50,000-dollar ransom money. Indeed, when Col. Lindbergh set MT with 1)r. Condon, using this Ford instead of his own car as a last-minute precaution, its narrow seat was emphasised, nicely portraying the difference between the spacious Franklin and the width of what must surely have been a Model-B Ford.
There is later mention of' the 1930 Dodge four-door sedan used by the suspect, originally painted dark green. but changed to dark blue in 1932, after the kidnapping, which caused some interchange at the trial as to whether a witness was sure it was a Dodge and not a Ford, which underlines the similarity in appearance of American automobiles at this period. There is a note of the three police Ford sedans used to follow the Dodge through the Bronx. Incidentally, if we think we are pretty closely regimented these days, what of the listing on a motor vehicle application form in that Stare in those days of the occupation and colour or eyes and hair of the applicant ? Other Ford and Dodge cars were mentioned-at the trial and there was even the old man whose hobby was waiting to see cars run into the ditch at the junction of the lane leading to Lindbergh's house and the Mercer County Highway; he remembered a good week when as many as seven cars failed to take this deceptive bend (can any American reader tell us if this tricky turn still exists ?). . . . It is worth noting that when the Lindberghs fled from America to escape threatening letters about their second child, living first at
the, Aubrey Morgan family. estate at Llandaff and later at the Long Barn in Weald, the New York Herald Tribune wrote : ' The departure of Colonel and Mrs. Lindbergh for England, to find a tolerable home there in a safer and more civilised land than ours has shown itself to be, is its own commentary upon the American Social scene. Nations have exiled their heroes before; they have broken them with meatiness. But when has a nation made life unbearable to one of its most distinguished men through a sheer inability to protect him from its criminals and lunatics and the vast vulgarity of its sensationalists, publicity-seekers, petty politicians and yellow newspapers ? It seems as incredible as it is shocking. Yet everyone knows that this is exactly what has happened.... The Lindberghs can live with some freedom ill England ... because Of the adult public sense of good taste. restraint and respect for individual rights and privacies which underlies the British freedom from crime." But that was written 3: years ago ...!"