Breakdown at a Railway Crossing

Nobody wants to see their pride and joy become a hood ornament on a southbound freight train, but no car, not even the Zonda, is worth more than your legs, let alone life.

Breakdown at a Railway Crossing

I was chewing the fat with Jay Kennedy, our twenty-something cameraman, who is my regular co-pilot for anything dangerous, in a brand-new Pagani Zonda Roadster after an exhausting day’s filming. As usual, I had been cajoled into using every last drop of fuel for ‘just a few extra shots’ and was coasting down the mountain into Davos to find a petrol station with barely a Martini left in the tank.

With the pump in sight, and only a minor incline and a railway track separating us from victory, Jay heard himself saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be classic if we ran out of fuel in a million-pound Zonda right in the middle of that railway crossing?’

And with that, we did.

As my rapidly pumping foot failed to introduce enough gas to the spark, I noticed a large red train homing in on our right-hand side.

I popped open the luxurious leather-lined door and looked behind us to see if we could roll back down the hill, but the German parked on our tailpipe was staring blankly ahead. Jay and I somehow summoned the strength of Samson to move the Zonda forward by a crucial two metres. Of course, it started first time after that.

Nobody wants to see their pride and joy become a hood ornament on a southbound freight train, but no car, not even the Zonda, is worth more than your legs, let alone life. It’s a pressure situation and pressure makes you do silly things like trying to leave the car with the seat belt on or forgetting the person in the back seat. Don’t let it beat you and your choice of the following actions:

• Get out and run.

• Clutch in, turn the key all the way off and restart the engine, then drive forwards.

• Get out and push.