Lady Penelope’s Fab Car

I found an old toy car a few months ago. An old woman had passed away a year before and her family was just getting around to clearing out her house.

I met some people there who told me that she never threw anything out. That much was obvious – there was just a ridiculous amount of stuff being thrown out for over a month. I found a lot of great things there, but when I think of the place I think of the bags and bags of sugar that must have been 20 years old. (Someone actually took a bunch – he said it was useful for his zero-waste cottage somehow). There were also probably a good bag full of old chocolate. Not to mention the unopened 1986 Cheez Whiz I took!

I never showed you this old toy car though, and think is worth it’s own post (especially in these slower winter times). I’ll try to tell you about it as best I can (as someone who didn’t know anything about it before reading a wikipedia article).

Lady Penelope's Fab 1 Thunderbird 100 Dinky Toys 2

Lady Penelope's Fab 1 Thunderbird 100 Dinky Toys 1

Lady Penelope's Fab 1 Thunderbird 100 Dinky Toys

This sturdy car is Lady Penelope’s Fab 1 Thunderbird. Lady Penelope was a fictional secret agent for a secret English organization in the old TV show “Thunderbirds,” which first aired in the mid 1960s. I guess she was sort of like a female James Bond.

Lady Penelope was a secret agent but in her free time was also a supermodel and fashionista; everything about her therefore had to be fab. This was her car – a six-wheeled Rolls Royce called FAB 1. She also had a yacht (FAB 2) and a racehorse (FAB 3), not to mention a mansion. She also liked tea.

The front grill of the FAB 1 comes down to reveal a missile bay. The toy also does this (I just discovered this so I’m pretty pumped)! It also has a bulletproof bubble roof. Oh yeah, it’s also amphibious. Overall, the car is pretty dope.

The superior craftsmanship of this little toy car is evident. It’s made of a sturdy metal that would hold up well to being dropped (an essential quality for a kid’s toy). The paint is still bright even after about 50 years.

The only thing wrong with mine is that the plastic bubble-roof has mostly broken off. The interior plastic is also slightly off-color but that could probably be restored quite easily.

Nonetheless, it’s enough to devalue this car, which is actually a valuable collector’s piece. A FAB 1 in pristine shape and original box recently sold for 600$ on Ebay.

I could probably get 10$ or so for my FAB 1 as is but I’ll probably keep it for now. Maybe I can give it away as a gift someday, or maybe sell it if I become truly broke. Regardless, it’s a pretty cool toy and a pretty bad-ass car.

Winter wonderland

montreal snow

I’m back in the city after spending a few days back home with the family for Christmas celebrations. While I was gone Montreal had a winter storm for the ages which deposited a record 45 cm (close to 18 inches if you’re American) on the city. I would have liked to have been around to see it, but it’s also cool to see the aftermath.

Garbage collection was definitely more challenging than usual, with the workers having to navigate through big snowdrifts to get to the trash.

montreal snowstorm aftermath

It was also a challenge for car owners. Good luck with that!


I decided to go out and see the sights (and also the trash). It was pretty nice out. I also wanted to investigate and see if there was a post-Christmas “bump” in decent trash as people replaced old with new.

I came across some decent stuff in these bags but I get the feeling it was because the person moved (the end-of-the-month bump is definitely a real thing). I ended up taking two whole bags worth of stuff – thankfully it was close to home.

brass picture frames

Some brass picture frames with the stock photos still in.

chinese knockoff dvds

A big collection of DVDs. If these were Chinese knockoffs they’d be worth some decent money. I tested a bunch of them on my computer, and while they’re generally pretty high quality knockoffs the video and audio quality is not sufficient to sell them for a good price. The covers are pretty high-quality knockoffs too but fall within the same parameters.

There’s a lot here though. Most are large collections of certain stars (Alfred Hitchcock, Oliver Stone, Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise), complete or near complete TV series (Family Guy, Rome, The Office, Will and Grace, Scrubs and more). They seemed to be well taken care of – not many scratches and they all played quite easily.


There was also a large collection of (official) CDs. There’s some pretty good stuff here, ranging from the Beatles to Radiohead to Franz Ferninand to Amadou and Miriam. These seem to be in pretty good shape too.


A bag of pens and highlighters.


A couple of cell phones. One doesn’t seem to work even though it looks pretty “like-new” – I wonder if it’s just that the battery sat around dead for too long. The other one doesn’t have a charger, which is odd given that there’s five different chargers in the box. One of the chargers is for a European plug.


There were also some home decorations. Here’s a dancing Buddha (incense holder?).


A wood carving.


A couple more wood carvings.


At first I thought this light was a cheap knockoff. I didn’t see a switch so I figured you had to unplug it every time you wanted to use it. Fortunately my friend was around and suggested it might turn on via clapping or touch. It turns out it turns on if you tap any part of the surface. There’s also three different light setting (dark, medium, bright). In the end it’s actually a pretty cool lamp!


A statue of liberty figurine.

radiohead movie

I also found this Radiohead VHS movie in another location. Someone threw out their old tape collection and there was this one VHS in with the bunch. There were some decent tapes but they didn’t seem well taken care of (most were laying outside their boxes) and tapes aren’t known for their longevity. I brought them home but I’ll probably put them on the curb next trash day and see if anyone take them.

I get the impression that there’s not much of a post-Christmas “bump.” There might be some trash from kids coming home and sorting through their old stuff but there certainly didn’t seem to be a mass throwaway of decent, if older stuff. This might be different in really well-to-do areas though.

A final note: if any Montrealers want this stuff I’d be willing to barter for organic food or microbrew beer. I’m not expecting too much so don’t be afraid to make an offer!


mexico 24 pack beer

I found a box of Mexican beers in a black bag on rue Esplanade.


Inside the box were five full beers! Most are Dos Equis and one is a bottle of Tecate (which I’ve never seen in Canada).

No idea why they were thrown out; even if they’re on the old side they’ll still be fine – just a bit funkier. Maybe they don’t like these Mexican beers.

Honestly: I probably won’t drink these. I’ve become quite the beer snob over the years and if I have a choice I’ll buy a good microbrew any day. Being Christmas and all I figure they’ll end up Christmas gifts from my roommate. They definitely won’t go to waste!

UPDATE: The beers were skunky but my roommate drank them anyways.



I pulled these dishes out of the bags in the picture above. I left it all (except the baking pan – I can use that) by a bus stop on St Urbain. Hopefully it gets a good home. There were a couple of nice plates, two bowls, some cutlery and a set of mugs and saucers for espresso. There was also a container of markers.


Finally – a working toaster. I found two bags on St Urbain that were full of food stuff. It all looked okay but there wasn’t really much worth bothering with. Inside the bag as well was this toaster and a little George Foreman grill.

I took the toaster; I had a feeling that it would work based on the contents of the bag. It seemed like someone just cleaned out the kitchen. I brought it home and it worked. It’s actually pretty clean too. I gave it a scrub after taking this shot so the steel is nice and shiny. It’s good timing because I haven’t had a toaster for a while and I’ve been getting sick of that state of affairs.

UPDATE: the timer is off on the toaster. I have to depress the lever three separate times to get a good piece of toast. Nonetheless I’m still pretty happy about it – it’s way better than using the broil on the oven.

That’s all for now!