About this site

Piers and Lin du Pré bought their new Fleming 55 / 129, Play d'eau, in 2003.

She was berthed in Beaucette Marina, Guernsey in the Channel Islands at N49° 30’.197 W002° 30’.350 until she was sold in October 2021.

This site charts the thrilling adventures they had in her.

You can contact us here.

Where’s Play d’eau?

If the new owners have the AIS on, you can find where Play d'eau is right now.

Click here.

Zoom in and our position will be shown on a map.

Recent Posts

Meet Sparky

Our new ultra-thin Sparky
click to enlarge

Have you tried driving in Guernsey? If so, you’ll certainly know the roads are narrow and how often you have to mount kerbs to avoid oncoming traffic.

Broken wing mirrors are evidence enough.

It was obvious, really. We had to sell the Jeep Cherokee and find a thin car. But how thin was thin?

Vital statistics

And then we saw a Toyota Sparky. She looked as though she had been squashed sideways like jam in a sandwich.

At 2m tall (6’3″) and only 1.5m wide (4′ 11″) she was really thin. Thin and box-like.

Perfect for Guernsey. But what would our children make of her?

Blue Chip

Box-like, Sparky is perfect for Guernsey roads
click to enlarge

Talking with James of Bluechip, we learned these cars hadn’t been made since 2004. As an importer of Japanese cars, James said he’d look for one and let us know if something suitable popped up.

Three months passed before we received an email. Would we like a pearlescent white Sparky, petrol, year 2000, 1300cc automatic, fuel injection engine, 70,000kms on the clock, electric windows, electric folding wing mirrors, ABS and Snow control (snow? Perfect for Guernsey of course…), in excellent condition?

Of the 7 seats, the rear 2 can be folded away completely into a hold under the floor leaving a huge area for baggage.

‘Oh, and she’s in really good condition for 15 years old,’ added James.

Did we hesitate?

Exit Jeep, enter Sparky

Our Toyota Sparky
click to enlarge

So with our beloved Jeep being exchanged for Sparky, we no longer have to swerve onto kerbs.

We have to admit, Sparky is such fun to drive.

Comments from the children included, ‘Stannah lift, zimmer frame, perfect for old people’, but once they’d been in her they all admitted she was a great car.

Piers and Lin
from the motor garage of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

6 comments to Meet Sparky

  • Hil

    Perfect, perfect! She looks like two cars-one on top of the other- and with a squashed nose! But sounds ideal for Guernsey. Perhaps you should be careful in high winds? What a lot is packed into that tiny car- or maybe not so tiny after all. Ideal. You could put her on Play d’eau when you go to France and drive around, inland!

    Lots of love, Hil x x

    • I found it hard to believe that she has such a high specification given she’s 15 years old! I love driving her You sit high up, can see over walls as you turn corners, and she runs so sweetly.

      You are right about high winds. The book does warn about this and about taking corners too quickly, both tending to make the car lean over…oops.

  • Sean

    Hi Piers/Lin,
    Good article, if only more fellow islanders took the same approach as you. I’ve got a Suzuki Carry Van, also from Blue Chip and I couldn’t fault it and as you say a lot less mounting the curb and ruining the alloy wheels or getting a blow out. All these new Mercedes and Range Rovers look flash but sod all practicality on island. Great job on the website by the way. I’ll come and say hello one day.
    Best wishes

  • andrea

    Hi, I have one too and love it. I’m wondering if I can take it to France on the motorway. Have you been there?

  • Hi Andrea. No, we haven’t taken ours to France. Our concern would be the availability of spares in case of breakdown.

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