Hank The Tank

Since summer, a Mercedes sedan was parked on Myrtle Avenue, in the closest spot to the front exit from Town Hall.

It’s been there ever since.

Alert Westporters wondered what’s up. Dust settled on the car. Street cleaners swept around it, giving it a distinctive border.

Summer turned into fall. Leaves turned and fell. Frost arrived.

Still the car sat there.

The car, last summer. (Photo/Michael Moore)

We may now have an answer — of sorts.

A two-page letter has been taped to the rear window.

“Congratulations,” it begins. “you are now standing next to Hank the Tank.”

The note tells the story of the car — nicknamed, clearly, “Hank the Tank.”

It belonged to a mother who chauffeured her daughter to school and sports.

When the teenage girl inherited the car, it went to the dump and Dunkin’ Donuts. the beach and concerts. It got a speeding ticket on North Avenue.

It carried the driver’s many friends on every road in Westport. Lots of their stuff still sits in Hank the Tank.

Page 1 of the letter …

The girl who drove the car has moved on to college, the letter explains. But “saying goodbye to Hank the Tank is difficult,” the letter continues. “Some people have a harder time letting go than others.”

… and page 2.

But, the note concludes, Hank the Tank will soon be gone.

it will be less of a bother than it is, taking up a Myrtle Avenue parking space for many months.

It will continue to be useful, however.

Hank the Tank is being donated to the Westport Fire Department. It will be used for drills and education.

There’s always a story behind the story. Thanks, Hank the Tank, for sharing yours. (Hat tip: Svea Vocke)

7 responses to “Hank The Tank

  1. For anyone who loves cars, loves kids and loves families, what a nice note to read. Thanks Hank and family.

  2. What a lovely sentimental letter. We live in the best town.
    Reminds me of the intro to Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon.
    “Where all the children are good looking and above average” etc.
    Welcome to La-La-Land where High School students drive Mercedes,….till they get to go away to college and get a new car. Westport where you can abandon a (valuable) vehicle for months in front of Town Hall and not get so much as a parking ticket….then just give it away for the Fire Dept. to use for… training?. How fitting the photo was taken by the namesake of Michael; Moore the documentary film director about GM.(nice photo BTW). Wasn’t La-La Land music written by a couple of kids from Westport? Does anyone else see the irony in all this? I do truly love living here….. it’s like no other place on… Earth..?

    • I had essentially the same thoughts. It’s nice to have so much money that you needn’t bother keeping track of that spare Mercedes Benz…I guess!

  3. Awesome …Hank the Tank is a devout New York Football Giant Fan!

  4. Good One D & K !

  5. I am struck by how similar is the life of Hank the Tank’s drivers to the one I lived 45+ years ago in Westport. Devils Den, the beach, just driving around…
    Yes, I walked that 1/2 mile to Staples (mostly rode my bike, actually), I finally took a car to school my junior year, and it costs a whole lot more to live in Westport than it once did.

    But that’s real nice.

    Thanks for this one, Dan.

  6. Considering the car’s provenance, maybe “Fritz the Tank,” “Siegfried the SUV” or “Patric the Panzer?”

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