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This Coke really did add life for our Norah

Norah Smith says her lucky Coke four-pack really does add life and her survival certainly is the real thing.
Norah Smith says her lucky Coke four-pack really does add life and her survival certainly is the real thing. Tanya Easterby

THINGS really did go better with Coca-Cola, particularly for the USA in 1987, when it helped Dennis Conner win back the America's Cup.

And Coke was definitely the real thing for Norah Smith the following year, when she acquired her lucky four-pack of America's Cup Coke, bought for her as a souvenir.

The "Coke adds life" slogan came true for Mrs Smith when a truck loaded with cattle crashed into the back of the caravan she and her husband were towing around Australia in 1997.

The four-pack was in the caravan, along with an antique "carnival glass set" - a big glass jug and six goblets.

"I paid $60 for it at a flea market in Brisbane and an antique store owner offered me $3000 for them in 1994.

"The crash did $8000 damage and the polystyrene caravan lining was like snow on the ground."

But the glass set and her lucky four-pack were unbroken.

The 1987 America's Cup, for which Coca-Cola made a special commemorative issue, was a big event for Conner, from whom John Bertrand had won the cup in 1983, ending 132 years of American supremacy in the event.

Conner's victory in 1987, no doubt aided by his own lucky Coca-Cola connection, made him the first person to lose the America's Cup and then to win it back again.

"My husband and I were going to go, but he got sick," Mrs Smith said in Gympie this week.

"A friend said he would get some for us as a souvenir."

And while her experience of a truck accident may not seem like good luck, she says it could definitely have been worse.

"We had been up north and were coming back down again and had a cattle truck behind us.

"There was another truck coming the other way and the one behind us tried to pass.

"We pulled over and the truck coming towards us pulled over and this fellow tried to pass in between us.

"He clipped the corner of the caravan.

"It was a wreck, but we had wrapped the souvenir Coke bottles and the glass set.

"A friend told me that if I wrapped the glass stuff in plastic shopping bags, it would work better than bubble wrap or newspaper.

"I was surprised when he told us that but I did it and it worked.

"It took three months and $8000 to get the caravan going and get back to Brisbane in December 1990.

"I've still got the Coke and it's still in the original four-pack wrapper, although it's starting to get a bit tattered.

"But I saw a single bottle on the internet for $51." And there's also all that good luck.

Topics:  americas cup coke

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