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My first car and a 2020 experience

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My first car and a 2020 experience

Old 21st Jul 2020, 20:48
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 61
My first car and a 2020 experience

Do you remember the first car that you owned ?

It has always been prominent in my memory. It was 1929 Humber 16/50 saloon. I owned it around 1960 for several years subsequent. You might think it would be long gone; scrapped.

Recently I got a hunch, origin totally unexplained, that the car was nearby. A little research indicated this to be true. Today I had a run out in my original first car, now 91yo and vgc;

Extraordinary and happy experience.
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Old 21st Jul 2020, 21:40
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Not where I want to be
Age: 67
Posts: 251
I remember all too well, a piece of crap '59 VW Beetle, 25?Hp and right hand drive making overtaking nigh on impossible. Non-existing heating, beer froze in the rear bunk hole, needed spray defroster to keep the windshield free from ice. Any hint of ice on the road and the damned thing went backwards faster than forward.
Thankfully the engine finally seized and good riddance. I still hate the sound of an air cooled flat four.
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Old 21st Jul 2020, 21:44
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Location: UK
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ah yes AM I see why you remember it.....
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Old 21st Jul 2020, 22:10
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Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Sabotage Central Office
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Brown MK1 Ford transit Camper with a V4 engine and one of those bellows extending roofs that unlatched once on the M4, most effective airbrake I've ever experienced.........unfortunately I know for sure that it is no longer in existence as I drove it to the scrappies and watched its demise
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Old 21st Jul 2020, 22:46
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lemonia. Best Greek in the world
Posts: 1,693
Yup. A 1954 Morris Minor. Split windscreen. Originally an 803 sidevalve. Bought in 1970. Over time, I replaced the engine with a 950, added a stage 3 head, then a 1275 engine, which was a pain as I had to get a drive shaft bodge to fit it in. On the advice of a "friend" I spent far too long upgrading the clutch. Carbs came and went...........
It would eat through the diff, which did not like a too sudden surge of power.

The colours were whatever car paint I could get for free. It had once been green.

The local scrap dealer was very friendly as I visited his place far too often.

Regrettably, I know it is not round the corner, so no hunches for me, as One day late in 71 some out of control berk in an Imp came across the central reservation of the A1 and seriously remodelled the front of my car. It didn't do a lot for his car, either. Nice lorry driver saw it all, and was happy to be my witness. Police not very interested.
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Old 21st Jul 2020, 22:58
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 597
First car was a Standard (or, more correctly, Stranded) 10. Can't remember the year, probably mid 50s. had it for a year before selling it to a dealer when I went into the army. The balck paint was held together by rust.
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Old 21st Jul 2020, 23:05
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Out in the sticks in DE56
Age: 82
Posts: 553
Ah yes, a 1933 Austin 7 which drove like a motorised roller-scate - felt like 1 full turn lock-to-lock.
Then a 'friend' thought that I wouldn't pass my driving test in the thing (much less get from Harwell to Newbury for the test - all of 12 miles) so said 'Use mine'. A 1938 Daimler light 20. Bonnet longer than the total length of the Austin (well, it felt like it.) 5 turns lock-to-lock, and a very low sitting position as it had been coach-built for a 6'6" bloke, and I'm 5'8". One peered through the steering wheel.

Went for a drive the night before the driving test. Found a sharp bend and for a moment forgot I was in the Daimler. Hedge. Ditch. Broke the car, hired another for the test.

One remembers both cars well, and - ridiculously - with affection.
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Old 21st Jul 2020, 23:11
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lost again...
Posts: 625
My first car was nowhere near as glamorous as those listed above.

1986 Renaud 5 - 8 years old at the time

Bought since it was what i could afford to buy (and more to the point afford to insure) at the time.

Nice wee car - served me well at a time when i had few resources yet needed transport.

I look back on it fondly (ish)


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Old 21st Jul 2020, 23:31
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Great South East, tired and retired
Posts: 3,190
First car, in 1969 was a 1959 FC Holden sedan, baby-shit brown in colour, known as the Tanfastic. Cost $290 at the time, probably $2000 now. Drum brakes, no radio, no heater, but it had electric wipers and turn indicators.

A few months back I replaced my 2016 Tiguan with a 2020 Allspace, all the bells and whistles, and it cost more that twice as much as my first house cost to build, in 1976.
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Old 21st Jul 2020, 23:33
  #10 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Too close to Croydon for comfort
Age: 56
Posts: 7,426
1979 Chrysler Avenger 1600GLS - twin carbs made it sporty. Sort of. Moderately. In a manner of speaking. Written off a year after I bought it when a scaffolding lorry used it to stop following a brakes failure. Glad I wasn't in it at the time...
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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 00:06
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Asia
Age: 70
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My first car was a 1954 Ford Anglia 100E. Bought it for 25 quid whilst still 16. Applied my driving test and put down my 17th birthday as 1st available date and got it!!!!
Went out at midnight (so legally 17) to practice with my dad and somehow that morning I passed.
Sold the car to Bob Strong (odd that after 52 years I remembered his name) for a fiver who used it for about 6 months before donating it to the scappies
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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 00:20
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Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 81
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I have to define 'My' as I was prone to persuading my mother to buy things that seemed a good idea. A tiny box Morris with the accelerator in the middle was purchased for fifteen quid. No driver's side window but had some Perspex that fitted nicely. I'm not sure how I practised hand signals, but practice I did, just at a time when one could drive with L plates due to the Suez crisis. Drove locally a lot and then to college at Colchester, some 20 miles away.

Got meself four hours with BSM, the nice lady rushing out of a tiny Colchester shop to say they'd got one test available next Thursday. I passed the test in an A30, or 35.

I'd clocked up hours of driving and was now let loose in a Perpendicular Popular van for telly-mending. I saved like mad from my six quid wages and now it was time for a car that was to be really my own. I was beyond excited when I got back to the workshop and regaled the lads, and my boss, about the huge headlights, and the flexy chrome pipes going to the spotlights and chrome hooters. I'd eyed up the gargantuan back seat with more attention that the bucket front seats.

Now, here's a funny thing. There was definitely some delay about Ten Year Testing. I just don't get it, as my memory is usually incredibly detailed about things like this, but it must have been 1958. 59, was the start of the long hot summer and I was at Cambridge with PYE. But tested it had to be. Next year, my local garage definitely used an accelerometer, a silvered device that swung in a wooden box. They had been required to buy it.

I did miles on bald tyres - definitely no tread whatsoever on one wheel. I later went to C&G practical test in Regents street. Sunday, parked all day by the BBC building. So much of one's life seemed to happen in that car. I guess memory gets stretched out when one is young, but getting the pegs of the Jackall system stuck in a farmer's field may have changed my whole life. Tonight was the night, and everything was perfect, until I turned around in readiness for a quick getaway should the gamekeeper turn up. I learned a lot about a woman's temperament as we walked the mile home. They can walk very fast and snarl a lot without actually saying anything. She was one of my three passengers in the car when flames came up through the floorboards. I didn't know much about knocking noises then, not that kind anyway, but I learned pistons can come through crankcases.

Why couldn't I buy a Morris Minor. So sensible. I'm so wise now . . . erm, no I'm not. I've just remembered I'm buying a Mercedes Kompressor thing tomorrow. I wonder if there are pills one can take that stop one buying cars.

I'm pretty sure it was seventy five quid. I've got the receipt somewhere, but I doubt if it's got the MOT thing on it.

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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 00:45
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kelowna Wine Country
Posts: 445
Singer Nine. Little 'sports car' green. Drove it home to North Notts from Oxford. Broke the big ends on the way. First motor job ever, changing big ends with box spanner in the pit under the cottage garage. (Much bruising to bonce.) Failed again a couple of moths later . Unbelievably got a spare engine from local scrappers but didn't even know I should change the oil. Drove it for two or three months and then found bearings gone again because there was an inch or so of rainwater in the sump. Finally abandoned and disposed of by parents while I was away skiing.

Some years later saw a picture of Marylin Monroe leaning on a Singer Nine just like mine. Remembered with even more fondness.
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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 05:27
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Sydney
Posts: 96
A bright orange 1975 2 door Ford Escort 1.3L with a dual downdraft weber carby. I loved that car. It was entirely suited to dirt back roads and I explored most of country NSW in it, predominantly sideways in the dirt. The dual weber carby was the most finickity thing to get balanced but when it was 'on song' it was a perfect blend of power and chassis for dirt drifting.

Sadly it 'passed' away, peacefully in the driveway, when the entire underfloor simply fell out due to rust.

The closest I've ever come to matching that level of fun was a nice little '97 Boxster
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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 06:30
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: back out to Grasse
Posts: 301
Ford Consul 375 circa 1961, bought in 1969 after coming back from the sandpit. Got my license in it in Weston Super Mare, mostly remembered as a party bus and passion wagon. (Two wide bench seats, front and rear, oh what simple joys.

After knocking for a while the prop shaft fell off on the A38 coming out of Derby. I had to run back down the road to get it. Fortunately a kind older gentleman arrived who towed me back to his house, reassembled my prop shaft needle bearing, and sent me on my way with a cautionary - "don't go over forty". I got back in one piece. Coincidence? The older gentleman was an ex-Chief Engineer on the Queen Mary, what a place to lose a prop shaft.

Apologies but memory suggests I may have posted this missive on PPRuNe some years ago.

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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 07:20
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Darwin, NT, Australia
Posts: 741
1973 white Toyota Corona with bucket seats, floor shift and wide tyres. Bought from a teacher at my old school on advice from my mum.

The day after I brought it home, the clock stopped.

Over the next 12 months it cost me: three windscreens (bloody rocks), four headlights (bloody magpies) three radiator hoses and two batteries. The battery issue became so entrenched that the local lads would wander over after the footy had ended each Saturday to give it a push to get it started. The day after I bought a new set of four tyres, one went flat. (Getting the picture?)

It came to a head when I was overtaking a truck that had an unsecured load. I could only watch while the rock on top of the pile rolled down and off the back of a truck, hit the road and performed a perfect leg break into my left front wheel. As I fishtailed past, my rear end hit the side of the truck, wiping out the rear panel. Fortunately, the front wheel didn't burst, although the tube was bulging out between the dented rim and the tyre.

As I was changing the tyre, I came to the conclusion that I needed to get a new car.

Once the Corona was repaired, I arranged a trade in on a new Datsun 180B SSS (couldn't afford a 240Z).

The dealer was 40km from home and rang me a week before the scheduled delivery date to let me know my new car had arrived and could be collected that day. Bewdy!
So I emptied all my gear out of the Corona, loaded my mum into the passenger seat and set off.

Half way there, the fan belt broke, so I pulled over. No spare, no tools, no worries. I hitched a ride into the next town (10km away), bought a fan belt and appropriate tools and hitched back to the car.

Lift the bonnet, get to work...and find the alternator is frozen in place and I can't get the belt fitted.

To save her ears from my descriptive commentary, mum hitched a ride into the town we had passed 10 km back and found the automobile association repairman.
They arrived back in time for him to sort things out and get us back on the road so that we could get to the dealer before he closed.

We got there with 15 minutes to spare and I gratefully handed him the keys to the Corona.

And, would you believe, while I was sitting in the bloody thing by the side of the road, waiting for my mum to get back with help, the bloody clock started working again.

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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 08:51
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: northofwhereiusedtobe
Posts: 1,337
Mine was a 1956 Austin A40 Cambridge that I bought from the Red Rose Garage,Wendover in 1971,1200cc of pulsating power...35 to you sir !! (I was being paid 3 a week as a 'Brat' at the time ! )
Completely worn out column change (you had to scrape the steering wheel with the gear lever to get 1st or 2nd ),Front brakes were hydraulic - rears were mechanical.
The starting handle had to be used every cold start ,obligatory clothes peg to keep the choke out of course...but to be fair she never let me down !!

Interestingly - according to Treadi on another forum - the Red Rose Garage had been started by one Bill Lancaster - the famous/infamous Avian Pilot.

At the moment we have a 2005 Grand Vitara as our little toy fun car and a 2008 Kia Sportage crdi.
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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 09:13
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: West Wiltshire, UK
Age: 68
Posts: 390
My first car was a van, a 1964 Mini van that had previously belonged to Thames Valley police, BGN 918 B, IIRC. Cost me 55 in 1970 and was worth every penny, especially because of the large sheet of foam that I cut to fit in the back, like a mattress . . .

Didn't keep it long, as I got kicked out of the house and needed the money, so I sold it to a friend for pretty much what I paid for it. Didn't own another car until 1977, when I bought a 1967 Mini.
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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 09:25
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Hertfordshire
Posts: 434
Like the OP I had a Vintage car in the 1950s - in my case a 1930 M-type MG Midget which was only 27 years old but was already pretty well used-up when I got it. When I got a more modern car in 1959 I sold the MG for 10 which I was glad to get. The next owner let a friend drive it and crash it so even if I wanted to, I shan't see it again.
Starting ones motoring in 1957 was eased by the Suez crisis, as driving tests were suspended and the requirement for learner drivers to be supervised was also suspended. I took a driving test after about six months of self-tuition, driving the MG whenever I could afford the petrol.
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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 09:44
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Falkland Islands
Posts: 135
First car was a 1967 Mark 2 Ford Cortina, cost 100 In 1978 and another 100 to insure it. Second car was a 1966 Mark 1 Cortina.

(PS I am suspicious about the subject matter of this thread - watch out for the next one, asking what your first pet’s name was, followed by the one about your mother’s maiden name...)
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