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Kiltrash 18th Mar 2021 21:48

Dad's Car
 
Finally watched the latest Top Gear tonight and the main part were the 3 presenters got to drive the make and model they remembered as their dad's were driving while they were children
BMW 323, Ford Fiesta mk1 and mk 4 Cortina
For me I never knew my dad but was brought up with Grandad as the father figure and first I remember he had was a Standard Vanguard through ex Police Wolsey 6/99 to Rover P1 3500.
oh and the runt of the litter a Vauxhall Velux.
Front bench seats and no seat belts...
I also remember sitting on Grandad's lap steering the car on the local roads
Memories. Sigh.

VP959 18th Mar 2021 22:00


Originally Posted by Kiltrash (Post 11011646)
I also remember sitting on Grandad's lap steering the car on the local roads

I have a similar memory. My grandfather had an Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire and let me steer it whilst he drove slowly down the drive. Unfortunately, I ran over my grandmother's toe whilst she was standing at the edge and broke it . . .

treadigraph 18th Mar 2021 22:05

Cars I recall between about 1966 and 1972 were a Ford Zephyr probably MkIII and a Viva in Cornwall, then a VW Beetle, Daf 44, Ford Cortina Mk1 Estate and a Morris Minor in Kenya - the Minor was Dad's go to work car. Parents split in '72 and I returned to the UK with mum, but not before dad bought a Piper Colt - missed out on rides in the later Cessna 182, though the adult me thinks the money would have been better spent on his ex-wife and children...

I remember steering the Daf 44 round the Nairobi Game Reserve sitting in dad's lap!

Jackjones1 18th Mar 2021 22:15

My Dad had an Austin A35 van circa 1966 which I vaguely remember him buying without windows in the rear half which he then had fitted as i think you paid less tax on purchase in those days??
Written off in a collision with a Renault Dauphine aquaplaning towards us!!

Ascend Charlie 18th Mar 2021 22:20

In 1954, an FJ Holden ute, then a Morris Oxford, which had a heater (luxury!) and was traded in 1962 for a new EK Holden. Which didn't have a heater. 8 years later it was mine, and in Melbourne weather, a snuggle rug (struggle rug?) was a necessity to keep the GF warm.

ford cortina 18th Mar 2021 22:21

I remember Dad's Rover 2000SC, then a few company cars, Cortina, Cavalier. After that it got interesting, a New Datsun 280ZX, followed by a E23 BMW 735i SE, Porsche 925 then 944, Finally a 1989 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350 in black. Heady days

Hydromet 18th Mar 2021 22:58

Earliest vehicle I remember my father having was an old Chev ute, probably just pre-war model. The next he had was a Morris 8/40 tourer that has been converted to a station wagon, by building a wooden-framed laminex body on it from the firewall back.
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....bdc8db6a7e.jpg

longer ron 18th Mar 2021 23:19

My old man had a fair few cars over the years including a Morris 8,a Bedford CA Dormobile and a Hillman Limp,he had never been required to take a driving test and was an absolutely atrocious driver :eek:,I remember a trip up into the highlands circa 1971 where I did much of the driving and he of course was constantly criticising my driving,we had 2 of my Aunts along for the ride and they told me later in private that they much preferred my driving although I was still relatively inexperienced in those days - they dared not say anything in the car as he would have blown his stack :).

BWSBoy6 18th Mar 2021 23:27

A Singer Gazelle and later on a Ford Cortina 1600E in bronze with black faux leather seats and wooden dash! :O

wowzz 18th Mar 2021 23:35

A30, followed, logically enough by an A40, then two Singer Gazelles ( we were posh!) And finally an Austin 1100.
We drove from Colchester to Haverfordwest in the A30 ! Well over 300 miles, but I seem to remember doing the trip in one day! Not bad back in 1960.

rogerg 18th Mar 2021 23:41

My dad could never afford car but he did have a push bike with an engine in the rear wheel to take him to work.

Sultan Ismail 19th Mar 2021 00:27

The first one was a post war Fordson Thames 5cwt van, followed by a Ford E83 van with custom coachwork shooting brake body, then in 1956 a Commer van which had a weekend makeover amd became a glass sided estate car with folding rear seat, as mentioned earlier, a tax dodge.
Since then a line of Ford Zephyrs and Zodiacs.
Progress being what it is my present car does not have a heater, but has a very powerful airconditioner. Different priorities when you live on the Equator.

wiggy 19th Mar 2021 01:13


Originally Posted by wowzz (Post 11011712)
We drove from Colchester to Haverfordwest in the A30 ! Well over 300 miles, but I seem to remember doing the trip in one day! Not bad back in 1960.

:ooh: Blimey I am genuinely impressed, Colchester (Uni) to home, an hour west of Brum, in the early 70's in a Morris Traveller was enough for me.......

jolihokistix 19th Mar 2021 01:15

Remembering my dad's cars is more of a pleasant exercise or test for the old brain than anything else.

I've stopped for a cup of tea.

But I do remember when I first bought a car with a bigger engine displacement than he ever had (apart from his Spitfire). I wondered at the time if he would have been proud of me, or envious, or perhaps a mixture of both. I wish I could have bought him the car of his dreams. I once dreamt that I met him in heaven, his face clearly before me, and he was grinning and pointing to a green Vanwall that seemed to be his.

ex82watcher 19th Mar 2021 02:25

Apart from his family,my dad's only interest was,and is his cars.He had a long list of them before I arrived,but the first I remember was a tax-free Simca Aronde,which he bught when stationed at RAF Geilenkirchen,and like some posters above' remember sitting on his lap,aged 5or6,driving along German roads.Next came a Hilman Minx,also tax-free which was brought back to the UK.Then followed Zephyr mk3,brand-new Cortina mk1,kept for only 2 weeks before changing to Zodiac mk3,Zephyr mk 4,Viva HB estate,Zephyr mk 3 (in which he taught me to drive,and at my first attempt at reversing,I backed into the neighbour's brand-new Hillman Hunter),Escort mk 1,another Zephyr mk 4,Rover 2000,Mercedes,Rover 3500,two more mercedes,Kia,and then 2 more mercedes.When last year,he said that his present car,an old Merc wouldn't be worth putting through another MOT,and he might give-up driving,now aged 86,I bought a 1964 Humber Sceptre(his choice),of which he is the registered keeper and said he could keep and use that for as long as he wished,for the limited amount of driving he does now.
Well,as an insomniac,that's passed a bit of time tonight,remembering all those !

jolihokistix 19th Mar 2021 04:26

Wonderfully heart-warming story, ex82watcher. Thanks. I might have to make that list now...

... An early Ford Consul (my great aunt said you could not tell the front from the back), a Ford Fairlane, a Simca, a Borgward Isabella TS, a Renault Gordini, a Ford Cortina Mk 1 GT, and a Fiat Abarth come to mind.

ZFT 19th Mar 2021 09:36

These threads are so nice to remember what seemed like such good times.

The first motorized transport I can recall my father having was a motor driven push bike in the early 50s. I can remember waiting for him by a horse trough at Ealing Place about 3pm to return from LHR from early shift.

This was followed by a 1957 Standard 8, 195x A30, 1959 Morris Cowley, 1963 Austin Cambridge (1st Automatic) and a 1966 VX490. I drove the VX490 and it was a great car to drive.

I can still recall huddling up in the back of the Standard to keep warm (no heater) and what then seemed like long trips to Chatteris in the Fens to visit family but with a fabulous benefit of passing a number of V Bomber bases on the way.

Wonderful memories.

wowzz 19th Mar 2021 09:50


Originally Posted by wiggy (Post 11011751)
:ooh: Blimey I am genuinely impressed, Colchester (Uni) to home, an hour west of Brum, in the early 70's in a Morris Traveller was enough for me.......

Yes, looking back, I've no idea how we did it, especially as there were four of us (Mum, Dad, Sister and me) in it. Whenever I see one nowadays I still don't know how we all squeezed in!

wowzz 19th Mar 2021 09:53

On a similar track, does anyone remember the personalised "strip maps" that the AA provided, giving precise turn by turn route directions for your journey? Invaluable in the days before motorways.

VP959 19th Mar 2021 10:05


Originally Posted by wowzz (Post 11011903)
On a similar track, does anyone remember the personalised "strip maps" that the AA provided, giving precise turn by turn route directions for your journey? Invaluable in the days before motorways.

I remember my mother using them once (my father never learned to drive). I was about 16 and had been on holiday to a remote, off-grid, cottage in Pembrokeshire with a friend the year before. My mother decided it was just the place to go for a family holiday. I was appointed navigator, with the AA strip maps. She loaded the car, a Standard Vanguard estate, with me, my two brothers, my baby sister and my father, who by then was using a wheelchair. The journey took all day, from the south of England to a small cliff top cottage very close to RNAS Brawdy (I remember Fairey Gannets flying overhead). The cottage was reached down a very rough, steep, unmade track, and I remember my mother being terrified that the brakes might fail. Goodness knows why, she'd had the courage to drive a couple of hundred miles with four children and a severely disabled husband to a place that was about as cut off from anywhere as it's possible to get in the UK.

Imagegear 19th Mar 2021 10:10

No one in my family owned a car before me.

My father could not drive for health reasons, my mother tried once and never drove again.

I owned the first car in the family, followed by my sister, who became a driving instructor and was quite successful.

Nothing much more to say here except that the family only used public transport for travel.

IG

Effluent Man 19th Mar 2021 10:13

Dad was 50 when he bought his first car despite being a motor mechanic. One of his customers was a newsagent and because he had to work in his shop on bank holidays we got to borrow his pre war Austin 16.

When I was fourteen a local market gardener traded in his MG ZB Magnette for a new one. Dad's boss sold it to him for 150 and he taught me to drive on the disused airfield at Ellough near Beccles. In 2014 I bought a '58 ZB and it is now in the latter stages of restoration in two tone grey.

I remember those maps. We went from Lowestoft to Bristol in Dad's first car in 1962. A '47 Prefect. The fastest he ever went in it was 50mph freewheeling down a hill in The Cotswolds. Cruising speed - 40!

andytug 19th Mar 2021 10:26

The first car I remember my dad having was a Citroen GS, 1220cc of flat 4 power, hydropneumatic suspension, inboard front disc brakes (handbrake handle in the dash for the front wheel), single spoke steering wheel, etc...
Did over 110k from new with no major issues, eventually the clutch died and it was too expensive to repair so went to the scrap yard.

Memories, the jack which was just a solid bar, you set the supension to high, put the jack in the relevant corner, then set to low and all the other wheels dropped except the one you needed which went up.

My dad driving it to the pub for a lunch time drink, while in the middle of replacing the exhaust....it was very loud, almost like a Subaru rally car.

Trying to overtake a convoy of combine harvesters on the main Dorset coast road, uphill, in fog, 4 up plus luggage. With 60hp under the bonnet!

So, so comfy to ride in though. We borrowed a Cortina briefly for one holiday and it was like a skateboard in comparison. Plus you could load the boot with anything (remember one time being concrete door lintels) and the car would just level itself.

Pinky the pilot 19th Mar 2021 10:36


for a new EK Holden.
Knew a bloke back in the Barossa Valley who had one of those back in the late 60's. Fitted lowering blocks, wide wheels ('Chromies') a 3/4 race cam, some 'slight' head modifications, extractors, triple SU Carbies and a sports exhaust system.

Did it go!!!:ooh:

Fareastdriver 19th Mar 2021 10:40

The first time my father could afford a car was when he was posted to RAF Heany, near Bulawayo in 1950. It was a 1935 Chevrolet. Built like a tank it had a vertical rear with a foldable luggage rack on the back. It took us to Durban, halfway to the Victoria Falls before we had to get under and tighten the big ends before returning and going by train. Once back in the UK it was a 1938 Frazer Nash BMW 326.

We went back to Bulawayo in 1957 and my first car was a Morris Oxford MO.

TLDNMCL 19th Mar 2021 10:56

My Dad never drove, had no interest and probably couldn't afford to anyway.
He did drive an enormous lawnmower at work (not a sit upon one) but the sort of thing you see being used at sports grounds.
Almost impossible to move without the engine running, he would bring it home occasionally to do ours an several of the neighbour's front gardens. He had to 'drive' it down the village roads to get there, I once heard him referred to as "That silly old b***** who keeps trying to mow the stone on Common Lane."


Effluent Man 19th Mar 2021 10:58


Originally Posted by andytug (Post 11011919)
The first car I remember my dad having was a Citroen GS, 1220cc of flat 4 power, hydropneumatic suspension, inboard front disc brakes (handbrake handle in the dash for the front wheel), single spoke steering wheel, etc...
Did over 110k from new with no major issues, eventually the clutch died and it was too expensive to repair so went to the scrap yard.

Memories, the jack which was just a solid bar, you set the supension to high, put the jack in the relevant corner, then set to low and all the other wheels dropped except the one you needed which went up.

My dad driving it to the pub for a lunch time drink, while in the middle of replacing the exhaust....it was very loud, almost like a Subaru rally car.

Trying to overtake a convoy of combine harvesters on the main Dorset coast road, uphill, in fog, 4 up plus luggage. With 60hp under the bonnet!

So, so comfy to ride in though. We borrowed a Cortina briefly for one holiday and it was like a skateboard in comparison. Plus you could load the boot with anything (remember one time being concrete door lintels) and the car would just level itself.

Had a bad experience in a GS. I had one on the forecourt for sale and, as often happens with sales cars, the battery went flat. " No problem" says the mechanic," we will push it round the back and put it on charge" So I got in the drivers seat. It was only on the downhill stretch behind the garage that I made the shocking discovery that without the engine running GS brakes do not work - at all! I went through a fence and almost ended up in the garden of the house behind. Red faces all round!

Sallyann1234 19th Mar 2021 11:12

I remember an old Singer Gazelle in the family that was mainly built of rust. It had a second gear stick for overdrive. Was that standard for those cars, or an amateur addition?

Effluent Man 19th Mar 2021 11:19

Lots of Rootes Group cars used overdrive. Laycock and Normanville iirc. A very useful feature that made them a great cruiser. Triumph used over drives as well. Most cars were under geared in those days.

VP959 19th Mar 2021 11:25

I owned a Reliant Scimitar years ago that had an overdrive unit on the back of the gearbox, a Laycock, I think. It was electrically operated and had a solenoid that moved a cone clutch to engage or disengage it. The cone clutch failed, and I remember having fun and games trying to get it relined - the first attempt they managed to fit the new lining at an angle, not very visible but enough to prevent the unit from being re-fitted. Had me scratching my head for hours until I spotted the problem.

57mm 19th Mar 2021 11:33

1948 Triumph Roadster, as in Bergerac, though far tattier. Used to ride in the dickie seat, with its own windscreen. Can still recall the noise and smells as he cranked it up to 50mph, where it was like being in a steam engine. He was great at fixing the mechanics, but a crap driver and we had several scrapes......

Effluent Man 19th Mar 2021 11:50

I recall reading somewhere that the Bergerac car was a heap of corruption, as indeed was the Morse Jag.

ZFT 19th Mar 2021 11:55

I apologise in advance for being stupid, but what is a "heap of corruption"?

Bergerie1 19th Mar 2021 12:11

After my father died in 1952, we were on our uppers for a while. We had to have a car because we lived in the country on a small farm in Devon about five miles from Tiverton. My mother bought a pre-war Austin Seven Ruby saloon as the family car, it was all she could afford. Where ever we went, my brother and I kept our eagle eyes on the speedometer, whenever she managed to reach 40mph, it was such an event that we all cheered,

ORAC 19th Mar 2021 12:17

Father’s first car was a Ford Prefect.

When I was small, so late 1950s, he drove us all to Great Yarmouth to a B&B for our summer holidays, at which point the skies opened and it rained for days keeping us indoors. So he got in the car and drive back to London to pick up our TV and drive back again the same day.

I can remember him struggling in the room with a metal coat hanger as an aerial trying to get a picture....

longer ron 19th Mar 2021 12:22


Originally Posted by Sallyann1234 (Post 11011952)
I remember an old Singer Gazelle in the family that was mainly built of rust. It had a second gear stick for overdrive. Was that standard for those cars, or an amateur addition?

Some of the older Overdrive units were mechanically operated by a Lever (available from 1959 on Gazelles).
Later cars of course were electrically operated,I had a 1974 Hunter GLS which had a Column Stalk for Overdrive selection and of course many cars had a little elec switch on top of gear stick.

pulse1 19th Mar 2021 12:25

My father was apprenticed to the Lanchester Car Co. sometime before 1900 (yes, my father, not my grandfather). He went on to run his own garage business, was a brilliant motor engineer but a rotten businessman. His garage included a full toolroom where he could make parts for his customers' cars if he couldn't buy them. The toolroom was a wonderful place, full of pulleys and belts and open gear wheels. A Health & Safety nightmare.

My father hated modern cars and the first car I really remember was a 1932 Austin 6 which had spent the war as a chicken coop. It had a lovely 6 cylinder, side valve engine with the power of 14 horses. Despite having no syncromesh on any gears, my sister and I learned to drive on it before it was replaced by a fantastic Triumph Gloria with wire wheels and a Coventry Climax engine, not unlike the one used in Formula 1 cars of the time. For a 17 year old it was fantastic and I loved driving it. It was in the era of steering column gear levers and this one had a short, stubby floor mounted job. His last car before he retired was a Renault JuvaQuatre, the sort which used to appear in War films based on the French resistance. It wasn't much of a car for a young tearaway such as myself and the only unusual thing I can remember about it was the floor mounted starter switch.

Ancient Observer 19th Mar 2021 12:38

Dad bought a Triumph Mayflower. It was about 7 or 8 years old. Severely underpowered for hills. It replaced his bike, which he used to commute from Old Kent Lane to Kingsbury.
Pissed off neighbour bought a Renown.

Effluent Man 19th Mar 2021 12:57


Originally Posted by ZFT (Post 11011991)
I apologise in advance for being stupid, but what is a "heap of corruption"?

A trade term for a vehicle that is past it's first flush of youth and may be modified by the popular ferrus oxide lightening process.

cattletruck 19th Mar 2021 13:08

I remember driving my grandfather's Bertolini two-wheel tractor while on holidays when I was 11 - to turn the thing around a tight corner you had to slow down further from already going slow then swing the handlebar to the opposite hand. Geez they were loud.

First car I can recall my farther having was an FB Holden which apparently he hated and gave it away for free to the son of a relation who promptly wrapped it around a tree (lucky to escape unscathed), followed by a very roomy BMC Austin 1800B which he kept for a very long time until it finally reached the point of no return, followed by a fugly Toyota Crown Deluxe that was well built but just looked wrong.


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