A history of motoring… The cars of the decades! 176



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Well, it’s a history of our motoring anyway!

It all began with a 1935 Standard 10 (not illustrated). I had only just passed my driving test and there was a sum of money burning a hole in my pocket. Unfortunately my choice of ‘hole-in-pocket-extinguisher’ didn’t come up to scratch, with frequent break-downs, and a fuel guzzling habit that would have made an alcoholic happy. After a few months, I managed to unload it onto some unsuspecting enthusiast, and started the search for a replacement. That was in 1954.


Car 2.


My next adventure was Car 2. Only my cartoon of it is available, and it was considerably more successful than the first. I bought a 1925 Morris ‘Convertible’ from a friend and although it was ten years older than the Standard, it was a much better vehicle, despite some design peculiarities! For a start, the petrol tank was directly above the engine, to gravity feed the carburettor – no fuel pumps when this little baby arrived! Imagine, filling up with a hot engine only inches below! Fortunately no disasters occurred, or I wouldn’t be here to tell this tale! It also had no side screens, just a windscreen – I had to make some myself out of wood and Perspex! And the handbook stated that in an emergency stop I should pull on the hand brake with both hands, while stamping a foot on the brake pedal. Even using this frightening method, it was impossible to completely stop the car, if travelling down a hill!

Car 3 was a Vauxhall 12, a comfortable but completely unexciting vehicle that I forgot almost as soon as I sold it, before immigrating to New Zealand. I never took a photo of this one.

The story re-starts when we returned to England in 1964 and bought car 4, a Morris Minor 1000. This was a great little car, almost as popular in its time as the Mini became. We travelled thousands of happy miles in it, apart from one epic journey to Cornwall, severely overloaded with me, Jacqui, our three children, my mother, and our dog Grotty on board, as well as all of our luggage. The Morris did give up the ghost on that little adventure – the brakes seized up and had to be replaced before we were able to return home!


Car 6.


I eventually got rid of the Morris and bought car 5, a Singer Gazelle, another beautiful little car, with lots of polished wood on the dashboard, which served us well, but which I was stupid enough to trade in for Car 6, which was an Austin A60 Estate, seen in the photo with our three kids and my mother. It was another failure of mine that was no end of trouble, and I unloaded it as soon as I could.

Car 7 was a Vauxhall Magnum, (the beginning of my ‘Vauxhall’ period), a very powerful car, which I was lucky to survive, because I made full use of its capabilities, driving in a manner that would terrify me today!


Car 8.


Car 9.


Car 10


Car 8. This was an Astra and it was the first brand new car I purchased. The photo shows just the rear view of the car, with me being an idiot in front of it. Over the next few years we bought two Cavaliers, (not illustrated), a Nova, (Car 9), and another Astra, (Car 10), this time their top model, built for rally work, and even more powerful and nippy than the Magnum – I loved it!


Car 11.


This brings us up to our return to Australia in 1987. As soon as we arrived, I bought the illustrated Ford Falcon, car 11. This was a great vehicle and provided us with comfort, power and the fuel consumption of a four litre engine for twenty three years, by far the longest I have ever owned one car! Eventually though things started to fall off and as an ‘interim’ we bought a little Nissan Hatchback to get us about – the ‘interim’ lasting for five years!




Car 12. Now we come right up to the present, with by far the best car we have ever owned. It is a VW Passat 2 litre Turbo Diesel and although it has been with us for about four years, I still don’t think I’ve discovered all the extras available on it. It’s a fantastic car that uses 5.4 litres to the 100 kilometres consumption, terrific torque and comfort to dream about, right down to the heated front seats that come in handy during the winter, while you wait for the air conditioning to warm up! It’s a car that I hope will keep going long enough to see us out to the end of our days, however long that may be! I certainly can’t afford to buy another one like it, out of our pension!


What was your first car? What car do you have now? What has been your favourite car over the years? Let’s share our car memories together in the comments below! 

Brian Lee

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