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Classics that have left their mark on you


SixasStandard
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Is there a particular car from your past that holds a special significance for you,  or brings back a vivid memory? I was browsing randomly through the classic cars for sale on E-Bay the other day (Not a recommended pastime for someone with impulse control issues by the way!!) when I happened upon a very tidy looking Standard Vanguard Phase 2 for sale. This brought back all sorts of memories...…..cue the dreamy ethereal backing music and wavy visuals...….

it's 1965 and an overcast evening on the old North Circular in Southgate...….a fresh faced youngster sits on the front bench seat of his father's Vanguard on the journey home from visiting family in East London, doing his best to see over the towering dashboard at what's going on ahead to cause the tailback that the family car is currently mired in. Then CRASH!!! the car suddenly lurches forward and smashes into the car in front (an Austin Cambridge A55 if I remember correctly). The youngster is thrown forward (not even sure the car had seat belts anyway) and gets his face intimately acquainted with the Vanguard's glove box, and more specifically the key sticking out of the glovebox lock. In the meantime the rear window has completely detached itself from it's rubber seal and comes into the car clouting an unsuspecting mother and older sister on the back of the head. Cue much steam from the bonnet, blood from youngster's nose, and general mayhem both inside and outside the car. The cause of all this mayhem?...…...an East End 'wide boy' driving a Ford Mustang and not looking where he was going.

As a 5 year old that event made quite an impression on me, both mental and physical (I had a scar on my nose for years afterwards), not to mention providing me with my first experience of an overnight hospital stay. My dad had worked long and hard to buy that old Vanguard, and had spent countless hours repairing it and making it reliable...….only for it to be written off by some flashy Herbert...…..who it subsequently transpired wasn't insured either!!  My dad pursued him through the courts, and finally got a cheque for 75 pounds made out by a company in Bermuda that subsequently bounced. He never got a penny back. My dad kept that cheque in his wallet for the rest of his life, and I have it now that he's gone.

My point? …… that old cars are more than just pieces of metal ……… they are like a conduit back to our past, and memories good and bad.

Ian             

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My first car is the one that has left the biggest mark - a 1967 VW Beetle 1200. Unfortunately resting now. That was a daily driver - but that was a long time ago 30+ years ago so not a classic at the time!

And the other car that I loved and was (is still) a classic is a Rover P6 3500S - but not driven enough and with no rear seat belts the wife wouldn't allow the kids to travel in it.

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It was a Triumph Herald that left it's mark on me, and still have it to this day on my left arm. I fell out of the bloody thing going round a roundabout when the door "popped" open when we hit a bump :(  All my mates did was laugh. Never been in a Herald since strangely enough.

Tony. 

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I had to smile at your Herald story Tony. It's remarkable looking back now what we'd consider funny when we were back in our teens (although falling completely out of a moving car is probably pretty extreme!) ...…...I remember myself and some mates driving out to Santa Pod dragstrip in an old Ford Corsair, and when we realised that admission was being charged per person in each car persuading one of the more gullible members of the group to get in the boot! We could have let him out as soon as we got past the gate......but instead drove all the way over the rough ground to the car park with him bouncing around the boot like a shoe in a tumble drier...…..we all thought it was hilarious listening to him swearing like a trooper in between banging off another panel. Needless to say when we eventually popped the boot we all ran like the clappers!!

Ian   

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First "classic" car memory was of the family  '66 Mini Traveller, when it would have been about 8 years old, parents in the front, the 3 of us asleep in the back with the seats folded down. We went all over the South of England in it, and even a Trip from Essex to Anglesey I think.

We must have travelled light as now-a-days you need a car the size of a truck just to venture out with 3 kids, so it seems.

Replaced it with a Cortina 1600E I think.

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Driving in a brown 1961 Morris Minor with a huge hole in the floor just behind the front passenger seat. I used to watch the road surface go by underneath and drop things out. Rust and breakdowns are the two main things I remember.

It's funny but I can remember most of the cars my relations had in the 60s right down to the registration numbers. My Uncle drove an Austin Cambridge right up to the 1980s and it looked so dated on the roads, and certainly never made me want to go out and buy one.

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I had great affection  for  my 1970 GT6  which had already had several previous owners  before I acquired it in 1975 for ......£495

Yes, it certainly left its mark on me- indeed quite a “lasting impression” you could say:

In early 1976, it slipped off  the  scissor jack I had placed (with  that mixture of monumental stupidity, casual arrogance and ignorance that is a feature of youth )as  the sole means of support  on wobbly paving stones.I squeezed under it , after removing a rear wheel.

No prizes for guessing what followed.

Suffice to say that these little cars  are surprisingly heavy and uncomfortable when worn on the chest.

My painful and rapidly diminishing wheezy gasps  alerted my dear wife who (without even pausing to check the life insurance documents)  came to my rescue.

People sometimes express surprise when they see how many axle stands I now use.

Later, a Scimitar GTE was  really great fun, but  for all round enjoyment  the 1992 LandRover Discovery  still holds top place.

 

 

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37 minutes ago, Vanadium23 said:

Later, a Scimitar GTE was  really great fun, but  for all round enjoyment  the 1992 LandRover Discovery  still holds top place.

 

 

I had one of those - drove it twice (a 1974 SE5a), the automatic gearbox gave up and in the 18 months it took a local garage to fit a new one I spent a fortune on stainless bits, rewired it and refitted a new dashboard, none of which I ever got to use. I sold it for a monumental loss in 1998 when I moved house.

My 2002 Discovery is probably my favourite car ever (not a classic yet by any means) but I had great fun working on a 1980 Series 3; just like a Herald but bigger.

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On 25/12/2019 at 09:58, SixasStandard said:

That's a mean looking Zephyr Mark...…..looks like the rear end was jacked up...…….I did the same on my Mk1 Capri in the late 70s. Didn't do the handling any favours, but made you the envy of all your mates!

Ian 

Zodiac....  Yep, jacked rear end with anti tramp bars, Big and little Appliance 8 spokes with white lettered tyres, Full Raymond Mays engine conversion, six branch manifold, 4 on the floor..... Wish I could turn the clock back. 

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In 1964 a bloke at work was selling a Vespa 175ss for £5.  I bought it as cheap transport so I could save some money for a good bike. Then I thought you can do more in a car for the same money, so I passed the driving test in a 1200 Herald in 1965. I was going to buy a Rover 75 P3 as £50 would get you a really good one, honest! But my dad said it would be expensive for me to run and that's why they were £50. So I bought (more than £50) a 1960 948 Herald. Superb road holding it would leave others standing around bends, but in a straight line a 1200 Cortina could leave you in the dust. So the only answer was SAH tuning. I can remember in the summer of 1966 taking it for a hot run on the B roads through the Kent/Sussex boarder, stopping in a lay-by then smelling that mixture of hot rubber and tarmac odour.

The same period a 111C Hillman Minx that went like a rocket. When I part exchanged it in for a Vitesse 6 the salesman, after test driving the Minx ,asked if I had done anything to the engine. I hadn't, but I guess somebody had at sometime. Maybe Pete?

More recently a 1500 powered Herald Estate, basically a Mk1 Vitesse with tuned 1500 engine. I did have the 2 Litre engine for a while, but put the 1500 back in. I sold it and then it just disappeared, as it was in A1 condition it should still be around. But it was around the time of the scrap scheme was on! If it was still around I would buy it back.

Lots of cars have left a mark and they all represent a certain period in life.

Dave 

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learnt to drive in Dads 111C   then a 63 gazelle   my first was a 52  phase 5  bit  like this but in airport fire engine red 

washers on valve springs head skimmed to a 8:1  sunbeam manifolds   commer van carb  etc.

2" copper exhaust would pull upto 7 k  for long stroke sidevalve till a crown came off

133079_Side_Profile_Web.jpg

 

it would rip out crownwheel bolts and shear half shafts .   memories of being 'young' '

it was much brighter than this   phase 4 pic  

family history and myself always been a Rootes fan  so why a Triumph  ??????????

Pete

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52 minutes ago, Pete Lewis said:

learnt to drive in Dads 111C   then a 63 gazelle   my first was a 52  phase 5  bit  like this but in airport fire engine red 

washers on valve springs head skimmed to a 8:1  sunbeam manifolds   commer van carb  etc.

2" copper exhaust would pull upto 7 k  for long stroke sidevalve till a crown came off

133079_Side_Profile_Web.jpg

 

it would rip out crownwheel bolts and shear half shafts .   memories of being 'young' '

it was much brighter than this   phase 4 pic  

family history and myself always been a Rootes fan  so why a Triumph  ?????????? 

Pete

 

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On 25/12/2019 at 13:09, Colin Lindsay said:

I had one of those - drove it twice (a 1974 SE5a), the automatic gearbox gave up and in the 18 months it took a local garage to fit a new one I spent a fortune on stainless bits, rewired it and refitted a new dashboard, none of which I ever got to use. I sold it for a monumental loss in 1998 when I moved house.

My 2002 Discovery is probably my favourite car ever (not a classic yet by any means) but I had great fun working on a 1980 Series 3; just like a Herald but bigger.

I have to say one of the cars that I've the most memories made in/by was my 2006 Discovery (Not even close to be a classic by age, but classic by lots of other measurements!) 

If you are bored at any time, I have a few pictures of some of the places I went https://disco3club.colston-online.co.uk/ 

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family history and myself always been a Rootes fan  so why a Triumph  ??????????

That's the strange thing about classic cars, choice of marque/model doesn't always follow the sort logic or emotion that you'd expect.  I was a die hard Ford fan in my teens, all my friends had Fords (Corsair, Mk1 Cortina, Escort etc. etc.), and I was determined to follow suit...…...yet my Dad would keep trying to get me to buy a Herald, which...... I have to be honest...….was just about the last car I would ever have bought back then! He finally twisted my arm to go with him and see a Herald 13/60, which I must have spent all of 2 minutes walking around before blowing it off. I finally bought a Mk3 Cortina, followed by a Mk1 Capri and then a Mk4 Cortina, but I always wondered why my Dad had been so keen for me to have a Herald. The mystery was finally solved after he'd passed away, and my Mum happened to mention in conversation how he'd always wanted a Herald himself. It also explained why I'd received a Corgi model of the Herald Coupe (two tone blue and white, with the working tilt front) on my 3rd birthday!! Now that I'm in my dotage you'd think I'd be reliving Ford nostalgia, whereas instead my garage is full of Sunbeam Alpine, and soon to be joined by a Vitesse. My Triumph ownership has taken a little longer than my Dad would have liked...…..but I've got there finally. I hope he approves!!

Ian  

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I'd almost forgotten I had a Ford Capri - 3ltr - was a proper handful in the wet 😂. Didn't have it that long really - not sure if it was one or 2 years. I think it was P reg - I had it around 1987/88 might have even been 1986 as I know I had it when I worked for my Uncle after leaving Poly and not being able to get a job! I also know it had to be repaired when the water fell out of it on the way down to Bournemouth where the job was and had to be fixed by the AA on the roadside, so I borrowed my Aunts Mini - which confirmed my basic hatred of the things - was very nippy and handled well - but just didn't like it!

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2 hours ago, SixasStandard said:

That's the strange thing about classic cars, choice of marque/model doesn't always follow the sort logic or emotion that you'd expect. 

True. Why don't I have VW Beetles everywhere? I've always loved them.

3 hours ago, Anglefire said:

I have to say one of the cars that I've the most memories made in/by was my 2006 Discovery (Not even close to be a classic by age, but classic by lots of other measurements!) 

Excellent photos - those will keep me browsing over a few coffees! My Landy was a 2002 model, I still don't consider it a classic but every trip was a real adventure. We used to go to Stafford crammed full of camping gear and come home with so many spares crammed into every corner. I was so guilty at not bringing a Triumph that I had this spare wheel cover specially made, just to show that I really did have one...

DSCF2375.jpg.a00dd7d7e858ed8ccc7ad0a8f7f89991.jpg

 

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