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My First Car

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Mr Blue Sky
Abingdon, Oxfordshire
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1 of 15  Wed 22nd Mar 2017 10:23am  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:17

I passed my driving test on the 4th of November 1963, and as I was working at Morris Engines you would get discount on BMC cars, in the summer months you would get 16% off and in the winter months it would be 19%. In those days you had to collect the car from the factory where it was built, so as I wanted a Mini I decided on an Austin Mini 850cc super de luxe in Surf Blue. With the discount the on the road price was £496.00. One of my friends drove me over to Longbridge to collect my Mini from their service dept, the car was taxed, fuelled up and had the number plates on, reg no 298KOV. I drove all the way back to Coventry at no more than 40 mph as you were told run to the engine in for the first 500-1000 miles. Because of the warranty it was serviced at Sam Robbins on the Stoney Stanton Road for the first year, after that I did it myself.
My First Car
argon
new milton
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2 of 15  Wed 22nd Mar 2017 3:22pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:83

Good memories Mr Sky Blue. My first car was a Commer van that had been fitted with windows in the sides. I took my driving test in that car and used it for about 4 years. It saw service all through my national service. What a work horse it was. I was the only one with a car in our hut when I was at Yatesbury and so it was used to ferry a lot of us about. We used it to visit the nearby pubs in the evening and would have had as many as seven or eight people in it. Coming back through the main gates could be a bit tricky as everyone used to flash their I.D.s through the windows so that the guards would not see the state that some of the lads were in. On one occasion four of us decides to go to see the international at Wembley, England v Italy. It was on a recreation afternoon luckily. Officially we were going to see the nearby long barrow. We had to leave in uniform and so took civvies with us. All the passengers changed into civvies as we drove through Marlborough, I changed later. We returned later that night without incident. Later the Commer served as a bus again at Gaydon on the pub runs. Good memories, she never let us down.
My First Car
TonyS
Coventry
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3 of 15  Wed 22nd Mar 2017 7:51pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:1545

What a good topic! I passed my test in 1967 but didn't buy my own car till around 69/70. We (myself and my wife) travelled to some back-street car dealer in Grafton Street and came away with an Austin A35 for the grand price of £29! (it may not have been an A35 but it was very similar) I also looked at a Triumph Herald, a much better option, but sadly couldn't beat him down from its astronomical price of £55!. The problems started before we got home, when the gearbox refused to select first gear. With that fixed I think I kept it for around 9 months. I also had to carry a can of break fluid. It used to leak brake fluid like it was going out of fashion, so I could suddenly find myself having serious problems stopping forward motion. The fluid reservoir was under a flap under the drivers feet, so a quick top-up kept me going (or stopping to be more precise!) I recall just before selling it the battery also had to be replaced. A new one cost me about £15, and I didn't even get my money back when I sold the car for £12.50 Sad
My First Car
bohica
coventry
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4 of 15  Wed 22nd Mar 2017 9:12pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:217

Wonderful tale Tony. Our first family vehicle was an A35 van (converted to an estate) and it took us everywhere. Only problem we ever had was with the battery charging system. Sadly mis-diagnosed at many opportunities. There were many garages in those days that left much to be desired! My own first vehicle was a Californian Imp. Lovely vehicle that I ran for many years, despite the Imp's dreadful reputation.
My First Car
TonyS
Coventry
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5 of 15  Wed 22nd Mar 2017 9:35pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:1545

Was the Californian the "coupe" version?
My First Car
Roger Turner
Torksey
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6 of 15  Wed 22nd Mar 2017 10:45pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:464

I purchased my dear little 1936 Morris Eight tourer from an open dump alongside the Arches at Spon End approx. 1956 for the enormous sum of £100. I suppose it was the first car in our family, none of us had ever driven, but my father held a motor cycle licence so he was qualified to accompany me while I was learning - I shall never forget my lessons at 5pm on the new island at Broadgate, approaching from High Street and turning right at the island with the traffic filtering in under the bridge from Hertford Street on my left hand side. The car was fitted with side screens which after 20 odd years were a dirt crinkled yellow colour that you couldn`t see much through on a sunny day - February was definitely very limited vision, all I can remember is my father yelling "Go on" "Go on" and me stuck there like a dummy refusing to go on! Returning from a trip to sea, I was met with the news "They`ve taken your car away". It had been repossessed - my first big lesson make sure it is clear of debt before you buy it. I did eventually pass my test in it in Rugby; people away at sea were allowed to take the test in anywhere nearby which had an examiner with a vacancy during your leave time, luckily I was able to have the top down - perfect vision. Oh! and perhaps they did me a favour in taking it away - the near side front fork had a crack in it held together by a plate bolted on - it virtually waved up and down when it went over a bump
My First Car
bohica
coventry
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7 of 15  Thu 23rd Mar 2017 8:19am  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:217

On 22nd Mar 2017 9:35pm, TonyS said: Was the Californian the "coupe" version?
Yes Tony
My First Car
zigzag
cornwall
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8 of 15  Thu 23rd Mar 2017 6:20pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2013  Total posts:96

My first car was a 1953 Riley RME 1.5.
My First Car
Wearethemods
Aberdeenshire
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9 of 15  Thu 23rd Mar 2017 7:50pm  
Off-topic / chat  

wizard76
ramsgate
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10 of 15  Fri 24th Mar 2017 12:49am  
Member: Joined Nov 2014  Total posts:21

I passed my test on a Bedford 3 tonner doing my national service in 1956 at Blackdown. I also passed for a motorbike licence which came in handy. My problem is I've had so many cars I can't remember the first one I bought, most of my cars I bought from auctions, Measham, Warwick, Birmingham. It could have been an Austin 18cc, I had a few of them. And they say you never forget your army number, yea! Well I can't remember mine.
My First Car
Slim
Coventry a bit
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11 of 15  Fri 24th Mar 2017 10:41am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:360

My first car was a 1965 Vauxhall Viva HA, reg FXE610C. It had been my much older female cousin's first car when she was in London, before she upgraded to a brand new Mini Cooper. The Viva was already a rust bucket. Cleaning it one Sunday, I put my finger on what appeared to be a rust spot on the front wing, and my finger went straight through! I paid her £100, and during the time I had it (18 months) it cost me a lot more repairs; first the MOT work, then half way to work in Brum one morning the big ends went. A few months later it drank oil, and poured out white smoke from the exhaust, as the bores/piston rings were shot. I sold it as "runner or spares" for £25. A few weeks later I saw it on the ring road, still pouring out white smoke. That was the last I saw of it. Talking to others who had experience of the HA, it appears the engines were only good for about 75,000 miles being clapping out. A learning curve!
My First Car
Old Lincolnian
Coventry
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12 of 15  Fri 24th Mar 2017 6:30pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2012  Total posts:456

Speaking as somebody who quickly discovered they loathed driving (which some people consider sacrilege in Coventry Big grin) I only ever owned one car (always preferred motorbikes and cycles and still do) and that was a rusty white Avenger which I bought from a rather large biker friend purely to get in practice for my test. Because of his size he managed to open the drivers door too far on several occasions and the hinge used to pop out if you opened the door too far and had to be lifted back in. I kept a large screwdriver in the foot well specifically for that purpose Neither of my parents drove so the first family car we had was on old black Riley that my brother bought, probably in the late fifties. Quite often if he took a left hander above about 25mph the front passenger door would fly open so that seat was seldom used especially as it was pre seat belt era. He had a succession of with other unusual, and often dangerous problems but that's fro a different topic.
My First Car
Midland Red
Cherwell
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13 of 15  Fri 31st Mar 2017 6:45pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4407

My first car was a Hillman Imp DL from Coventry Garage, Lower Holyhead Road in 1967 (F reg) - from memory it cost around £625 on the road - that would be around £11,000 today Oh my
My First Car
NeilsYard
Coventry
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14 of 15  Fri 31st Mar 2017 6:51pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1521

My first car was an Austin 1100. My grandad bought it new on the employee scheme whilst at Canley under BL. My mum then had it and then me (although not for too long as I wanted something a bit sportier!) It was really reliable though and the hydro-elastic suspension was super-comfy until some daft kid rode in to the back of it whilst I was stationary in Spon End and wrote it off - it wasn't actually that badly damaged but was only worth a few quid by then. Still it lived on - My mum couldn't bear scrapping it as my grandad had passed away by then so it was donated to Cardinal Newman school where our next door neighbour and my auntie worked and my cousins were at. They used the engine in the workshop to teach mechanics and chopped the roof off and sprayed the car pink to be in the school production play of 'Grease!' Big grin Edited by member, 31st Mar 2017 6:51 pm
My First Car
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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15 of 15  Thu 6th Apr 2017 5:05pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1699

I never drove but my wife passed her test and we bought an old Austin Mini van for 50 quid, well we put mattresses in the back for the kids, came up to Coventry in it a couple of times a year for a few years. One Sunday it had been drizzling with rain so we decided to leave Coventry earlier than usual because of bad visibilty and the rain. By the time we got to Banbury it was lashing it down, we were approaching Henley and the windscreen wipers gave up, so we pulled into a garage carport, bought a ball of string, tied the wipers with a piece of string through the driver's window and the passenger's window, and I sat half on my passenger seat and half on the gear box pulling the wipers with the two bits of string through the windows. By the time we hit Bracknell my arms and shoulders were on fire, at Bracknell we had to pull in to shelter for me to re-fix the string, we carried on. It was still bouncing up off the road, the gutters were in torrents, we passed through The Downs and hit the outskirts of Brighton and the rain stopped. My wife shreiked and swore. When we finally stopped in our yard, my wife broke down in tears, the kids were crying and me, well I just wanted to push the van off the end of the pier.
My First Car

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