|Homepage.||This page: A selection of motoring memories sent to oldclassiccar.|
Keith's motoring recollections.Keith sent me some emails early in 2007, recounting some stories of cars and other vehicles he came across since the 1960s. First-hand accounts regarding motor transport when these vehicles were common sights on the road, really help to set the scene for cars now regarded as classics, but in their day were simply just a mode of transport. Here are some of Keith's memories:
A 500cc scooter!"I don't know if it's of interest, but I served my time as an engineer, and at the firm was a guy called Harry Dearden, a bit of a nutter, but a clever engineer. One project he built, in the days of Vespa & Lambretta, was a scooter - the whole thing was fabricated from scratch, it had (I think) 12" diameter wheels and was fairly compact, the BIG difference though, it had a 500cc engine and manual box, and it went like the proverbial, but can't recall it ever got registered, looked fantastic though, often wondered what happened to it."
A tight fit - Austin powered Ford 100E
How not to tow a car
"I used to work with a welder called Pete Kelsall, he lived on a road that led to a hillside farm in Whitworth, and his wife was a good friend of the farmer's daughter, both in their late 20s. On a bad winter's day, with nobody else on the farm, the daughter rang Pete's wife saying her car would not start, and could she give her a tow. She duly arrived with her Mini, tied a rope to the front suspension of her mate's car, and with no obvious point to secure it to the Mini, tied it to the boot door handle and set off! Peter was non-too-pleased, and needless to say, it failed to start the car."
3 wheeled Reliant van rebuild
One day I'm in it with him, passing a lorry, it slowing down to turn left, with another lorry coming the other way. Unfortunately our engine cut out, Harry driving with one hand, the other frantically pulling and pushing all available wires, declared we'll just have to coast a bit, woosh, the oncoming lorry passed, we are still at the side of the slowing lorry, the old Reliant did well to stay upright, in a second all over, the lorry turned into Bowlee airfield (m/ton) and stopped at the gate, so we pulled in. Harry says "do you think we should go and tell the driver what happened?" I didn't think he'd be bothered. We traced the problem to the phone plug dropping out - an exchange operator problem."
Rescuing a Panda
With a lot of talking, and explaining to neighbours, he began to rebuild the engine and when finished, returned it to the car, a late in the day event. The day after, I had occasion to visit him. When we met, he did not look too happy, when I enquired, he simply went back into the house, and emerged with a box, he took the lid off and showed me inside, my eyes fell to the contents, A BRAND NEW CAMSHAFT - he'd forgotten to fit it. Would you believe, he jacked the car up, bored a hole through the wheel arch, and because ALL the cam followers were up, held I assume, with grease, he got the camshaft in. Just after all this was finished, another Spanish neighbour arrived in an enquiring manner. The Panda's owner was only too eager to explain, and demonstrate his capabilities, so he promptly jumped in and started the newly rebuilt engine, WITH NO OIL IN THE SUMP..."
Thanks for sending those stories over Keith!
Do you have an interesting car-related stories that you'd be willing to have featured on oldclassiccar??? please let me know if so - see motorcar memories for details.
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