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Homepage. This page: David looks back at various elderly vehicles that belonged to him and his father.

Personal motoring recollections.

David contacted me with memories of the cars and motorcycles that both he and his father encountered throughout the last century. His father began his time in the motor trade during the early 1920s, offering a mobile tractor repair business using an ex-military motorcycle and sidecar combination for transportation. David himself re-assembled his first vehicle (a New Imperial) from a box of bits, before switching to four-wheeled transport, as he now relates:
"I'm now 75, and unfortunately housebound, but I follow the GP circuits, and my favourite: Le Mans, although it's a long time since I went.
My father, having missed WW1 by just 10 days somehow felt a bit guilty about it, but in 1921 aged 19, bought an ex-WW1 motorcycle and sidecar and went self-employed, repairing the many tractors appearing on the large Lincolnshire farms (so many working horses had been killed at the front during the war). Just as an aside, he told me that the cheapest petrol he ever saw was in 1921 at --in old money-- one shilling and one halfpenny a gallon, I reckon that's about one pence per litre today!
New Imperial motorcycle
Anyway being a workaholic he prospered through the depressed 1930s. After WW2 he started his own small garage in Louth (tools were very expensive and difficult to get). As a ten year old boy he gave me a box of motorcycle engine bits and a frame. He said that if I could put it together and make it run I could ride it in the small field he had bought during the war. Filled with enthusiasm, and after much trial and error, I managed to get the 1934 150cc four-stroke New Imperial going - guess who was the class 'nerd' at our local primary school, and who wrote our teacher Mrs Mason, long essays describing the workings of such an engine. Great descriptions of conrods, pistons, valve springs and the like. I passed the 11+ OK, and went to our local (still going) grammar school.
Time passes, and in 1958 with my brother I went camping on the continent to see the world fair in Belgium. We took a cloth top sidevalve Morris Minor, as deck cargo from Goole to Antwerp. Eventually we made it to the Riviera, via Paris, where two pretty young English showgirls told us how to get into the 'Nouvelle Eve' in Montmartre, 'on the cheap' as we had little money.
On the south coast 1000 miles from home we had the Morris' radiator leaking badly, so removed the cap, and mended it with lots of French gluey chewing gum. It got us home OK.
Eventually I graduated to a Morris Cooper S 1071 cc, BEE 475C, which was great fun for many years. Then to Nottingham University as a mature student, then married my wonderful wife, and have two now grown-up children, one of each. Keep up your wonderful work with cars that have 'character'"
Thanks again for sending your story over David.
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