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Homepage. This page: Interesting memories of various old cars.

Ford Anglia, Prefect, E83W Utilecons etc

Richard dropped me a line early in 2006, with his memories about older Fords, prompted by a visit to the Exeter Trial and seeing this great 'sit up and beg' Anglia in full flight ...

Ford on the Exeter Trial

I spent today watching the "Exeter Trial" run by The Motorcycling Club and was delighted to see that some Ford Anglia and Popular saloons are still taking part, and especially a c1953 Anglia in Ascot Fawn which transported me back to my early childhood days when my father worked for the South Western Electricity Board, who used a host of Ford cars and vans for use by their sales representatives and engineers.

Fordson Utilecon
You can read all about these Utilecons, and the other variants of the 10cwt Fordson/Thames commercials, on my E83W website
Working from Ashton Gate, Bristol, he had the use of many versions and the ones of most interest to you were a 1952 E83W 10/10 Utilecon reg'd OHU 144 which was a mid green with black wings version, devoid of any SWEB logos but with a full set of black leatherette seats, none of which were bolted to the floor! Gentle progress was needed to allow passengers to stay reasonably comfortable, but this van had a memorably sweet engine which always sounded crisp and was (relatively) very lively. It was always a favourite and survived in daily use until 1960, being retired in favour of a new 100E Popular 626 HAE which itself lasted until 28th July 1964 when it suffered an unplanned excursion into a local cemetery forecourt whilst avoiding a suicidal woman who had walked into the road "to die" ! The double roll and lengthways somersault did severe damage to the roof and offside but it still drove perfectly afterwards ... I know ... I was a very young passenger in it during the crash!!

The other regular favourite was a January 1953 5cwt, PHT 13, which sported dark olive paint, black wings and an oval SWEB logo on each door. Always "rough as nails", this was our rough road choice and was amazing in snow and mud. With four concrete blocks loaded over the back wheels, old PHT was unstoppable in the snows up on the Mendip hills, and was kept until Sept. 1963 to be ousted by 808 UAE, a brand new 105E Anglia Deluxe in Ambassadour Blue.

"PHT" was the car that my Dad taught me to drive on, and I was fully trained in changing gear as he drove even though I was only 9 at the time! "PHT" was destined to be my first car and was treated to a new engine, tyres, brakes and roof just before sale, but a rather disgruntled employee got hold of it just after the work was done, drained the water and engine oil then proceeded to destroy it by revving it to destruction ..... the result was of course a trip to the scrapyard and oblivion.

My last 10/10 memory is of the one owned by our grocer. It was a 1949 model registered LHY ??? (sorry I was only two at the time). Yet again, green with black wings, it was beautifully sign written in gold and soft yellow .. F.J. Hill and Sons, Grocers, Purveyors of Fine Provisions and Bacon, 1 Wick Road, Brislington, Bristol. 4. I believe it did fine service until around 1967 when Fred Hill retired and moved away.

Sadly, I don't have any pictures of the vans (loads of other vehicles which came our way though!). So, today I remembered them again along with the many Anglias and Populars....49' Anglia MAE 663, 55' Pops UHU 78 and 79, 57's 965 AHT and 631 AHW then the 100Es, "626", 61' 611 LHW and 62' 616 OHU. The 105E 808 UAE was the last purchased by SWEB before they brought in a car allowance scheme in 1967 so by then, all were sold and are now lost for good.

So .... a thought is in mind .... maybe I'll look for a sound '49-53 Anglia, prepare it carefully and correctly "in period" then see if I can have a (gentle) go at those hills in memory of my old Dad and PHT 13 etc....!

Old Volkswagens and more Fords

Volkswagen
I have a host of these recollections, but not only of Ford cars. My Dad and his friend Billy Bishop were among the very first to own Volkswagen sedans after WW2 and ours was a 1946 standard saloon which was built by the British Army and owned initially by a Major who brought it to England in 1950. There are few who remember just how "dangerous" it was to drive one during the 1950's due to the strong anti German feelings that were still very prevalent. Several times we were "surrounded" whilst trying to have a layby picnic and had to move on, unbelievable as that seems now. The origins of the special wave that each owner gave when meeting another VW were actually an expression of friendship, relief and understanding towards fellow enthusiasts (a scan of an original 1938 KDF-Wagen brochure, sent in by Richard, can be seen here). Bill Boddy of Motor Sport was a welcome supporter during those times ..... now, my garage contains a Mercedes, a Mitsubishi. a Jaguar and a Vauxhall, enough to get me lynched years ago!

So ... back to Fords .... yes I have owned plenty! A 1972 Capri 1600XL, a later 1972 Capri 1600XL (32,000 miles..repairs cost 4 pence in total...no new tyres etc.!), 1975 Cortina 2000E (brand new but so awful that my mother begged me to sell it!), 1977 Cortina 2.0 Ghia (vastly better!), 1979 Granada 2.8 GLS (seemed amazing!), 1981 Fiesta 1100 Sandpiper I, 1982 Fiesta XR2 (one of the very first), and finally a 1983 Sierra 2.3 Ghia Automatic (soft, slow, thirsty and "Oh my gosh I've read a book" on hills).

Came July 1985 and I hired a BMW 316 ... fast, frugal, fun and .... well a new 520i arrived soon after to be followed by a string of Munich's finest until the image and the thrill of being chased home by thieves wore thin!

Rick there is more, pre-war, post war, good, bad, suprising, frightening or just plain ordinary but I guess you have fallen asleep by now!!! Now....up to the loft to go through my old brochures!!!

Thank you for taking time to read this and for your most interesting website!

Do you have fun motoring memories that you'd like to see featured on oldclassiccar??? please let me know if so - see motoring memories for details.

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