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Living opposite to the Consul was a friend of mine, whose Mum drove a yellow Fiat 127 hatchback. After the Fiat she moved on to a brand new Austin Allegro estate, finished in bright orange. That lasted for a good many years, til, in the early 80s, she moved on to a Volvo 360 GLS, which she kept for donkeys of years.
When the MGB/Toyota owning couple moved house, a Polish family moved in. For the majority of the years they lived there, I recall them owning a Morris Marina 2. It was a bit down at heel when I first saw it, and after several years of (ab)use it really turned into an old shed - painted white, it really highlighted the many many areas of corrosion that were erupting over its surfaces. The brown vinyl roof just added to the grim-ness of this horrible car. When they finally got shot of it, our hopes were high that they would see the error of their ways, and buy something more interesting. However this was not to be, and they replaced the rusty Marina with a tear-jerkingly dull Rover 213, the old thing based on a Honda Ballade. That was a painfully dull car. I was pleased when they announced they were moving house a few years later. We didn't get on with them anyway, but the thought of not having to see their dismal little 'Rover' any more was reason to celebrate.
Back down our end of the cul de sac, and not quite opposite our house, was a retired couple who bought one of the early 70s limited edition Jeans VW Beetles, M registration I think it was. It was known as the Jeans edition thanks to its denim interior. They were all painted in a bright orange, with black side stripes at the bottom of the bodywork, and distinctive steel wheels. Right up to when he moved into a nursing home in 2002/3 (approx) he owned this VW, regularly having it maintained at the VW agents in Manchester. Every few years he'd have a new set of wings fitted and painted on the car, just to keep it looking smart. As his garage was a bit of a tight squeeze, he'd always push his Beetle in and out of the garage. In later years his eyesight (tunnel vision) was not all it could be, and we were amazed how he managed to drive at all without clipping the odd cyclist or push chair, but he did manage somehow.
When the lady with the 105E moved out in the early 80s, a snappily-dressed Scottish gentleman took residence. He stayed there for a few years, but I only remember him owning two cars. The first was a late 1970s (V reg) Opel Manta SR coupe, in orange, with the alloy wheels. I'd earn a few quid most weeks by washing this car for him, and I carried on making some extra pocket money by washing his replacement car, a bodykitted Ford Escort XR3i convertible. I think he saw himself as a bit of a playboy, hence buying this car. It was before the convertible XR3i, as a breed, plunged into being the automotive choice of the backstreet hairdresser, its image never really recovering. I'm sure they are getting rare now, especially as even when new the battery trays used to rot for England, but I still think their image is still haunted by the 'bottle blonde' tag of the early/mid 80s. A friend of this chap owned a Cosworth powered Caterham Seven, and I readily accepted the opportunity of a quick ride in this lightweight road rocket. To say it was quick is an understatement, we were touching 70mph up the road in no time, not really the wisest of speeds in a suburban environment I thought even then. My vision would just blur, the tiny side screens attached to the windscreen frame doing their best to prevent the mad rush of air battering away at my face as we hurtled up the road.
Opposite to the couple with the Cortina Mk1, and next door to this Marina, was a family who bought one of the early 2 door V8 Range Rovers - L reg (1973 I think it was). Finished in a weird sand colour, with the central band painted in black, it was a distinctive car, and went on to be driven by their offspring for many years. I remember it going strong in the 1990s, so there is a chance that it is still around.
The only other car that I remember was a bit further up the road from us, next to the Cortina, and it was a silver (painted, I think, for the Jubilee year) Hillman Avenger. I never saw anything exciting about this car when it was new, and I can't find much to get excited about even now, some 25-30 years later. Most of the neighbours in this sleepy cul de sac were either retired, or not far from retirement, which may go some way in explaining their tendency to hang on to a car for a long time, and look after it. I moved out from this road in 1998, and when I go back, all but one of the occupants mentioned here have either moved away, or left this mortal coil sadly. The families are altogether younger, most homes now having more than one car, with children being a lot more prominent & numerous than when I was a nipper in that road. Anyway, back to cars I remember the family owning.
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