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Homepage. This page: 1957 Standard Super Ten with 'Standrive' 2-pedal transmission
My 1957 Standard 10 Ten, photo'd December 04 with chrome covered in a protective layer of wax
It's April 2003, and my first dabble with a Standard Ten was still fresh in my mind (see my other Standard 10 page).

I'd been looking around for a little classic car to potter around in, not having had a roadworthy classic for a little while. The green Standard 10 promised a lot on paper (or rather, on Ebay) but once I'd had proper look underneath, it was obvious that more than just a quick tidy up was going to be required, before an MOT could be attempted. With heavy heart, and lighter wallet, I sold that green car on, last heard of heading in the direction of Germany.

By now I'd come to appreciate what a Standard 10 could offer. Usefully larger that an Austin A30, although still a small car, the 10 offers 4 decent sized doors and engine accessibility that an A30 owner (yes Ive had an A30 and A35) could only dream about. Only the A40 Farina, of the cars I've owned myself, compares well, but thats only ever a 2 door. As I'd now realised that finding certain Standard panels makes selling ice to an eskimo seem easy, my next plan was to look out for another Ten but in up & running condition.

At about the time I'd decided to shift on my green Standard (a '55 model), a Morris owning colleague at work tipped me off about a seemingly presentable Super 10 he'd spied parked outside a classic car restoration shop not far from my place. The temptation proved too great, and with dire warnings still ringing in my ears from 'er indoors, I ventured over to see if this car was up for sale. It turned out that this Ten, a cream coloured 1957 model, was the daily runabout for one of the guys who works at the resto shop. A brief chat identified that it actually belonged to his wife and, in principle, he'd be willing to sell, so long as she gave the OK too. He took my number, and I left it at that. A few weeks passed without hearing a thing, so I assumed the sale wasn't going to happen. However, one glorious afternoon a telephone message appeared on my desk at work, from the guy who owned the Standard, apologising for having lost my number, and yes, he would sell, for the price he'd already mentioned.

So, on the condition that the vendor put a new MOT on it (it was MOTd for 3 months or so anyway), I did the deal, and he dropped the car off late in April 2003. This car is in far better condition than the green one, with just a few bubbles primarily in the rear wing area, due for some attention one day (does anyone have a pair of rot free r wings they'd sell me?). The chromework is pretty good overall, the interior very nice, it still has its original number, and interestingly came with a mountain of history, including original service notes from a doting previous owner, even down to the original service booklets from '57.

Probably the most curious aspect of this car is its transmission, featuring as it does the bizarre 2 pedal Standrive transmission. Clutch actuation is via a little switch on top of the gear lever, and is depressed as a clutch pedal would be, but is not required for shifts into either 1st or reverse. It also allows you to crawl along in traffic and come to a halt without stalling, which is pretty neat.

Also see:
More information on Standrive transmissions
Free parts ads for all Standards
Story of a Standrive Super Ten in Australia
From what I can tell its a similar system, the NewtonDrive, as featured on some MG Magnette ZA models ('manumatic') and early pre-Farina Cambridges from the 1950s. From what I've read, when problems occurred with these systems, back when the cars were a regular sight on our leafy byways, many owners simply converted to normal 3 pedal control and skipped the Standrive bits altogether, making this Ten probably a rare-ish survivor, who knows? It doesn't look overly complicated, with just a few extra cables and switch valve being visible under the bonnet, and a vacuum reservoir buried (I'm told!) under a front wing. Fortunately this fine example of British ingenuity comes with its full complement of manuals and diagrams explaining Standrive in all its glory, so hopefully I won't have to resort to retro-fitting a traditional clutch pedal should anything go haywire.

My first weekend with this new car saw me taking it out on the leafy local lanes, to get a feel for things. The car drives pretty well, although the test drive did highlight a vocal back axle, and tappets that need some adjustment. A quick service soon followed, fresh oil & filter, and a greasing all around, just to help things along. A few period accessories have also been fitted, just to further enhance the retro-ness of this chariot.

Update July 2003 The Standard 10 has been used on a regular evenings & weekends basis since I bought it, often to be seen pottering around Cheshire causing vast queues of traffic in its wake. The adjustment of the tappets has quietened the engine down though there's no denying its a bit noisier than it should be, and I'd like to acquire a better diff sometime in my travels.

Update January 2005 The old girl (touch wood) is still going strong. A pair of tidy rear wings was recently acquired, so at some point when I'm feeling especially energetic, I'll get them stripped and painted, ready to be fitted. Those on the car aren't toooo bad right now however, so its not a high-priority job at all. I also went to the Great British Autojumble the other day at the NEC in Birmingham, and picked up some of the correct plastic wing beading for when I do get around to swapping the rear wings for better examples.

Update July 2005 To keep this little Ten company, I've acquired a solid but down-at-heel Standard 8. Not quite sure what I'll do with it, but that's not usually something I think about too much.

Update August 2005 Along with the aforementioned Standard 8, my 10 was reluctantly put up for sale to make room for the re-purchase of a Volvo Amazon that I owned a few years ago. This was at a time that I had decided to reduce the number of vehicles that I had needing work, to try and focus my attentions on the remaining cars. The 10 went off to its new home on 25th August, so hopefully it'll be out and about in the lanes of Kent. Bye bye EEF 439! I'd certainly never rule out buying another one sometime, and if a Companion estate, or perhaps a 7cwt van or pickup came along, then I might be very tempted!!! :)

Update October 2009 And lo! what should turn up a few years later but a rare Companion estate - full story here.
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