I bought the car unseen from a dealer in Yorkshire. When it arrived I was appalled. It was so unlike it’s on line description, it was laughable. If I hadn’t wanted the reg it would never have come off the truck. Supposedly original and rust free, it was the archetypal pear. You could put a hand through the bottom of each door, and the edges of the boot and bonnet were crumbling. It had been bodged back together with hideous welding and a Halfords full of filler. It was plainly painted in a farm yard, on a windy day. The only question was how he got the cow to stand still long enough to use its tail to paint the car. On top of that, it didn’t even run.
I sent photos to the vendor and told him if he didn’t send me a large cheque, I would forward them to the web site where he advertised all his old bangers. I also threatened court action. There was a great deal of huffing and puffing, but he knew he would be out of business if he refused to pay me, and a cheque duly arrived.
But I’m a sucker for a lost cause, and I felt sorry for the poor, abused thing. Replacement of all the sparky bits got it going, and it proved to be a sweet little motor. A change of all its bodily fluids, the pinion seal, all hoses, belts etc, and it was starting to show its character. I plastered the underside in waxoil, pulled out the shreds of rubber floor mats and painted the floor. The interior was in surprisingly good shape, and so I treated it to a new set of red carpets.
By now it had managed to get under my skin. It was a banger, and always would be, but a very friendly one. It lives outside, and is used all year. It costs £110 to insure, uses tiny amounts of fuel, and it just keeps going. It always starts, even in the depths of winter. The wipers are good and it’s got a heater, so it’s cosy. It’s such a relief to have an old car that I don’t have to feel guilty about getting dirty and wet. I have as much interest in new cars as I do in washing machines, so I don’t bother with one, and the 10 does the job perfectly well.
I’ve just treated it to new tyres and door seals, and next year the steering and some suspension bushes could do with a look at. But it still does what it was meant to do in 1956, and I’m very fond of the old girl.