An expensive love affair.

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I have always loved cars, and have fond memories of my parents MkII Cortina registration MBL803E, this is the first car I reliably remember. Below, are some other cars, mostly mine dating back to 1978 when I passed my driving test.

Campers and Fiats

My first car was a Fiat 850 registration JAR745G. The car had been salvaged from a scrap yard and had a seized engine. The engine was dismantled, the alloy head skimmed and the engine freed up by pouring WD40 down the bores and forcing the rust to give way.

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The picture above shows my Dad's Comma camper van YUO404K in the middle of being restored. Behind is parked my Fiat still with the "L" or learner plates on.

Three weeks after passing my test I took the car to the Silverstone racing circuit and rolled it at the Beckets hairpin! However, it did not die.. it was rebuilt with gallons of P38 body filler. It was sprayed Ford Sapphire Metallic Blue and was a little cracker! Yes that is an air scoop on the bonnet, and yes.. the engine is in the back...oops!!

Click on these images for a better look.Click on these images for a better look.

The above pictures were taken at our holiday home in Selsey

The beauty of the Fiat was the availability of Abarth tuning goodies, I also worked at a place called BICERI which tested engines for motor manufacturers. There I had access to a machine shop, expertise and raw materials. Soon the Fiat took on a new form. The engine was modified to take a 4 branch manifold and Webber carb2 off of an MG Maestro, a straight through exhaust ran along the back and the camshaft was upgraded to a road race one.

Click on these images for a better look.Click on these images for a better look.

The pictures above show its new mean look. Not long after these photos were taken I blew the Fiat up racing a 3.0 litre Ford Granada. Basically the electric fuel pump sprung a leak and it caught fire.

Next was the Sunbeam IMP sport.

The car was bought in Slough and immediately underwent engine surgery. We, my father and I, found a place in Bracknell that sold modified IMP bits. I also bought a 1000cc wet liner block engine. This was a weird set up, as well as having a head gasket, it had "O" rings. I never did work out what kept it together!

I don't remember much about it other than it went like a rocket. By this time I had been made redundant and was now working for a tyre and exhaust centre called Broadway Tyres.

This was great car, however over Christmas I left it out without putting anti-freeze in it and the block split... off to the scrap yard..

1959 Mini 850

My Grandfather gave me his old mini. Registration NMT98 The car was built in 1959.

This died a horrible death when a "friend" borrowed it because his 1600 E Cortina had broken down. He returned it minus its roof, He thought it would look good as a convertible. I nearly killed him! I never did know what happened to that mini (Ian brewer if you are out there- I forgive you now - please contact me ;-).

MkIII Spitfire

Then started my love affair with Spitfires. My first Spit, a MkIII, was registered EXF443H.

I bought it from a friend called Tim, and it was quite shabby but soon benefited from some real TLC.

The 1196cc engine was replaced with a 1300cc engine, and the body work repaired.

I bought a second Spit a using the best of both totally rebuilt the car.

Parked outside my parents house, and sporting big fat tyres. A perk for being in the tyre trade.

 

Parked outside Broadway tyres in Beaconsfield

Me cuddling the front tyre.. don't ask me why! Also in the picture from bottom right to left: Steve Luckwell, Tim Langellia (it was once his car), Jacky Brown, Nigel Brown, Steven (my little brother) and me.

Eventually it was sprayed and looked great!

The engine went through various developments including having a set of twin downdraft Weber 40s sticking out of the bonnet! What eventually killed it was a 6 cylinder Vitesse engine. Nothing wrong with that, apart from I never changed the back axle from the original 1196 one. It was so fast from 0 to 60 that you could not use 1st gear and the speedo went up like a rev counter. Eventually the engine over revved an blew.

Another Fiat

I then had various other cars including a Vauxhall Viva and Ford Granada 2.8i. the Granada was an ex Police car and had a manual gearbox... wow!! somewhere in between I bought a Fiat 131

This old bus went every where. At the time I was heavy into warehouse parties, so we spent most weekends in Brighton where for some reason there seemed to be a lot of empty warehouses. I don't remember much about these years ;-) (mid 80s)

And another Fiat

Then I miraculously grew up and bought a 4x4 Fiat Panda

I gave it white Weller wheels and a Buffalo bar and  kept it for about two years. I eventually traded the Fiat in for a newer Vauxhall Cavalier, then that for an Audi 80.

I parted company with the Audi in favour of a 1987 (two year old) BMW 325i. Jet black and evilly fast, I kept that until I had a heart attack at the cost of getting it serviced. By now  I worked for BT as a computer operator based in Hemel Hempstead. I was also just about to get married, so we, bought a Daihatsu Charade... and I bought another Spitfire...

Spitfire MkIV

but that is history (see the Spitfire restoration)....

Ford Escort

After the Charade came a Ford Escort Cabriolet.

Land Rover Freelander

This was then traded in for a Ford Puma, this was the sold in favour of a company car, a Land Rover Freelander

The second picture is my wife Sophia, putting the twins in the back of the Freelander just after they were born in Feb 2000.

Land Rover Discovery

The Freelander is a big car, but really does not sit many people. So in 2001 this was swapped for a Discovery TD5 7 seater. Now we are right up to date.

Here it is outside our house while having the drive done.

....ooooOOOOoooo....

 

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