Vehicles I have owned: 2 – 1960 Ford Anglia 105E, registration number 803 BOL.
Following on from my Honda C50 and its engine donation to a go-kart, my mind firmly favoured four wheels over two, and though I was still only 15 years of age, I had a few quid in the bank, earned from the occasional drumming gig and a more regular ‘Spot the Ball’ round – the things we kids did for money back in 1979-80.
For years I had been surveying the classified advertisement section of ‘The Birmingham Evening Mail’, a place where local bands advertised for musicians, yes, but more to the point, where a great many cars, bikes and commercials were offered for sale.
Classified ads, section ’41 - Cars for Sale’ was a place of dreams and probably a few nightmares too. The general rule of thumb was decent cars appeared in adverts commencing with their manufacturer’s name, for example Hillman Hunter…, Datsun Cherry…, Austin Allegro…, etc. But the magical, beguiling block of crafted prose set to entice financially stunted Herberts such as me began with the letter ‘B’, because ‘B’ is for ‘bargain’.
A couple of years later, in ‘Motor Vehicle management Studies’ at technical college, I was to learn that a bargain is what one thinks one is getting, rather than what one is actually getting, but for now, that bloc of bargain ads contained the stuff of dreams, and at my kind of prices.
‘Bargain, Ford Anglia, 1960, MoT expired, £25.00 ono.’
I might as well have posted the cash there and then. It was the first car I ever went to look at with a view to purchasing, and it took me about 5 seconds flat to agree to buy this beauty, in fetching shades of blue, brush painted by hand, its deteriorating interior covered with very fetching leopard print fun-fur seat and steering wheel covers, its RO-Style wheels clad with ageing remould tyres.
“Does it run?”
“I’ll have it.”
That was, more or less, how the negotiations went, and so I handed over the full £25.00 as my neighbour Tony Hicks, who had come along to offer his vast mechanical experience and knowledge, was left nutmegged and faced with the task of transporting the utter crock back to my house.
I didn’t care, it was my car and I sat in it as it almost audibly continued to rot, imagining journeys to come, me looking cool behind the wheel, elbow resting on the open window aperture, new wave classics blasting from the tiny speaker. The windscreen wipers worked… for a while, until the battery died and, as I hadn’t the means of charging it, this was the dying twitch of the little Anglia.
Back to the classified ads, this time the ‘Cars Wanted’ section. It was here that local scrap dealers offered ‘£10.00 minimum for any scrap car’. I made the call, a time and date was arranged and, at the allotted time, the wagon showed up.
“I can’t give you any money for that, but I’ll take it away for free” said the scrap man.
Feeling I might have swerved an expensive removal fee, I agreed and with this second example of my negotiation skills, I watched as the diminutive Ford was dragged away up Royal Road, Sutton Coldfield, rust cascading, never to be seen again.
- Fuzz t