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The Joy's Of Motoring For a 50's Child.

Posted 29-11-2014 at 11:07 by Less
Updated 29-11-2014 at 11:12 by Less

At the start of this adventure I was 6 years of age, the year 1958, as with most children of that age most of my memories disappeared as each day passed and new ones took their place.

However, the fact that my dad had saved hard and managed to purchase a 'car', had such a traumatic effect on me I remember everything as if it was yesterday.

Being the first family on our street to have their own transport would for some be a matter of pride, for my siblings and I it was one of life's greatest embarrassments.

Allow me first of all to describe the vehicle itself, it was an ex army WW2 open topped van. Had it remained an open topped van it would have been fine.
My Dad had decided to convert it into a tourer, this involved fitting second hand pieces of 3 by 2 to the back as a frame then using galvanised nails attaching a loose fitting tarpaulin roof and side using galvanised nails, where it touched it fitted everywhere else it was open to the elements whenever it managed to get above 15mph. Each of the 4 children forced into this space was assigned an area of canvass to hold onto to prevent lift off.
Across the width of this vehicle had been fitted an old pew to allow us the luxury of seating, this would rock forward rather dangerously if the brakes were applied in any way at all, the van (sorry car Dad always insisted it was a car) would have tried to tip us out of the tailgate which was the only way in or out for us if the engine had any amount of power. Also, to allow communication between driver and passengers the rear window had been removed from the back panel revealing the razor sharp metal that had once been covered by the rubber seal.

When first purchased this monstrosity was in the army green colours, my Dad had bought some cheap black gloss paint it had the thickness of tar and was I suspect the fore runner to underseal, during the four long years he kept this on the road that paint was always tacky and during the summer months acted as a fly trap when parked, (it could never get up speed to kill anything in the traditional manner of using the radiator).

If you imagine the car the Clampets had but with a roof you will get an idea of what this vehicle actually looked like!

No, I tell a lie, it made the clampets car look posh.

Off to meet Mick for a Pint, will continue later with our first lesson in Countryside travel and the freedoms it brings once the open road has been reached.
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Views 2460 Comments 3
Total Comments 3


  1. Old Comment
    Margaret Pilkington's Avatar
    Oh Less......thank you for those pictures......they really made me smile.
    I can't wait for another helping.
    Great stuff.
    Posted 29-11-2014 at 17:49 by Margaret Pilkington Margaret Pilkington is offline
  2. Old Comment
    cashman's Avatar
    Dont knock it, yeh were real posh gits, me family never had a car at all.
    Posted 29-11-2014 at 21:10 by cashman cashman is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Like Margaret, I'm looking forward to the next episode. Very funny story, what memories! Bet you enjoyed every minute of it.
    Posted 30-11-2014 at 07:57 by dotti34 dotti34 is offline

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