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Nostalgic moment

Pure chance I saw this!

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John Hinkley24/05/2022 11:13:37
1332 forum posts
426 photos

I thought that I'd share this with you all, even if it's of no interest to anybody but me!

Yesterday afternoon, I happened to be changing channels and caught a few minutes of the BBC programme "Flog it!" There was an elderly lady parting with a vintage dashboard-mounted 8-day clock. Not particularly interesting, you may think, but then she started talking about her father, who was into vintage cars. Cut to an old photograph of an Austin 7 Ruby. I immediately sat up and took notice as I had one as my first road car. Looking at the number plate and I was astonished to see that it was MY actual car! BGU 940! I couldn't believe it, but there it was, looking somewhat forlorn and neglected and obviously some time before I bought it for the princely sum of £26 and 10 shillings in 1984. It was 50 years old, then and I was 17, having recently passed my driving test. I spent a lot of time and what was to me a lot of money rebuilding it and giving it a respray in British Racing Green (what else?). It appeared in a magazine advert for a pain killing drug alongside a speeding Sunbeam Alpine Harrington coupé and gave me many happy hours pleasure (of all sorts). I sold it for about £40 and used the money to "upgrade" to an Austin A30 saloon.

There, I told you it wouldn't interest you, but it made an old man very happy for a few minutes.


Edit,  This is the car in question:

bgu 940.jpg

Edited By John Hinkley on 24/05/2022 11:17:53

Michael Gilligan24/05/2022 11:22:46
20182 forum posts
1053 photos

Nice story, John yes

I’m just a little confused by your mix of date and currency

… which one is correct ?


ega24/05/2022 11:26:14
2539 forum posts
201 photos

Quite an experience for you!

And nostalgic for me as my first car was a Ruby, too. What's more, a later Seven of mine had been hand-painted BRG by the previous owner and later still I had a Sunbeam MkIII, the successor to the Sunbeam Talbot saloon.

Jon Lawes24/05/2022 11:27:08
926 forum posts

What a machine!

John Hinkley24/05/2022 12:52:57
1332 forum posts
426 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 24/05/2022 11:22:46:

Nice story, John yes

I’m just a little confused by your mix of date and currency

… which one is correct ?


I meant 1964! I told you I was old. Seems to be happening more and more often these days. I had better go and get my bumps felt.


Edit: and that means the car was 'only' 30 years old when I acquired it.

Edited By John Hinkley on 24/05/2022 13:02:47

Georgineer24/05/2022 13:06:19
577 forum posts
32 photos

I had a similar experience when my old Morris Minor Estate (LTP 809G) cropped up on Car SOS, as the working example they take out and interview the owner of. I made various attempts to make contact with the present owner, but wasn't successful. Perhaps I should try again.


Speedy Builder524/05/2022 13:08:58
2613 forum posts
212 photos

Notice the style of the caravans and the "Social distancing". The attached was my 1937 Ruby CCE 954 in about 1967 (First year of compulsory MOT) and me as a young driver. Petrol 4/3 per gallon !!

austin ruby 1937.jpg

Edited By Speedy Builder5 on 24/05/2022 13:09:37

Howard Lewis24/05/2022 13:21:12
6104 forum posts
14 photos

Never owned an Austin 7, but had dealings with those of friend. Clutcg pedal tarvel must have been almost 2 inches; and the brakes, or lack of them!.

Passed my test on a 1934 Austin 10.

My first car was a Singer 9 Coupe. It leaked oil, almost everywhere. Going home from Shrewsbury to Hereford each weekeend, it used to climb the hill out of Ludlow at the same speed, whether in 2nd or top gear. The difference was the size of the cloud of oil from the bell housing when I lifted off at the top of the hill! Like the earlier Austin 7s, the crank was only 2 bearing and flexed!

But life was more thrilling, if slower, in those days.

Good folk are still keeping them on the road


mike barrett 124/05/2022 13:25:42
11 forum posts

from the DVLA site it is taxed (exempt) till 2023 so still aorund!

Vehicle make
Date of first registration
September 1934
Year of manufacture
Cylinder capacity
747 cc
CO₂ emissions
Not available
Fuel type
Euro status
Not available
Real Driving Emissions (RDE)
Not available
Export marker
Vehicle status
Vehicle colour
Vehicle type approval
Not available
Revenue weight
Not available
Date of last V5C (logbook) issued
15 February 2016
Ady124/05/2022 13:47:15
5090 forum posts
736 photos

Interesting yes

I'm sure we all wonder what eventually happened to old pals from bygone decades, and whether of course they survived

Samsaranda24/05/2022 14:14:38
1430 forum posts
5 photos

My first car, after motorcycles, was a 1954 Ford Popular with the side valve engine, registration was DHC 521 if anyone knows of its whereabouts let me know. I acquired it in 1966 and during the time I had it I changed the engine with one that I had reconditioned, it was a very reliable mode of transport, I used it every weekend commuting back and forth from my camp when I was in the Air Force and in the cold weather when the 6 volt battery was a bit short of amps there was the starting handle stowed conveniently under the bonnet. I was not all that fond of the rod operated brakes, gave me few frights, but I have good memories of its time with me. Dave W

Rex Hanman24/05/2022 17:11:18
100 forum posts

In the early 1980s I suddenly found myself in need of a car. I was offered a 1965 MGB cheaply as it had nothing left below the sills, rather like Fred Flintstone's car.

After many hours of welding and a respray I drove it for a couple of years. Then, around 1984, someone made me an offer of two and a half times what I paid for it.

Last year, on a whim, I googled the reg no. and found pictures of it being raced at Brands Hatch! I contacted the new owner who confirmed it is still largely the same car.

Wish I hadn't sold it now!

DMB24/05/2022 17:17:17
1312 forum posts
1 photos

John Hinkley

You mentioned"Harrington". Would that indicate some sort of modification by Harrington's Motors in Hove, Sussex? They did a lot of work on coaches and in fact I believe their site was known as Harrington's Coach works.


John Hinkley24/05/2022 17:32:55
1332 forum posts
426 photos


It depends on whether you trust wikipedia or not. The Harrington Coachworks entry there certainly indicates that they were the people who did the conversions to the Sunbeam Alpines, being both fibreglass specialists and Rootes dealers. Thinking about it a little more, I'm pretty sure it was a Le Mans version that I was photographed with.


V8Eng24/05/2022 19:01:45
1701 forum posts
1 photos

My nostalgic moment was last month when I saw the 1996 Toyota MR2 that I owned from Dec 1996 until 2001.

It was going along a local road and looked immaculate that sighting nearly brought tears to my eyes.

probably the most fun car I ever owned (and the quickest)

Edited By V8Eng on 24/05/2022 19:22:57

noel shelley24/05/2022 19:06:09
1344 forum posts
21 photos

I thought the MOT came in in 1959 or 60 ? My dad got rid of a 1930s Austin 7 due to it being unlikely to pass, so said the garage who gave him £37 against a new vehicle. Noel.

Nicholas Farr24/05/2022 19:40:38
3360 forum posts
1542 photos

Hi Noel, the MOT came into operation in 1960, but at first was only for vehicles that were 10 years old and over, but was progressively reduce to three years by 1967. History of MOT test

Regards Nick.

Nicholas Farr24/05/2022 20:00:27
3360 forum posts
1542 photos

Hi, my first car was a twin carb MG 1100 saloon, don't laugh, I know they were rust buckets but most of it had been fixed. I think it was the 1962 model and I bought it in early 1974 had for about 18 months and then bought a three year old Boxford HA van which I needed for doing my mobile Disco. Never have seen any cars again that I've had, but I did have the Van for the longest period.

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 24/05/2022 20:02:15

mgnbuk24/05/2022 22:29:48
1188 forum posts
71 photos

a three year old Boxford HA van

A slip of the keyboard there Nick ?


Nigel B.

Nicholas Farr24/05/2022 23:20:53
3360 forum posts
1542 photos

Hi Nigel B, Opps! blush bit more like a Bedford HA van, but it did have a very good turning

Regards Nick.

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