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The public reaction to Stephen’s Citroen Rosalie 10CV (who, of course, goes by the name “Rosie”) is often one of surprise – ‘most people have never seen one or didn’t realise that Citroen’s were ever built in the UK and the fact it is a RWD surprises most’.
‘I’ve always been more a van man than car man’ remarks Stephen Hitchcock and, as proof, he is the proud owner of not one but two Austin A35s. The 1959 orange example has been a part of his fleet for the past two years and the grey (and red) 1960 model since 2004 - ‘I used it to advertise my business’.
Sometimes, when writing about classic cars, you come across a vehicle that is incredibly rare – so rare, in fact, that you cannot remember seeing one on the road in the past three decades. Stephen Dawes’s 124 is not only one of the very few examples left; it is also a one-family-from new Fiat.
If you are devotee of archive television (which I certainly am) one of the major fascinations is the street scenes.
No, this is not a misprint, as the Morris badged version is one of the rarest and most desirable models to devotees of the Metro. Virtually any car-based light commercial of the 1980s has a very poor survival rate, but the early Metro van is probably now a more unusual sight than an MG 6R4. Not to mention offering considerably better fuel economy.
If you owned a new Humber Imperial in 1966, you were almost certainly one of the elite members of your local tennis club. Not only was it a car as imposing as James Robertson Justice in Doctor in Clover, but the list of standard fittings was also positively lavish.
Back in 1988, the Mini Jet Black was your passport to Yuppie success – all for a mere £4,282. Not only did it boast tinted glass, a push-button radio, front head restraints and black velour trim, there were even red seat belts to match the proud owner’s braces. Matching the Mini that looks ‘Smooth on The Streets’ was the “Red Hot” – ‘Hot Stuff For Cold Nights!’.
Many readers will have learned to regard the term ‘time warp classic’ with suspicion as it all too often refers to an eBay “bargain” that Albert Steptoe, let alone Arthur Daley, would have rejected.
My first impression of the 2018 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show was merely this – any Austin Maxi will now turn heads, but a Maxi with a fawn vinyl roof and a Webasto is not so much eye-catching as utterly decadent.