My First Car
Originally Posted December 5th 2018
My first car bought early in 1962, was a dark green 1935 Morris 8 Tourer. It cost £19. About a week's wage at that time. I took a driving test in Brighton in this car. The hood was down with the Test Official in the passenger seat......no seat-belts in those days! I did make sure the passenger door, which had a habit of flying open, was secured with string to prevent a disaster......and I passed!
The Morris 8 met it's demise while I was away travelling. A friend happened to "borrow" the car during my absence and wrote it off!
It was never my intention to buy a Rolls Royce. But the circumstances presented themselves when I returned to England in late 1962 after a 5 month scooter trip around Scandinavia. I had survived 100,000 miles of scooter riding over 7 years. Countless "near misses" had dented my confidence. It was only a matter of time before my luck ran out. So common sense prevailed.....my scooter riding days were over......I now needed a car!
I blame friends for drawing my attention to an advertisement in the local newspaper. But I do admit to needing little encouragement...! So we all headed for a car showroom in Great Harwood, Lancashire.
The car: A coach-built chauffeur drive Rolls Royce Wraith by Rippon Bros of Huddersfield. Previously owned from new by some captain-of-industry in Yorkshire.
Just Imagine four young people in their mid 20's, walking into a car showroom in 1962 and asking for a test drive in an immaculate Rolls Royce. Crazy people still do crazy things!***
After much haggling and then fundraising, I duly became the proud owner of a Rolls Royce at the age of 26.
The Rolls ran on petrol.....lots of it! But it was the start of a new adventure and friends were always ready to chip in to fill the "beast"... a girl-magnet according to them!
Regular salutes from policemen and first-class service in filling stations, restaurants and at social events was an unexpected bonus.
Our most significant trip was to a wedding in Germany. Four young men in borrowed suits and bowler hats. A sight to behold on the Autobahns and beyond. Generating lots of amusement and camera shots from passers-by. Our guest accommodation, befitting our mode of transportation, comprised two luxury hotel suites in downtown Frankfort. Complete with all the trimmings... It quickly deteriorated to sleeping bags in the back of the car on the way back... but what a laugh!**
After a couple of years, travel plans meant that it was necessary to sell the car on. An adventure in itself, as there were no local buyers. I believe the car finally found a new home in the US.
And now... unforgettable memories!