01 May 2006

baby you can drive my car #1

Some time ago I thought I'd start a series of posts on my model collection. The models are of all the cars I've owned over the years. Of course all of those cars have a story attached, so sit comfortably, start to think about another place and time and here we go.

Oh, before we start, will we do them in chronological order or some other category? We might start at the beginning but, understanding that consistency is admirable in itself but hard to do, we may wander from the ordained path before long.

The first car I owned was a 1956 Austin A30 two door, bought in 1968 a couple of months before I got my licence at 17. The model is in fact an A35 but there was little difference. The two door versions were somewhat rarer at the time as I recall. The car cost me $70 from Larke Hoskins in Mort St, Braddon in Canberra. My uncle was still in the motor business at the time so he gave me some parts for my 17th birthday and the old man rebuilt the motor with me watching intently. That the family was in the motor business and that I got all interested in cars will become more evident as we progress through all the models. Along with how little I learned.

We registered it and I drove it for all of two months before the opportunity arose to replace it. You'll need to wait for part 2 for that bit.

But other memories associated with the car? Well, it did have rubbishy old floor mats which I replaced with some offcuts of the carpet my folks had just recarpeted the house with. This was called "Tintawn" and was Irish - it was also a commercial grade carpet that was perfect for cars - and, possibly, roadways - but hurt like crazy to sit or lie on. It was, no kidding, like a mix of steel wool and barbed wire. Aslo, apparently the parents of my girlfriend at the time had a deep and meaningful about whether she would be allowed to go in the car with me. That permission was given was, just possibly, more related to fact that the A30 was good for all of 64 mph top speed (tested once!) than any personal attributes I may or may not have demonstrated.

The A30 was sold for $275, the only car I ever made money on (thanks to uncle and the gift of parts). Any A30 will now cost you around $3000. There is little reason that I can readily put my finger on why anyone would want one when you can have an Austin Healy Sprite - essentially the same car - for not much more.

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