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Family car - my father’s first Seven...
#1
My father bought the Saloon, we still have, in 1964 with money given to him by his mother and grandmother for his 21st birthday.

He bought it from a man called Nick Gifford - some years back he read an newspaper article about an ex-film producer turned jam maker of the same name and used the email contact given to reconnect.  Last year after several emails and phone calls I was able to meet with Nick in person when he visited his daughter near Glasgow.

Nick told me that he bought the car from a scrap yard near his school in Blanford Forum aged 14/15.  He set about restoring the car with help of the school janitor over a period of years (we now suspect that the janitor in question was none other than Ray Stephens - but that is yet to be proven!).  He completed his education at the school and was then able to drive the car home to his parents in Bristol, selling it a few years later to my father.

I intend visiting Nick this summer at his home in France on our upcoming summer tour in the Pearl.

Nick sent me some photos of the car this morning - the first is early on and has his own painted number plate, sidelights on the wings and the correct headlights.  The second photo is pretty much as my father bought it and largely as it is today - painted plate (by some notable artist who Nick is trying to remember!!) small headlamps and Austin 12/20 sidelights up on the scuttle.

Some years ago I acquired the correct window gear for the passenger door, which has always been missing, and to my surprise the door was too narrow to accommodate the winding gear.  Nick confirmed the door was a replacement hand made by a polish body worker - it is well made but too slim!

Nick has promised to write down the story he recalls of the car do that I can put it with the rest of the paperwork.

54 years later and a further 350000 miles down the road the car is still in use.

   

   

And today...

   
Whatever you do, don't take my word for it!

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#2
Great story Ruairidh! Look forward to hearing about the reunion...
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#3
I love that story, it is so important to keep all these super bits of history together.
Even more important to keep using the cars.
Our box Saloon has been in our ownership 50 years - still in regular use.
It could tell a tale or two, mind you compared with yours it is low milage example, we have only done about 250,000 miles in it !
Wink
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#4
Brilliant to hear Ruairidh. What a great connection to make.
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#5
Fantastic! Nick must be delighted that his scrapyard rebuild has proved to be so durable. Your father should records some of the adventures he has had in those 350000 miles.

Peter.
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#6
The car looks much better in the now photo than it actually is!!
Whatever you do, don't take my word for it!

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#7
Over the years the car has be loaned to people, perhaps most notably to the local district nurse who used it for about 8 years as her only form of transport for the daily rounds. It was she who named it Beemee.

Laterly Simon B-Edward used it for a brief foray into trialing, the windows and scuttle still have the scars (cracks) to prove it!

How about you share the story of your mum’s car Peter - bought many years before ours...
Whatever you do, don't take my word for it!

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#8
Keep it as it is and continue to use it Ruairidh. I don't particularly like cars that are so over-restored that their owners cart them about in a horse box or similar and spend all day at shows waving a nenette over them. OK if that floats your boat, whatever but I prefer to see a car with a bit of patina that gets used for what it was intended.

Sadly I haven't any history of my car prior to approx 1978 - it was at that time owned by someone in the Bakewell area but I have no documentation to substantiate it. I think it's original number is on a Roller somewhere. Since I acquired it in the early 1980s it has been in regular, but not quite every day use, and I'm certainly not one for molly-coddling it. (annual outings in the snow can testify to that)

It's nice to see cars that have a long family history, and you can't beat some decent provenance if you're selling but what's more important is that they are still running and being used!
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#9
(02-01-2018, 03:32 PM)Ruairidh Dunford Wrote: Over the years the car has be loaned  to people, perhaps most notably to the local district nurse who used it for about 8 years as her only form of transport for the daily rounds.  It was she who named it Beemee.

Laterly Simon B-Edward used it for a brief foray into trialing, the windows and scuttle still have the scars (cracks) to prove it!

How about you share the story of your mum’s car Peter - bought many years before ours...

I will do that Ruairidh, though sadly there are few photos prior to the '70s. I am about to contact possible descendants of two previous owners - so will hold back until I see if there are any replies.

Peter.
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#10
(02-01-2018, 04:12 PM)Reckless Rat Wrote: ... Sadly I haven't any history of my car prior to approx 1978 - it was at that time owned by someone in the Bakewell area but I have no documentation to substantiate it. I think it's original number is on a Roller somewhere. Since I acquired it in the early 1980s it has been in regular, but not quite every day use ...

What was the registration number? I know of several enthusiasts in the Bakewell area who were Seven owners around that time; I may be able to jog someone's memory!
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