Lots of go, but not stop

1933 AC Acedes open tourer

When I was 16, in 1955, my grandfather saw a for sale advertisement in the local newspaper for a 1929 Morgan three-wheeler.

We went to view it and he bought it for £25. It had a 1,100 JAP engine and was capable of about 75mph, which seemed very fast for such a small car.

Stopping it was always a problem and braking had to be planned in advance! It had no reverse gear – the best way to turn it round was to pick up the tail and walk round in a semi-circle.

Grandfather and I would often go for a drive on summer evenings – every now and then he would tell me to stop so that he could relight his pipe!

In 1956, then 17, I had an afternoon off from school to take my driving test. This was accomplished in our family car – a 1938 Standard Flying 10.

My next car was an Austin Seven special, which I built with some help from a mate of mine. The donor car was a 1932 Austin Seven, from which the body was stripped and a sports body fabricated.

The rear suspension was lowered by flattening out the rear quarter elliptic springs to give a ground clearance of about five inches. It actually handled very well. Top speed was about 50mph, under favourable conditions, and we enjoyed numerous trips to Snetterton to watch the motor racing. On one of these trips we took it on the skid pan, which was great fun.

I married in 1961, and a year later, my wife and I bought a 1933 AC Acedes open tourer. This was the best-loved car of any we have ever owned. It was totally reliable during the 10 years it was in our possession. The present owner has restored it to pristine condition.

During the 1970s we bought a 1952 Armstrong Siddeley saloon, which proved to be very comfortable, quiet and surprisingly rapid for a car of its time. Happy days!

These are just a few of the many interesting older cars we have enjoyed over the years. Our present vehicle is a 1995 V8 Land Rover Discovery, owned since 1996, which is a wonderful car and a pleasure to drive.

Neville Turner, The Stables, Elveden.

To share your own first car memories, send them with a photo to Sadie.Jennings@archant.co.uk.

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