Throughout 2018 we’ve continued to celebrate the owners who have kept the same classic car for 30 years or more.
They’ve shared their stories about the memories, the rebuilds and the joys of owning a classic bike for so long on our Adrian Flux Forever Cars blog.
Here’s the five most read articles of 2018 – and we hope 2019 will bring even more extraordinary tales.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Adrian Flux.
Number 5. Nigel’s 40-year passion for wild Tiger
Nigel Davis and his brother have amassed a collection of around 20 classic vehicles and motoring paraphernalia, among them rare examples of an Ashley 750 and one of only three Strada cars made, plus a 27-litre Rolls-Royce engine from a Centurion tank, and a 65-tonne crane.
An Austin Gypsy, Singer Chamois, NSU Prinz 2 and a pair of Hillman Super Minx Convertibles jostle for space in the former stables, but one car means more to Nigel than any of them – a 1966 Sunbeam Tiger he bought as an accident-damaged wreck in 1979.
“The Tiger is part of me,” he says. “I will never sell it all the while I can still get in it. The Tiger is my toy, whereas the others are just classic cars. I keep saying we’ve got to get rid of some of them because we’re running out of space.”
Number 4. “Doc” Shepherd’s historic A40 restored by long-term owner
It looked like a common or garden Austin A40 Farina, but the car that ducked in and out of Trevor Parfitt’s life for years was very much a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The seemingly humble red and black A40 parked at the Cambridge garage where Trevor worked in the 1960s had a secret that would not reveal itself until he bought the car several years later.
This wasn’t just any old family runabout, but the once-grey race car owned and driven by local GP George “Doc” Shepherd to win the 1960 British Saloon Car Championship.
And now, nearly six decades since its finest hour, Trevor and the team at his race preparation and car restoration business have completed a meticulous, no-expense-spared restoration in time for the BTCC’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
Number 3. The love bug: the story of a remarkable Beetle
To John Spong, his unrestored 1956 VW Beetle is far more than just a car; it’s a treasured time machine that opens a window to the remarkable life of his late Uncle George and an unlikely wartime love affair.
Having survived the trenches and prison camps of the first world war, John’s uncle was persuaded to buy a Beetle – rather than a British Morris – by his son-in-law, a young German soldier who fell in love with George’s daughter while held prisoner in England during World War Two.
Awkwardly, George was working for Morris in Oxford at the time, and for years had to keep his car a secret from his bosses and colleagues, riding to work on a bicycle.
On his retirement in 1964, George sold the car to his nephew for £225, and John has owned it ever since, winning a host of concours awards over the years and keeping the rare oval Beetle in immaculate original condition – as well as giving it the fitting registration plate 1956 VW.
Number 2. Love at first drive: ultra-rare Nissan Sunny too special to sell
The auctioneer’s hammer was seconds from falling when Pete Stanier left a packed saleroom “gobsmacked” by calling an abrupt halt to proceedings.
Bidding for his 1990 Nissan Sunny ZX had reached £2,000 when the former mechanic from Stoke stepped in to stop the auction.
“I said ‘stop – it’s my car and I’m taking it out’,” says Pete, who had fallen in love with the Nissan on the short drive to the auction.
“I’d driven everything from a Porsche 944, a Ferrari, a 1926 Silver Shadow Rolls Royce, but the Nissan was so comfortable and so responsive I just fell in love with the car halfway to the auction. The minute I drove it I was hooked. There was a lot of interest in it and during the auction it was playing on my mind, so I stopped it.”
Number 1. David’s undimmed passion for self-built Stratos replica
The Lancia Stratos were, and remain, exorbitantly expensive, and that’s why, in 1987, David Jowsey decided to build his own, joining the growing ranks of Stratos kit car owners who now outnumber those of the originals.
His Allora kit, with all the looks of a car from another planet for a fraction of the price, is one of just 13 produced, only two of which are on the road in the UK, plus a third that has never been fully built, and one each in France and Germany.
David, a retired wayleave officer who lives in North Yorkshire, paid £3,750 for a “stage one” kit after reading an article in a kit car magazine.
“I’ve always had an interest in that sort of thing,” he says. “I would buy the kit car magazine, and one day they must have had a comparison between what you could buy. There were two different Stratos kits – the Transformer and the Allora.
“I thought ‘if I don’t do it now, it will never happen’. I pushed the boat out and got a small bank loan.”
We know that owners of classic cars are not like other motorists and the classic car insurance cover we arrange takes this into account when providing you with a bespoke quote.