irst, let me point out that, of all these images, only the first and last are actually of my cars. I did have a very complete archive file of all my cars (and motorbikes); but in one of the many moves, the file was lost. Consequently all the other images have been sourced from the web. You can tell this because, unlike mine, they're all immaculately presented. Where possible I've created links or acknowledged the sources.
The first car in which I had any nominal equity was an Austin 7 saloon - a 1932 Ruby, I think - which I was supposed to own jointly with my brother. However, he counted it as his, and took it with him to University and I never saw it again. But it's hard to hold this against him: he did turn up with some pretty spectacular cars, for example a now rare and much sought after 2litre in-line 6 cylinder S-type MG, a BSA three-wheel cyclecar which used to race against Morgans, an aluminium-skinned space-frame special, chassis number CC1, which he claimed to be Colin Chapman's original Lotus, but which wasn't, and later a Lotus 7 with genuine Coventry Climax engine and racing slicks for which he got pinged for driving with bald tyres.
Anyway, because it doesn't remotely fit the pattern of sports tourers, I'm happy not to count this Austin as one of mine. The first car unequivocally mine was a 1937 Series II Morris 8 two seater tourer reg no DXX 778 (funny how this number has stuck so clearly in my mind - it must have something to do with how often I had to quote it to police, who in those days thought that if you didn't know the registration number you must driving a stolen car, as if anyone would have stolen this one). In this I was in very good company: the Emperor-in-exile Haile Selassie bought one for his son; Colin Chapman was given one for his first car in 1945 when he would have been seventeen; and Margaret's old mate Dennis Connolly from Lethbridge University had one for his first car (not to be confused with David Lethbridge, one-time Professor in the Faculty of Business and Law at Deakin University, who also had one). Not bad, eh? direct parallels with two Professors, with a man who created one of the most successful racing marques ever, and with a man who claims direct descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Sadly, in a disappointingly non-Euclidean way, the parallels diverge after that: I would suggest that the Duke of Harar's car would have been brand new, courtesy of his father's wealth (no inheritance tax, see, and all that income from King Solomon's mines to inherit eventually); Chapman's was virtually brand new when he received it in 1945 as a University entrance present (well, eight years old, actually, but of those eight years, six would have been war years when with petrol rationing it would probably not have had hard use); unfortunately no details are available of Connolly's or Lethbridge's. My parents sourced mine in 1960 from a sergeant in the RAF who was being posted away. It would have been twentythree years old when it came to me (five years older than me), and it had had a Hard Life. My memory is that Mum and Dad paid £10 for it, but I had to pay for rego and insurance, which I'm pretty sure was another £10. Mum's memory is that I paid for the car as well. My life's achievements don't compare remotely with Connolly's or Chapman's, and although I'd be pretty sure that at least some of my ancestors would have been alive in King Solomon's time, my pedigree becomes pretty vague after only a couple of generations.
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