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 General Discussion and MAD HOUSE
 Posted for Emrys - my first car!
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United Kingdom
13893 Posts

Posted - 31/07/2008 :  21:38:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

What follows may not interest everyone but I believe that anyone who has ever owned a car will remember their first one (or a subsequent one), either fondly because it was so good, or with dismay recalling what a "lemon" it was. Others will, undoubtedly recall a specific car they had the most fun with or even the one in which romance played a part in their lives..

I am an avid collector of odd things, (and some not so odd ) including die cast names attached to cars of which I have close to eight hundred, personally recovered after scouring car wrecking yards in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Nothing noteworthy about about that although I've never met anyone collecting similar items. What I think is unique however is that a little more than a hundred items, (different names of cars) were collected by me personally over the years in Tredegar and almost certainly all or most, were once attached to a car owned by Tredegar residents. All but two of the items shown in the first two photographs are some of those collected, ( legally over many years) from wrecked cars in Tredegar and generously donated by, (although I risked life and limb climbing over wrecks to recover them) Harold Arnold, Brian Brooks, ??( can't now recall his first name) Gregory, (son of Max Gregory of Brynbach St,) who had a wrecking yard at the top of Coronation St, and Mark Evans who operated (may still do) a fabrication & welding shop in the Duke St Yard, also at the top of Coronation St.

Some will remember that Harold Arnold operated a wrecking yard next to the Central Surgery. Some will even recall that he operated a similar yard at the end of Polar Place*** many years before that but how many can remember when Harold was in partnership with his brother, "Linc" ??. When that partnership was dissolved "Linc" started his own scrap car business in the rear yard of the "Miners" on Church St, near Sam Boulton's garage and Percy Evans car repair shop but he didn't stay in business there long.

The other two photographs attached include name plates, mostly from American, Canadian and foreign imported cars. American and Canadian cars are essentially identical although two names, Monarch and Meteor were unique to Canada. I have several also collected from a scrap yard in Nantyglo although I paid "through the nose" for them.I've not been actively collecting these items for a number of years, (other bits'n'pieces can be collected with less effort although often in the face of sometimes fierce competion ) so all the names shown are of cars that are obsolete, even vintage, although some of the names have been revived.

Certainly I am sure (or at least hopeful ) that someone will read this and recall that he or she had one of the car names displayed and he/she may wonder if indeed they are looking at a photograph of something they once owned and perhaps, (again I am hopeful ) lavished much care upon.

In the past I have taken much pleasure in preparing and presenting to friends and colleagues framed plaques containing the original name(s) of either their first car or of the car they recalled as being most memorable to them. For one I provided a framed collection including original name plates of every car he had previouly owned.

My first car was a 1937 Flying Standard purchased by me in 1953. (sold in Tredegar in 1955) According to the Registration log book I was the thirteenth owner. The first owner in Abergavenny was a corn and seed merchant and I'm sure the car carried his merchantise during the war, (it first changed hands in 1946) as when I removed the back seat, (to fix the holes in the floor, no M.O.T. in those days ) I found grass growing in every little nook and cranny. It wasn't green, more like straw but it was definitely growing. Despite its age and heavy usage and the fact that I had to adjust the mechanical brakes once a week it was very reliable and opened the door for me and my family to much travel and pleasure.

*** Does anyone know the origin or history of "Polar House", "Polar Place", an/or "Polar Cottages"?? Seems such an odd name for a mining community.

Super Member

828 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2008 :  07:24:10 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What a fantastic thing to collect - it sounds odd until you see the way you have them displayed and it looks brilliant!

The first car I ever owned was also the first car I ever drove but about 16 years separated the 2 events. It was a 1979 1.1 beige Ford Fiesta that was my Gran's. I first drove it on a beach in North Wales when on holiday with Grandparents when I was 9. My Gran taught me the basics of how to change gear (all the way upto 2nd!). Then just before my 25th birthday she said that as she no longer felt safe driving she was giving me the car for my birthday. This was made all the more poignant when she passed away the day before my birthday. It was a lovely little car and when I got it it had a whole....18,000 miles on it from new. My Grandad hadn't driven for years as he had lost his sight and my Gran went to the shops occasionally but for the last few years of its life it just sat in their garage and was collected to be serviced once every 6 months! I sold it a couple of years later to a work colleague's girlfriend and it went another 3 years before the body work became to expensive to fix to get it through the MoT - as with many old Ford's the foot wells and wheel arches just rusted to dust.

Thanks for the chance to reminisce Emrys :)
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