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My First Car

By JimV
Been doing some more converting of film strips to digital and came across this one from the mid 50's. This is me with my Austin 8 Roadster, I loved this car even though it had plenty of faults, the roof leaked along the top of the windscreen, the headlights were useless (hence the added light) and the brakes wereen't much use for a quick stop above 30MPH. The engine ran like a sewing machine, top speed was about 60MPH, with a slight incline to get up there! I remember one time I gave three colleagues a lift into the city and the car couldn't get up to 30MPH, when I got to my destination I lifted the bonnet (hood) to see what was the matter and found one of the spark plug leads was disconnected, in other words it was carrying four men while running on only 3 cylinders...amazing!!!
Nowadays every time I start up my 6.75HP lawnmower I think of this car with its 8HP engine Grin
I have no idea where this was taken, nor what caused that bash in the fender!

Very grateful for your comments and votes on my HMS Bounty, I have a feeling that sea tradition may have had a hand in the captain's loss.

Tags: Me Photo journalism General Transport Black and white Digitally manipulated Austin 8

Voters: taggart, Daisymaye, G3 and 25 more

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taggart Plus
13 47 13 United States
31 Dec 2012 1:43AM
Great photo, and a great story! Thanks for this share! made me smile!

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Daisymaye Plus
9 23 16 Canada
31 Dec 2012 1:44AM
I have some old pictures like this of my father in similar old cars. Thank goodness we kept these........Sandy
tonyguitar 6 62 37 Canada
31 Dec 2012 2:33AM
This is both interesting and document worthy. Even the background Morris minor adds value. My first car was a '49 Ford Meteor in 1959. A light car with too much power for this eager young fella. I could impress the girls, [ I thought], with a rear wheels chirp and spin take off. Didn,t look too swift when spinning out of gravel the rear wheels gripped the pavement and stripped second gear. I limped away in first gear. Grew up a little that day. TG
Jocelia 6 2 1 Australia
31 Dec 2012 2:39AM
Hey, we are certainly giving our ages away here. Back in my teens I had a boyfriend
with a Singer sports simlar to this, soft top that leaked and no doors. Had to sit on the side
and swing my legs over. I was a fun time and I'm glad that I had it. Great memories to look back on.
It gives me an idea to sort my old Morris 1100 out that I had as a run about when the kids were
little. Thanks for the idea Jim…….
Happy New Year to you and yours...GrinWink

Hermanus 5 4 South Africa
31 Dec 2012 4:16AM
This is a great and interesting blast from the past Jim !! Just love the photo - it is very special !!
RonnieAG Plus
8 154 118 Scotland
31 Dec 2012 4:48AM
A taste of yesteryear, Jim: the end of another year and a time when more and more I too look back across the decades.
Lovely glimpse of how things used to be.
My first car was a touch later, a Riley Elf, bought in 1967 for £625 when a standard Mini was about £575.
It was not the greatest car by any means.......every 2000 miles or so the hand brake would seize on and I'd have to limp home very very slowly........but I still loved it.
All the best to you and your's through 2013, Jim.
CarolG 11 199 20 Greece
31 Dec 2012 5:57AM
A wonderful insight into your earlier driving years, Jim, and you look very proud of your Austin. My very first car was a secondhand black Morris 1000, bought in 1970 for the princely sum of £50, and I drove this car for many years, only giving her up when the engine decided it had had enough of lifeSmile Carol
Jasper87 Plus
8 2.0k 150 England
31 Dec 2012 6:56AM
A wonderful old photo, Jim, and the start of many reminisces. For various reasons I didn't get into car ownership until the late 70s so my Renault 5 with a dashboard gear change looks pretty modern in comparison.

Have a great New Year,

All the best,

andylea 9 37 1 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 10:10AM
great to look back jim a very happy new year to you and yours all the very best for 2013 Wink
Rogerex 11 32 12 Australia
31 Dec 2012 10:45AM
A nice historic image. Good to see an authentic older picture like this, thanks for sharing it.
Wishing you and yours all the best for the coming year.
Joline Plus
11 30 53 United States
31 Dec 2012 12:20PM
Those were the days my friend......
May you have many more happy memories in the coming year.
ChiliMan 11 135 17 Singapore
31 Dec 2012 2:54PM
I LOVE that you've shared this with us, Jim...write-up included.

What a car and what a great image. The car may have had its shortcomings but it still hauled you around no matter what, eh? Smile


AnneWorner 10 620 43 United States
31 Dec 2012 3:13PM
I didn't have time to leave a comment last night Jim.

It's truly wonderful that you have shared this with us. It's a great shot, and your conversion from film is excellent.

Somewhere I have a photo of my mother ca. 1953 posing by an old car that my step-father (her then fiance) drove at that time.

Thanks for bringing back that memory for me.

Have a wonderful New Year's eve - I imagine you are staying up to raise a toast! We will have the google talk app open and toast with my mother at midnight in Norway.

See you next year Jim.

NeilWigan Plus
7 17 16 England
31 Dec 2012 7:40PM
This is what photography is all about, Jim,a chance to look back and remember great stuff .Best wishes to you and yours for the coming year and beyond. Neil and Joan. Chokes me up these days when filling up costs more than my first few cars !
Glostopcat 12 255 2 England
1 Jan 2013 8:40PM
A grand trip down memory lane Jim, thanks for sharing this one with us. Car ownership is definitely very expensive over here now as Neil has pointed out, it won't be too long before many people are priced out altogether!
SteveNZ 9 4 5 United Kingdom
13 Jan 2013 4:39PM
Much of interest to see in this image - e.g. 'suicide doors', the old metal AA badge, etc.
And I expect that number plate would now be worth more than the cost of the entire car when it was new!
Great that you are able to share your old photos Smile

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