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Old cars we knew - funny stories

(40 Posts)
Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 08:49:38

Here’s a fun one for a Sunday. Any funny stories about old cars you had? I had a mini which my dad gave to me. Mum made seat covers from old curtains and fitted a carpet from leftover bits from the house. It was so patched up with filler he used to say one day it would just crumble around me and I’d be left sat on the chassis 😂. Another one was a day out with a friend. Drivers side door stuck and wouldn’t shut. We threaded the seat belt through the inside door handle and she held onto it while we drove home. Every time we went round a bend it nearly cut me in half !! Things like that don’t happen these days. Much safer but not as much fun. (Don’t come at me with sad/angry comments please. It’s just fun. We all know it’s dangerous etc etc).

SueDonim Sun 18-Apr-21 18:07:07

Love these stories! Foxie48, yours reminds me of that Fawlty Towers when John Cleese berates his car with a branch from a tree. grin

My Dh had a Triumph Herald which could only be accessed via the boot as the doors both stopped opening. On one journey, the gear stick just came off in his hand. That was fun.

We had a Mini Cooper that used to burn more oil than petrol and an MGA to which you had to hold the passenger door closed. That car also leaked round the windscreen in the rain so I had to keep some rags for mopping up and wring them out of the window as we scooted along country lanes.

My brother’s first car was a Morris van which he handed-painted green. He carpeted it but in wet weather the carpets floated due to the holes in the floor. It had no windscreen washer so he used to open the window and squirt it with water from an old Fairy Liquid bottle. He used it to squirt it at pretty girls, too, to get their attention - he’d probably be locked up for that nowadays! 😳

It’s another world, isn’t it?

annodomini Sun 18-Apr-21 18:33:52

In Kenya, I had a Morris 1100, not the best vehicle for dirt roads and bashing around the bush. At one stage, it kept cutting out and the dealer told me the problem was a lead from the pump to the engine and a part was ordered from a supplier. It too so long that I decided to sort it out myself and put a piece of Elastoplast over the suspect lead. I had no more trouble and the spare part never appeared. The sticking plaster was still there a year later when I exchanged the car for a much more reliable VWBeetle 1300. On another occasion, the Morris's horn hooted every time I opened the driver's door. I took it upon myself to remove the fuse controlling the horn and drove down the the city to have it fixed. On the way, I was stopped by the police who made spot checks on road-worthiness and often asked to hear the horn. I was all ready to explain why my horn wouldn't work when they informed me that they weren't testing horns that day. Whew!

annodomini Sun 18-Apr-21 18:36:48

PS There are a few other stories about that car, but I won't take up any more space, except to say that all these took place in the 1960s when I was young and fit!

Urmstongran Sun 18-Apr-21 18:44:08

In 1964 my dad bought a Robin Reliant 3 wheeler (think Del Boy!) because he used to have a motorbike and didn’t need to pass another driving test to have one of these bone shakers. Oh my. My sister & I were both under 11y and the back seat was a board with a length of foam cushion. Rock hard but we were young and skinny so we didn’t notice any discomfort! And didn’t our little family of 4 feel stylish - no need any more to get 2 buses each way in the Old Trafford rain to visit our auntie and uncle in Oldham. Warm, dry and grateful - door to door. It was marvellous.

My dad always said ‘3rd class driving beats 1st class walking’. Whenever we passed another Robin Reliant the 2 drivers would give a thumbs up or flash the headlights if it was dark. Happy days!

annodomini Sun 18-Apr-21 18:46:24

Reading through these fantastic anecdotes inspires me to ask: When did MOT tests become compulsory?

Georgesgran Sun 18-Apr-21 18:49:41

My first car was a white Fiat 500 with ‘suicide’ doors. One night it was running out of petrol so my friend and I stopped at an unattended self service garage.
We put a £5 note in the pump - but the tank only held about £3 worth! We couldn’t stop the pump, so half the petrol ended up in the boot (in the front) and all over the garage forecourt. Loved my Riley Kestrel later - duck egg blue with cream leather upholstery and thick cream carpets - luxury!

Gannygangan Sun 18-Apr-21 18:51:18

My mother, somewhat eccentric, had a passion for Morris Travellers. We must have had 4 or 5 as I was growing up.

I was used to seeing a wooden toilet brush on the floor by her feet. I never actually asked what this was for. But recall her battling with the brush with what I assume was the break.

Obviously wasn't working properly.

I was surprised to learn that not everyone had one of these in their cars

Gannygangan Sun 18-Apr-21 18:53:33

Good grief. The brake, not break. What a dreadful error. Yes, brake. The hand brake.

dahlia Sun 18-Apr-21 19:00:54

We had an Austin 1100 which, although it looked smart outside, was falling into bits inside. The floor had holes in and if we drove over a puddle the front passenger had to lift her/his feet up in the air or get a soaking! To this day I have to resist the urge to lift my feet when I see a puddle on the road (not when I'm driving, of course!)

MamaCaz Sun 18-Apr-21 19:02:03

Where to start?

Before I knew him, OH had a car whose engine dropped out while he was driving it.

We had a car that had a hole in the roof, but there was also one in the floor, so they cancelled each other out.

Another blew up on the motorway - that's how it sounded, anyway, with a huge bang and loss of all engine power.

One was stolen by joyriders (can't think why they took an old banger when there were plenty of better cars around). The funny part was the reaction of a French guest we had at the time, when a policeman turned up at our nartowboat to say that it had been found in a field, and we offered him a glass of wine (Saturday evening). She was horrified by our offer, and totally speechless when he accepted (then drove OH to collect it)! grin.

I once locked the keys in that same car, and a lady in the supermarket car park with a similar model was bemused when I asked to borrow her keys and was able to unlock my car with them.

I think that was the same car that I once ran over someone's foot with too. blush

The next car leaked oil like mad. Partly because of that and partly because of the number plate, we soon nicknamed it the Exxon Valdez. It didn't last long - one end of the exhaust dropped to the road late one night when OH was driving the babysitter home, and it was beyond repair after that.

Another broke down on the motorway, then the recovery vehicle also broke down.

Oh, and going back to an earlier car, I can tell you that tights do not make a good replacement for a broken fan belt. Mine only got us about 50 yards before they were shredded!

All but one of our cars have been very old when bought, so I could go on ... .

I hate cars.

Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 21:01:38

Brilliant anecdotes. Thanks ladies. Gave me a laugh. Cars are a bit boring these days aren’t they 😂😂😂. Our kids won’t have such good stories to tell. I recall dad driving us to Cornwall from Yorkshire. We had an estate and he put a mattress in the back. My brother and I slept on it all the way down. For once I wasn’t car sick!! We always had loads of kids piled in the back in those days.

B9exchange Sun 18-Apr-21 21:23:23

My first car (excluding the two rustbucket A40 vans I bought my fiance) was a Ford Anglia - one of those with the back window slanted towards the front seats. I had only had it a few weeks and was driving into work down the North Circular Road when the accelerator got stuck down. I was frantically standing on the break trying not to hit the car in front. Then smoke started coming out of the bonnet. I managed to bump it onto the grass verge and tried to turn off the ignition, but it just kept going with the key out. I guessed it was only a matter of time before the flames engulfed it. I leapt out of the car and ran off to the underground station! When I returned in the evening, it was a blackened wreck.

B9exchange Sun 18-Apr-21 21:23:59

brake - so much for auto correct!

Kim19 Tue 20-Apr-21 01:58:00

Lived in a rather salubrious district. Date called to take me to dinner. On arriving outdoors I said jokingly 'would you look at what someone has parked in our street' and referred to an ancient black Rover opposite. Of course, I only wanted to curl up and die when discovering it was his! Have to confess, I've never ridden in a more comfortable vehicle before or since. Real leather bucket seats. Bliss.