Gransnet forums

Chat

Old cars we knew - funny stories

(39 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).

Kim19 Sun 18-Apr-21 08:59:29

We once had an old banger - some kind of Triumph - that got stuck in second gear on a journey home from holiday. Made it all the way from Darlington to Edinburgh. Don't ask me how. My husband was the mechanic. I just quietly prayed. LONG trip and certainly memorable!!

EllanVannin Sun 18-Apr-21 09:05:09

Gone are the days when you saw the exhaust had dropped and was dragging along the road grin Or held up with wire.

I can remember my dad breaking the window-winder and was left holding the handle of it as he drove along. He'd said it was a bit draughty so started to wind it up---needless to say it was draughtier than ever as well as there just being enough room to do his hand signals grin

Greyduster Sun 18-Apr-21 09:05:32

Our first car was an old mini that we bought when DH was serving in Belgium, where DH passed he driving test. Our first long outing was a trip to Antwerp Zoo, but the rear subframe broke on the way and we had to limp home. During our next posting to Northern Ireland, a collision with a huge seagull broke a headlamp, there was a rust hole in the floor panel where water came up off the road and left you paddling, and someone shot a hole in it (I kid you not) which just missed the petrol tank. Fortunately it also missed, by a whisker, the man they were aiming at! For all it's misfortunes, it was a good little car that never let us down mechanically and we covered a heck of a lot of miles in it with all our kit and caboodle and two small children stuffed in the back! Amazing what you could fit into a mini!

EllanVannin Sun 18-Apr-21 09:07:50

I can remember that the car was a Standard Vanguard and was a mushroom colour.

Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:13:33

Oh the days when you could see the road through the floor! 😂😂😂

Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:16:54

Actually a slightly more recent one - 2002ish - had a Peugeot with hydraulic suspension. It failed while we were in France. But altho it was a French car they wouldn’t fix it. We drove home to north England in what I can only describe as a bouncy castle. It wallowed and bounced all the way. We were all car sick. Lovely.

Santana Sun 18-Apr-21 09:19:37

My first car was a Hillman Imp which was a dud from the start.
The worst occasion was on a freezing night when we all turned out from an evening 'do' most the worst for wear after a few drinks.
Car wouldn't start of course, as usual, so everyone pushed it to bump start it. Within minutes, huge clouds of smoke came out from underneath and we all hid behind a hedge awaiting the explosion. Petrol dripping on the exhaust apparently.

nanna8 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:23:11

I learnt to drive on a really old bomb - a Holden premier estate. It was huge and long and I figured if I had a prang the long body would offer protection. It cost $500 in 1975. The first time I went out alone at night it just stopped and so I knocked at the nearest house and asked if I could use their phone- no mobiles then. Luckily my husband was home and came armed with jumper leads to get it going. These days I would think twice about knocking on some stranger’s door at night. Innocent days then.

Auntieflo Sun 18-Apr-21 09:24:28

My dad came home one day with an Armstrong Siddley, so in we all got for a drive around.
We got to the top of our road, and bang, the rear half shaft, or some such, had broken, and that was the end of our outing.
(He probably bought it because his name was Sid, and mum called him Siddley)

One of our early cars was an Austin Allegro, that had a gear box like stirring porridge, when selecting a gear.

Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:25:03

I remember a girl who used to buy a car for £50. Run it til it dropped. Get £20 from the scrapper and go again. She drove some radical cars!!

Grannybags Sun 18-Apr-21 09:25:36

My first car, bought when I was 17, was a Morris Minor convertible. Bought for £25 I had only had it for 3 weeks when I was in an accident (entirely my fault...) Luckily my brother was a mechanic and replaced damaged wings etc and I chose to have it resprayed in bright yellow!

I sold it for £45 - the only car I have ever made a profit on!

Susiewong65 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:25:41

Remember the days when cars had vinyl seats ?

I remember us all getting into the family car on a hot day and the vinyl would be blistering hot to sit on, not to mention the smell, which I’m sure was probably really toxic.

Most girls and women wore dresses or skirts in those days and the hot, sticky vinyl melting onto the back of your legs was excruciating!!

I also remember my Dad putting silver foil on the front of the car radiator in Winter time. I seem to remember seeing a lot of silver foiled radiators!

Shropshirelass Sun 18-Apr-21 09:27:56

Yes, I had an old mini, I loved it. It could be temperamental to start and I could take the key out of the ignition without turning the engine off! I used to go to the local shop, take the key out, lock it up, do my shopping and go back to it with the engine still running!! It also had a starter button with a rubber cap on the floor. Later when I had a puppy he came shopping with me and waited in the car, he always removed the rubber cover off the starter button!

Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:49:56

Also remember no synchromesh on first gear! It was a challenge on hills 👍

Elegran Sun 18-Apr-21 09:53:18

In the sixties we went to the South of France with two friends and a tent, in a clapped-out old banger. Going over the Alps it seized up completely and billowed steam. Luckily it was downhill to the nearest village, so we coasted down and into a garage, where a hole was found in the radiator. The marvellous mechanic fixed it.
DH, as he was to become, was a bit of an electrical engineer, so he had connected up his electric razor in the front passenger glove compartment, to use while the engine was running. Oncoming drivers were treated to the sight of what they thought was the driver peering into a mirror and shaving while the car sped along the road. There were some horrified Frenchmen!

Jaxjacky Sun 18-Apr-21 09:54:46

Mid 70’s a Riley Elf with rusted hinges on the drivers door so it dropped to the ground when opened. Manageable until I got stopped for a rear light out, then it was embarrassing in front of the policeman. And, I think it was a cortina with broken wipers, we both had string tied to them through the side windows when it hurled with rain, very naughty. Polarbear2 my DH used to do that in Belfast, cars were often close to the edge of legal. As the powers that be were ever so slightly busy with other goings on the chances of getting booked were rare.

Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:57:50

Laughing lots at the image of string on wipers ! Brilliant 😂😂

Witzend Sun 18-Apr-21 09:59:53

Not mine - my mother’s first car was an old Mini. When it finally gave up the ghost, it was left on the drive for a while until they got around to getting someone to take it for scrap.

Meanwhile, one of those little rear windows on very old Minis had been left sufficiently open for a robin to investigate and think, ‘Wow - great place for my nest!’

So it was a few more months before the poor old Mini finally went to its resting place.

My first car was an old Mini, too.
I once drove it to a granny’s house 60 odd miles away, where it promptly landed me with a flat tyre, and I hadn’t a clue how to change the wheel.

My mother said, ‘Ring the AA.’
‘But I’m not a member!’
‘Tell them that if they come, you’ll join.’
So I did, and they did. 😂

foxie48 Sun 18-Apr-21 10:18:21

My first car was a Morris Minor with an electrical petrol pump which often stopped working so I'd grind to a halt. I carried a heavy stick in the car with which to give the pump a sharp tap to get it started. I stopped at a busy roundabout in the morning rush hour and got some very strange looks when I leapt out, opened the bonnet and seemingly hit the engine until I could hear the pump tick then drive away! Although I can never remember the reg numbers of later cars, I can remember this, 4333 RE.

Gwenisgreat1 Sun 18-Apr-21 10:35:42

We had just finished our honeymoon up in FortWilliam and driving to our new home in Wokingham. We got to a roundabout outside Watford (as of Gap) when the exhaust dropped with a clatter. We stopped, I quickly got my honeymoon silk scarf and tied the exhaust back up. The traffic around obviously thought we had chosen to park in the middle of the roundabout and were hooting at us!!

Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 10:52:35

foxie48 that reminds me of a very daft thing I did. Peugeot mentioned earlier had a headlight which dropped out now and again. I used to get out and bash it back in. I was driving down a road when a policeman in a yellow jacket appeared at the side of the road with his hand up. I stopped, ran round the front of the car, hit the headlight, turned and shouted “it’s ok I thought it had fallen off again”, got back in the car and drove off. I later realised he was looking for speeding cars!!! He looked utterly stunned. Poor man 😂😂😂

Hellogirl1 Sun 18-Apr-21 16:11:59

Our first car was an old Hillman Minx estate. One day, whilst a long way from home, it started making a racket, hubby said the big end had gone, so he slowed down a lot to try and reduce the noise. Then we got a puncture, by the time we got home the car was making a hell of a row, and there was no tyre left, just the metal wheel. The car didn`t last too long after that!

kittylester Sun 18-Apr-21 16:40:33

My first car was a Citroen Diane which wouldnt start in 1st gear but would in 2nd if you revved hard enough.

Nandalot Sun 18-Apr-21 17:20:40

In the sixties, three of us went to Spain in a three wheeled bubble car! Yes, three of us! The whole of the front opened and we all sat along the front seat with the little space behind full of our clothes. On the way back, one of the wheels fell off! We were very lucky that it happened on the way back as we were travelling along a wide road whereas on the way there we had followed the coast road for the Costa Brava which was quite narrow and perilous.
This story’s claim to fame is that it was read out on the radio show ‘Home Truths’. A bit touched with sadness really as it was the week following the death of the lovely John Peel.