A car fanatic has taken an extraordinary road trip to reunite his 90-year-old vintage Austin motor with all its previous owners – dead and alive.
Carl Slater, 53, bought the black 1933 Austin 10/4 saloon last February and became interested in the history of the classic motor, which appeared in the “Dad’s Army” film.
Using its log book, he managed to track down the previous owners of the car on Facebook and started organizing a road trip to visit them all.
After a year of planning, Carl left his home in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, England, to go and visit the spot in Oswestry, Shropshire where Elizabeth Morris bought the car in 1933.
While he was there, Carl and wife Seeta, 47, went and met Brian Denny – who worked at E.J.Gittins garage and had worked on the car in 1953.
He then visited Pen-y-cae cottage, which was nearby the garage, and was where Elizabeth lived before her death aged 69, in 1943.
Classic car collector, Carl said: “I managed to find out so much information – like that Elizabeth was an only child but she had cousins.
“It just kind of spiraled with people telling me information like where they lived before or where they were buried or what occupation they had.
“It’s mad so I just decided to go down and meet everyone.
“We met the current residents of Pen-y-cae cottage, Jill and Roger Newman and they made us so very welcome.”
The dad-of-five then traveled to the nearby Ty-Drawn film, where brothers Frederick and John would travel from to their local market to sell eggs there every Wednesday.
Carl even did the same route the brothers would have taken when they were traveling home from the market.
But he said he nearly didn’t get up the hill, and at one point thought the car had ‘deja vu’ of the journey.’
Carl said: “After a couple of hours, we headed off to Ty-Draw farm, a 45-minute drive into the hills.
“We wondered if the car was getting deja vu as we slogged our way up and down.
“It had been at least 80 years since it last made this journey.
“We tackled the hills at a slow and steady pace and only needed first gear once and I did think if the car had thoughts she would be saying, oh no, not again.”
Carl then visited Rupert Bevan, who owned the car in 1968 after passing his test.
Rupert said he was driving down to London and the car broke down on the A5 and that was the last time he saw the car after he left it on the side of the road.
But he was able to reunite with the vehicle and told Carl different stories about ‘mechanical mishaps’ the car got into.
Carl said: “Rupert was reunited with his old car.
“He told us stories of mechanical mishaps and his tangle with a cattle truck while running an errand for his mother, who we then went to meet.
“I’ll will never forget the look of surprise and joy on her face at seeing the old car again.”
Before Carl purchased the car last year, the car was featured in the 2016 Dad’s Army film which starred Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bill Nighty.
Carl said: “It was on set quite a lot apparently.
“It was in quite a few scenes and you can see the car when you’re watching the film.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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