Richard Barnett's been busy
buying cars along with Gwyn, his uvver 'arf,
as he reports.
Since I last put fingers to
keyboard there's been a lot happening in the
Barnett/Evans fleet, down here in West Wales.
The Volvo 164 has been sold on, as has a
Morris Ital from the early '80s (it was an
updated version of the Marina, as driven by
Lou Grant in the eponymous TV series).
However, all is not lost.
We have acquired what's said to be the oldest
right-hand drive 1932 Model B Ford, a 1982
Volvo 244DL that has covered a mere 38,000
from new - and a 1964 Vauxhall Viva HA van (or
sedan delivery to us across-the-pond
The van is used by the
'boss' for her gardening business. It's about
the oldest one left in the UK, hitting the
UK's roads way back when the Rolling Stones
and the Who were starting out.
While it's got a mere
1156cc engine, and doesn't exactly set the
tarmac alight, it does offer laugh-a-minute
driving fun. Gwyn says there are plenty of
older drivers who smile and wave when it's
trundling around the lanes, and a a show
recently plenty of people said how good it was
to see the little van doing what it was made
for - working.
Yes, it needs a bit of
tidying up, and we are looking to fit a
slightly larger engine (imagine a '60s Lotus
twincam) to boost its somewhat sedate pace,
but it's certainly got charm and character -
essentials for old car ownership.
Meanwhile the 244 is a
superb long-distance motor: the factory-fitted
sunroof is a real boon, and like it or not, we
do like the fact it's an automatic. We paid
very little for it, and the owner threw in
another, almost as good one for spares, so we
couldn't really go wrong.
And we still have our '82
Cortina. oh, and a '72 Viva saloon, that looks
like a little Pontiac (well, on a dark misty
night after a few beers!).
Other articles by Richard
Hello from Wales
Go Vintage 2
Richard Barnett turned
40 last year and says he's been interested in
cars since he was two years old, when he was
given his first model cars. He's worked with
motor cars all his life, having sold motor
books, run a motoring library, been a motoring
journalist, and had a stint in motoring pr.
He's now returned to motoring writing. Richard
is a member of London's Royal Automobile Club,
and is also a member of the Vintage Sports Car
Club, Historic Sports Car Club, Bugatti
Owners' Club, BMW Drivers' Club, Classic
Touring Car Racing Club, Ford Model A Club of
Great Britain, Goodwood Road Racing Club, Ace
Café Club, Society of Automotive Historians
and is a Friend of the National Motor Museum.
Richard lives in South Wales with his 'better
half' Gwyn, and has a BMW 316i, a Ford Cortina
2.0-litre and a Volvo 164. He also has an
extensive collection of motoring books and
enjoys historic motor racing, but only as a
spectator. He'd like to add his favourite car,
a Facel-Vega HK500, to his collection one day.