Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

My First Car: Big push on road trip to remember

PUBLISHED: 16:44 22 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:44 22 January 2016

Ken Lake and his mates resprayed his sickly red 1957 Mark 2 Ford Consul  light blue.

Ken Lake and his mates resprayed his sickly red 1957 Mark 2 Ford Consul light blue.

supplied

Ken Lake was glad his mates’ help respraying his Ford Consul and pushing it on their road trip reward.

My first car – registration 118 ENN – was a 1957 Mark 2 Ford Consul with a dubious recorded mileage.

I remember trading in my motorbike, a 500cc Royal Enfield, and handing over a small amount of cash to complete the purchase.

The car, like my trade-in motorbike, was well worn and came in a sickly red colour. So the first job was to rub it down and get it resprayed in light blue. The rub-down and respray was accomplished with the help of friends, on the promise of a road trip.

The new look to the Consul was completed with an additional radio aerial. Two were very fashionable in those days. It was never connected as the car didn’t have a radio, so it was purely cosmetic.

The promised road trip was to Land’s End. We got as far as Brighton on a busy Saturday afternoon and, as soon as I took my foot off the accelerator, the engine stalled. And the only way to start it again was for my mates to jump out and push the car to bump-start it. Then they had to jump back in before I roared off.

This really amused the crowds of shoppers and pedestrians. We pushed the car into a side street, dismantled the carburettor and replaced a loose jet. At that time, and with a car like that one, I carried enough tools and spares to complete a major overhaul.

I remember one incident somewhere on a minor road in Devon. We came to a steep hill, the likes of which we had never seen in Norfolk. It was just too steep for the Consul’s first gear of the three-speed gearbox and there wasn’t enough room to turn the car round and try it in reverse. So the three mates had to jump out again and push. We only just made it to the top.

After that, the car took us and our camping gear as far as Land’s End, and brought us almost all of the way back home again. As I turned into the top of my street in Fakenham there was a horrible grinding noise coming from the gearbox and it stopped working. The problem turned out to be the lay-shaft bearings, which I subsequently replaced. And then the car was on the road again.

Those were the days when you would spend all night repairing a car to get you to work the next morning. I kept that car for a couple of years and learned a lot about automobile engineering from the constant repairs.

Then I traded the Consul in for a different old banger, but that’s another story.

We want to hear the story of your first car – whether it was a classy classic or a more modern motor. Send your memories of the car with a picture of it to motoring@archant.co.uk

A top primary school in Martlesham Heath has been given Ofsted’s top rating of ‘outstanding’ in its latest inspection – the first time it achieved the benchmark rating in 50 years.

Women from Suffolk have described how their lives were rocked by “unfair” changes to pension laws.

Murray Park in Ipswich is set to get a trim trail as the latest measure to improve facilities.

A new road, which ran almost £5m over budget, faces fresh controversy after it emerged a council employee involved in the project also completed work for the road’s developers through his private company.

Two high-end cycles – worth £10,000 in total – were stolen after burglars broke into a garage in Elmsett, near Hadleigh.

Refugee and asylum seeking women living in Suffolk say getting to grips with the English language is one of the biggest challenges they face.

A damning dossier compiled by a senior whistleblower from the region’s ambulance trust has claimed at least 40 patients died or were harmed due to delays over Christmas and New Year - including one person who froze to death.

A century ago, in December 1917, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, one of the most famous residents of Aldeburgh, died, writes Dr Lucy Harvard.

A senior whistleblower within the region’s ambulance trust has claimed up to 80 people could have died or come to harm because of delays over the Christmas and New Year period.

A three-vehicle crash in Kesgrave this afternoon caused a road to be blocked for more than two hours.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24