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My First Car: Motoring to the MAX with some laughs on way

08:50 07 August 2015

Gill Rose with her shiny black Austin A30.

Gill Rose with her shiny black Austin A30.


Gill Rose couldn’t stop laughing when her husband was trapped under the bonnet of her Austin A30.

I had fond memories reading the ‘Old girl Pop’ feature as my husband’s first car was a Ford Popular in green – registration PXN 579.

I remember the windscreen wipers nearly stopped when going up hills, and we had quite a procedure getting it started. My husband used to start it with the starting handle and I had the job of controlling the choke – yes, I was allowed to – this was solved by holding choke out using a clothes peg!

We collected the car one evening after work, my husband had just passed his driving test. Having a high windscreen and low seats, we had to roll our coats up for him to sit on so he could see to drive.

Next was my car – an Austin A30, registration MAX 323 – in shiny black with a red interior.

On one occasion, as I was learning to drive, a loud rattle started under the bonnet. “Stop,” shouted my husband.

As he was looking at the engine the wind blew the lid down, leaving him trapped underneath – I could not stop laughing as I could only see his legs.

On another occasion, as I was passing a parked bus, I realised the engine was running but the car was not moving – the half shaft had broken. “Put your foot down,” shouts my husband (or words to that effect).

When running well, we had lots of holidays in it, including driving along the newly-opened M1, through London and on to Brighton. Not something we would do now. We are still married after 55 years.


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