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My First Car: Riding the Vauxhall Cresta wave... in cloud of smoke

PUBLISHED: 14:18 18 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:18 18 June 2018

Trevor Lightening with his 1958 Vauxhall Cresta PA. Picture: Trevor Lightening

Trevor Lightening with his 1958 Vauxhall Cresta PA. Picture: Trevor Lightening

Trevor Lightening

Trevor Lightening kept his 1958 Vauxhall Cresta PA running smoothly, albeit rather smokily, with the help of shots of Redex.

Having passed my driving test in a small, noisy Simca 1100 in 1968, I was looking to buy a larger, smoother vehicle to travel in.

My mum’s friend was selling her 1958 Vauxhall Cresta PA model.It had a large six-cylinder engine, bench seats and a column gear change.I couldn’t refuse and purchased her for £35.

With a bit of welding and a set of points, she was ready for the road.

To keep her running smooth, when I filled up at the petrol station, I put in Redex, or ‘shots’ as they were known, at the pumps. My mate suggested it would help decoke the engine if Redex was put straight into the carburettor – this resulted in a huge smoke cloud from the exhaust! It cleared quickly, after revving the engine a few times, and we drove off with no problem.

Alas, after two years of more welding to get through MOT tests, the rust bug attacked again. But not before my wife Sheila and I had many trips out, including Brighton and Mousehold, Norwich, where the picture was taken.

My last memory is seeing her leading round the first lap at Great Yarmouth stock car track before being rammed in the side.

I still have the hub caps to remember her by!

Tell people about your first set of wheels – email your memories with a picture to or post it to Andy Russell, Archant motoring editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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