Eric's Morris Minor one of the stars at Ipswich Transport Museum
PUBLISHED: 16:29 06 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:29 06 October 2018
As a teenager in the early 1960s Eric Mouser couldn't wait to get his first set of wheels - and took proud ownership of a 1930 Morris Minor.
It’s not what most people think of as a Morris Minor – it’s not a “jelly mould” as Mr Mouser describes it – but most closely related to the old Austin Seven.
He sold it on a few years later to an American serviceman who had planned to take it back home at the end of his tour at Bentwaters – but ended up selling it on to someone else who eventually moved it to the Isle of Mull off the west coast of Scotland.
But Mr Mouser never forgot his first car – and in the early 2000s tracked it down to its new home, bought it back and set about restoring it.
He had worked all over the world in the meantime, including Sri Lanka where he knew excellent upholstery fabric was made.
Over the next few years he spent a lot of time restoring the little car.
He said: “The fabric was used by upholsterers in Ipswich to restore the inside of the car and I’ve been using it again to get around.”
The car has now taken up residence in the Ipswich Transport Museum – and that will be its long-term home. Mr Mouser was a founder of the museum when he bought an old Ipswich Corporation bus which became its first exhibit.
Now based at the former Trolleybus depot in Cobham Road on the edge of the Priory Heath estate, the museum held its annual Classic Vehicle Day on Saturday – with Mr Mouser’s Morris one of the star exhibits.
It also included the museum’s three recent restorations, a 1938 Dennis Ace bus, 1965 Scammell Scarab lorry and 1954 Ford E pickup will be on display.
As well as seeing the vehicles on show, visitors were also able to take a ride on one of the historic buses which were travelling around some of Ipswich’s traditional routes.
The event always takes place at the start of October, and was moved to Saturday to avoid clashing with the Trinity Park bike show on the Sunday.
The weather was not kind to the organisers – but a good number of visitors turned out to see the vehicles on show and among the most popular exhibits was the Dennis Ace which should be back giving people rides in the new year for the first time since 1961 sometime early next year.