My first car was four years older than me!
It was a 1935 Austin 10 h.p. saloon which I bought from my late father-in-law in 1961.
He always said that it didn’t matter how old a car was “if it was a good one”, and he had in fact bought it to replace a late 40’s Ford which was developing problems.
The old Austin had a slight connection to Aberdeen Journals. My father-in-law, Harry Munro, was employed by the Journals for many years as a van driver, and was later angling correspondent writing a weekly column.
He had bought the car from a photographer who worked for the Journals. When I parted with the car I sold it to a mechanic who worked in the Aberdeen Journals garage.
The Austin was the first car I drove solo after passing my test. One day, my father- in-law bravely offered to lend it to me to go on an errand in town.
He always said that it didn’t matter how old a car was “if it was a good one”
I still remember how, for the first time, I felt relaxed and confident behind the wheel, and my enjoyment of driving began during that short journey.
In the A-Z of Cars of the 1930’s, Classic and Sports Car series of books, the authors describe the Austin 10 as “very, very reliable”.
I certainly don’t remember having any major problems with it during the year or so that I owned it. The bodywork, in dark blue and black, was in excellent condition.
The engine was reasonably quiet, and there were no little vibration noises from the interior trim or the solid wood fascia, which enclosed a speedometer and a clock which still kept good time.
In cold weather the two female passengers would sit in the back seats with travelling rugs and, on occasions, hot water bottles
The clutch was gentle and forgiving, which made the car very easy to drive; even a complete novice would be hard pushed to produce the “kangaroo petrol” effect.
One thing the car lacked was a heater. At weekends we sometimes took a couple of friends for a trip to the country, and in cold weather the two female passengers would sit in the back seats with travelling rugs and, on occasions, hot water bottles!
Car park attraction
At that time my wife and I were living in a small, top floor flat in Castle Street, overlooking the Castlegate.
There was nowhere to keep the car except for the public car park nearby. It certainly stood out from the crowd, and I quite often saw passers-by stopping to have a closer look at it.
I think I glimpsed a light-coloured example of the same model in a recent episode of All Creatures Great and Small on Channel 5, which reminded me of my early motoring days.
- Spence Rae is a Press and Journal reader.
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