A hol­i­day on the So­lent coast with sun, sand and Half­way to Par­adise on the tran­sis­tor ra­dio

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Clasic Cars For Sale -

To this day Hayling Is­land re­mains a pop­u­lar hol­i­day re­sort and back in 1961, many vis­i­tors will have taken the Hayling Billy branch line from Ha­vant that’s now but a dis­tant mem­ory – thank you, Dr Beech­ing.

How­ever, judg­ing by this shot of a con­gested Creek Road, many grock­les are now ar­riv­ing by car. On the right of the frame, the own­ers of that Mor­ris Eight Se­ries 1 (note the spoked wheels) have clearly suc­cumbed to the lure of 4/6d worth of Mick’s finest cod and chips. Mov­ing to­wards the seafront, a Ford Thames 300E van is parked on the fore­court of Eas­toke Garage where one of the me­chan­ics seems to be at­tend­ing to an Austin Seven New Ruby. To its right is a fel­low Long­bridge prod­uct, a ‘Coun­ties’ Austin in the for­mi­da­ble guise of an A70 Here­ford with those flow­ing Dick Burzi-styled wings. At the pumps, a Nuffield Ox­ford taxi is be­ing filled with Na­tional Ben­zole for that es­sen­tial ‘Mileage Bonus’.

Yet another Austin, this time an A50 Cam­bridge, is ap­par­ently await­ing a ser­vice and a Hill­man Minx – a Phase V, judg­ing by its tail lamps and rear stone guards – nar­rowly avoids an oval rear screen Volk­swa­gen Bee­tle. The Rootes car was re­li­able trans­port for count­less mo­torists, although that pair of slightly Teddy Boy look­ing gen­tle­men would not have been im­pressed by its 67mph top speed. As for the VW, the mar­que had been es­tab­lished in the UK for eight years when this pic­ture was taken, and it was one of the few over­seas­built cars that would have been a fa­mil­iar sight. Mean­while, an Austin 16 and a Stan­dard Com­pan­ion (one of the few small five-door es­tate cars of this era) sand­wich a group of would be Ton-Up Boys, all prob­a­bly dream­ing of out­run­ning one of those new London Met Daim­ler ‘Darts’ on the North Cir­cu­lar. They might also have had ideas of be­com­ing the next Mar­lon Brando, even though The Wild One would be banned in the UK un­til 1967.

In­side Mary’s Pantry, the Austin and the Stan­dard own­ers are meeting for tea, scones and a gen­eral grum­ble about how the end of Na­tional Ser­vice would bring ruin to Bri­tain.

Next, lured by of­fers of Lyons cakes and ‘ home cooked’ gam­mon, we cross the road to en­counter an Austin A40 Som­er­set with a very jaunty ex­ter­nal sun vi­sor and a Mor­ris LD van, a form of mo­tor­ing life that would de­liver Won­der­loaf un­til well into the 1970s.

The Ford 100E parked fur­ther along the street is a pre-1957 Anglia, be­fore we en­counter yet more Austins. The tail­fins of the A55 Cam­bridge MkII bring a dis­creet touch of Amer­i­cana to the scene, while what looks like a Ten Col­wyn Cabri­o­let may well have been the first car for one of the younger is­lan­ders. The ‘Sit Up and Beg’ Ford Pop­u­lar 103E looks al­most as ven­er­a­ble yet it would have only been out of pro­duc­tion for two years and

could that pan­tech­ni­con be based on a W- Se­ries Bed­ford?

Ap­proach­ing the beach, we have an ar­ray of ve­hi­cles so ut­terly splen­did that they could have emerged from the pages of The La­dy­bird Book of

Mo­tor Cars, in­clud­ing a Bed­ford J-se­ries lorry, a Ford Anglia 105E and a Wolse­ley 6/80. Another A40 Som­er­set and a Mini head for the seafront while a Ford Pre­fect E493A is mak­ing for home, laden with buck­ets, spades and post­card re­minders of their va­ca­tion, driv­ing past a Stan­dard At­las, a Hill­man Minx Se­ries III and a Bed­ford CA.

Such cars and com­mer­cials would have all been as much part of ev­ery­day life as lis­ten­ing to the BBC Home Ser­vice or watch­ing that ex­cit­ing new drama Coronation

Street. The ve­hi­cles are part of a land­scape so re­mote from 2017 as to be ut­terly fas­ci­nat­ing.

That Bed­ford CA is rest­ing next to an em­po­rium proudly of­fer­ing ‘Self Ser­vice’. Back in the early 1960s be­ing at­tended to by a shop-coated as­sis­tant was still the norm in many areas and con­sumers re­garded su­per­mar­kets as fur­ther ev­i­dence of de­clin­ing stan­dards.

How­ever, one sign of the chang­ing times is that Mini and another is the MoT logo dis­played on Eas­toke Garage. ‘The Ten Year Test’, as it was then known, was in­tro­duced in Septem­ber of the pre­vi­ous year but by the end of 1961 this would be re­duced to cars aged at least seven years, prompt­ing many let­ters from an­gry mo­torists to the na­tional or­gans of the time.

Alas, some of the pre-war cars here would be scrapped by the end of the decade but, for now, they com­plete a scene that only needs Del Shan­non’s Run­away or John Ley­ton’s Johnny

Re­mem­ber Me to make it com­plete.

This is just what the yanks want, rea­soned the austin Mo­tor co as it chased Us sales. Turned out the Ja­panese were keener – for ckDs. Bee­tles were quite com­mon in 1961 – but even so, own­ers used to smile and wave at each other. This old habit prob­a­bly ex­plains the strength of to­day’s Vw clubs. The Mor­ris lD van was the per­fect two-man de­liv­ery mule for town and coun­try. There’s a lot more than fresh bread and cakes in this one. we can’t see the plate clearly, but there’s prob­a­bly a taxi driver’s hol­i­day go­ing on here with the Nuffield, fill­ing up af­ter a long, slow slog down the con­gested a3. it’s dif­fi­cult to say what colours were cho­sen for this 300e’s fin­ish, but we sus­pect cream on top and jaunty brown from the waist down. lit­tle amer­ica vw wave fresh de­liv­ery darn sarf two-tone thames

The suit­cases are in the B&B, mum’s buy­ing fish and chips, and the rest of the fam­ily’s in Hodgson’s – buy­ing li­los and other es­sen­tials to load on to the Eight’s roofrack. RACK ’EM UP

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