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View Full Version : Rescuing "orphan" cars



Sherlock
08-10-2004, 12:04 AM
Some friends who I've written about here before I think (two brothers from Ireland), have a rather large collection of British saloons here in Calgary, most of them rescued from local scrapyards and/or acquired via "local sources"

This is their most recent acquisition, a 1960's Austin Cambridge. It showed up at a local scrapyard in decent shape, much better shape than a car that should go into a scrapyard. I went to take a look at it last weekend (before I knew they had purchased it) and thought it was in very good condition with not that much wrong with it, picture here...

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v155/jtworow/AustinCambridge1.jpg

And the other car they are currently "working" on, is a recently discovered 1957 Vauxhall Velox, the early PA version with three windows at the back, I have seen the preview screen on his digital camera of the pictures he took, another "orphan" British car in very good condition that they hope to purchase.

Unfortunately I missed the yard tour of their collection that our local club had scheduled yesterday due to something that came up at the last minute, among the cars that would have been out there... their Vauxhall collection (about five cars in total), 1961 Standard Vanguard wagon, 1950's Ford Consul (or maybe Zephyr?) Mk 1, a 1959 Ford Zephyr, a couple of Rover 2000TC's, some 1960's Jaguar saloons, a Triumph TR7 V6 (I'm told 78Z wanted to take that one home), and even a Renault R4 that I'm told a friend of mine from Ontario wants to purchase and drive home from here... (only 2,500 or so miles), or maybe that's another of their tall Irish tales /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Steve
08-10-2004, 01:09 AM
Well it certainly looks to be in reasonable shape. I wish that I could stumble on something again......finding unloved old cars is a lot of fun.

78Z
08-10-2004, 05:41 PM
They definitly have a pile of neat stuff there. I bought my Scimitar off them but its yet to make it home.

What can I say I'm a sucker for FHC TR7s - I just don't care all that much for the stock motor.

Sherlock
08-10-2004, 11:08 PM
And then...

The scrapyard went and sold the car behind their back to someone else over the weekend! They are a little peeved about it, Clem had wanted to put the deposit on it Friday but the yard said not to worry (verbal agreement), he called Monday and found out it had been sold!

I'm not sure what sports car the engine could donate itself to (I hope not...), nice survivors like this Cambridge need to be preserved, I'm hoping that this Cambridge has gotten to a sympathetic owner.

There's still the Vauxhall Velox they can nab (and it's not in a scrapyard), or maybe that 1959 Velox at the scrapyard in Lethbridge I saw a couple of weeks ago (if it's still there and for sale).

tony barnhill
08-11-2004, 12:09 AM
There's a Cambridge in a little junk yard over in western Alabama...would be an easy restoration....its the one that the last Magnette was badge-bodged from

rovernut
08-11-2004, 04:26 PM
Quickly and i know it will ruffle some feathers but most of these car should not be rescued being that they were terrible cars in the first place and with age can only be worse........As with most any car one should look for reliability, performance, parts availability and drivability......Why rescue a pile of scrap just because it is rare.........cost of restoration to daily driver status is far more than what will ever be returned from the car either in resale value or sheer driving fun.......Think before you buy........How will it drive in 2004........not back in 1960.......Can it maintain a reasonable speed and stop within a reasonable distance without killing someone or yourself..........Some cars are orphans yet great cars, but some are not worth saving /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/canpatriot.GIF /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif

Super 7
08-11-2004, 04:37 PM
Is that your 2002 Sherlock?
I had a '73 2002 red with a sudroof. I would still have it if it had not been stolen and wrecked, too. I bought it in Panhandle Texas in '77, and it was wrecked in '84. It needed a top end when it was wrecked, with only 90 some thousand miles on it. I had already had the rear end and transmission replaced/rebuilt respectively by then. Not at all reliable/durable by the standards of my Cortina in my personal experience. I really liked it though. So light and supple to drive. Light years more refined than the Cort.

Sherlock
08-11-2004, 07:57 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Super 7 said: Is that your 2002 Sherlock?


[/ QUOTE ]

No... I only wish!

I've decided to include a sample picture (down-sized) - taken from one of my Webshots albums - in my profile on here. For some reason the word "sample picture" puts me over the maximum number of characters allowed in the signature /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Steve
08-12-2004, 01:17 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Quickly and i know it will ruffle some feathers but most of these car should not be rescued being that they were terrible cars in the first place and with age can only be worse........As with most any car one should look for reliability, performance, parts availability and drivability......Why rescue a pile of scrap just because it is rare.........cost of restoration to daily driver status is far more than what will ever be returned from the car either in resale value or sheer driving fun.......Think before you buy........How will it drive in 2004........not back in 1960.......Can it maintain a reasonable speed and stop within a reasonable distance without killing someone or yourself..........Some cars are orphans yet great cars, but some are not worth saving /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/canpatriot.GIF /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

I think that every vehicle, good bad or indifferent, should have at least a few surviving examples. If a car is rare, then maybe it should be preserved, if there is someone willing to take it on. If there are still large numbers of a particular vehicle still driving around then there is no need to worry, but if they are as rare as hens' teeth, then shouldn't some of them be preserved? If only to be able to pont at them and say "See these? They are awful, don't ever make anything like them again". /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

You do have a valid point, however where do you draw the line? The Austin Allegro was dreadful, but even these have their devotees, likewise the Marina and the Hillman Avenger. I think that the world would be a sadder place without them. Let's face it, if you see a well-documented lemon driving down the street wouldn't it make you smile and wonder who in his right mind would want one of those? Anything that causes a smile has to be worth it. Everyone wants to preserve the excellent.......maybe it's a good thing that some want to preserve the dreadful?

Trevor Triumph
08-12-2004, 02:26 AM
I agree that safety is an important thing to consider. Our Austin taxi is quite a handful at times with bias ply tires, drum brakes, and thirty- five horsepower. On the other hand, it is our car and we enjoy the clatter of the diesel and the smiles the car earns. Besides, my wife is OK with the putting money into the car. After all, we bought it to drive, not as an investment. T.T.

screenprinter
08-12-2004, 10:02 AM
I know a guy here in Greensboro who's an SCCA nut who races YUGOS!! possibly the worst auto ever produced ( In my opinion ) and yet this guy not only loves and races them, but wins!

go figure!!!

Super 7
08-12-2004, 01:56 PM
I always kind of liked Fiat 128's.

rovernut
08-12-2004, 05:52 PM
I knew it would get a reaction.........Of course if cars are that rare they should try to be saved but i just meant not to throw buckets of money and time into fixing up something really undesirable...But yes Trevor.......It is your passion and i forgot to include in the thread........THE SMILE FACTOR.......I drive my 48 Rover and while it can go 85 MPH. ...i wouldn,t feel safe with the brakes at anything over city speed...........HOWEVER, everywhere you go it gets big smiles from everyone ,including me.........

screenprinter
08-12-2004, 05:57 PM
Oh Yeah....My second car ( back in 1965 ) was a well used ( and abused ) Hillman Husky - Absolutely the most fun little car but sorta poorly made - I never had a cigarette butt in the ashtray because I'd drop em' through the holes in the floorpan.

Although I never threw a lot of money at it I was sad when she finally sucked a valve - That's when I drew the line.

I don''t think I've ever seen another one - Anybody familiar with these?

Steve
08-12-2004, 08:09 PM
Yes, I remember the Hillman Husky.....I always liked the look of them, but I never actually got to ride in one.