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  • Writer's pictureBarrie Carter

Updated: May 23

Hi Folks

Sadly I'm in the bracket of an age of fettlers and drivers. In my day, we never used to restore. We made sure that the car we wanted was cheap to suit most of our pockets and reliable, but never looked for immaculate pristinely restored cars. We paid as little as possible, sometimes a few bob or a fiver and fettled them to be used as daily transport.

Only the rich had collections - an MGTC for example would have cost 50-100 quid and we'd use it until it broke. Then the scrap man would have it and we'd buy another.

Until recently these cars, costing around 30-40 thousand to fully restore, were changing hands for 20-30 thousand.

Now Covid and age has taken away us fettlers by the thousand so we have too many older cars and not enough drivers. The youngsters have no interest in cycle winged running boarded cars, sometimes with ony 3 gears, usually with having to double de-clutch.

They want the cars their fathers had - Capri's, MGB's, Fiesta's etc. Consequently, we now have an enormous glut of virtually unwanted vintage cars, which can be bought for a virtual pittance.

But things move on and fettlers are now gone.

Plugs, points and carbs are things of the past. Now we look for turbo's and fuel injection. So sad, an age has gone.

But maybe there might be a resurgence of young fettlers now these ancient but historic remnants of the past are becoming available at the corresponding prices that we paid for them oh so many years ago.

But all is not lost. down here in sleepy hollow we still restore, repair and service old cars, that we still love. Alan's Pre-War Jowetts, my MGTC, and Stella's MGTF are what we use. Unfortunately we have to keep with the times although continuing the adoration of historic machinery. I still buy the odd true vintage car.

But we service all sorts - MGB's, Citroens, Minis, Heralds and all of the 50's, 60's 70's and early 80's MGB's and that era. As long as it's got plugs, carburettors and points it's what we do.

I am now an Octogenarian with my own monogrammed hospital bed which I frequently visit - but bear in mind everybody that reads this you have what we all have - a permanent, incurable disease - that is so enjoyable.

Give Alan or me ( I'm sometimes in attendance) a ring on 01308868884 or 07885768830 and learn about our latest lock up lurking find. No longer barn finds but lock up lurkers!

And just as I finished this - look what happened!!! A pair of classic and vintage stricken lads, the one on the right being Charlie who has had restored his Talbot 105 Airline Coupe, Pebble Beach winner and he's only 28 - and his buddy Aaron, who absolutely adored our 50's unrestored workshops and cars so....youngsters are go!! KO?

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