Readers Rides. To add a bit of interest to our website I thought members may like to write a short article /potted history of their Classic vehicle which I would be happy to photograph and then this could be put on the website under “Readers Rides” as a pilot here is my effort . I took these shots of my Mercedes 350 SL for a World wide Mercedes photographic competition a few days ago and thought I would share them with you along with a few words about the car. I bought the car from a fellow member of the club last year who in turn purchased the car from one of the first members of the club, a surgeon who had the car in London from new in 1975. Approx 10 yrs later he brought the car to Cyprus where it has remained ever since . When I got the car it needed a quite a bit of work doing as it had been stood in a garage for some time, The removable hard top was not the same colour as the body and the rear screen looked like it had been fitted with a can opener and a lump hammer, the V8 engine ran like a “dog” and had clonking noises every time you drove over a bump in the road .Why did I buy this car ? I always wanted one - Heart ruled Head. So lots to sort out, fortunately, because it had spent the last 30 years here in Cyprus, there was little or no rust problems unlike the ones in the U.K that suffer badly with the tin worm. Most of the work has now been done with painting, tuning, new shockers all round, refurbished seat bases, plus a box full of new parts etc., the joys of classic car ownership I guess. The car runs well now and is a pleasure to drive but as we all know there is always a garage bill around the corner. If you would like to submit an article about your vehicle let me know or send it to Wendy to be included on the club website. Regards . Ian Frith.
Mercedes 230 (type W123), auto. Uk reg. 1981; Cyprus reg 1989 as WD401
About 3 years ago I got the 'itch' to have a classic car. Trying to find one in 'good' condition on the island proved a very difficult task - saw plenty of 'dogs'. To cut a long story short, in March 2016, I found a dusty 'WD 40' (get it?) stored in the basement of a Nicosia garage which sells expensive Porsche/Ferrari/BMW/Mercedes. No service history of course! 112,400 mileswere on the clock, central locking is work in progress, the steering wheel was not 'shiny' so was an indicator that the mileage was accurate. The good news was the body/chassis was sound, the interior upholstery/trim was in good condition, the engine started and the gearbox was smooth. The engine oil and gearbox fluid were very clean - a good sign. The story goes that the car belonged to a bank manager and had been laid up for 4 or 5 years. It has had a same colour respray in the past and the window/door rubbers have been replaced. The deal clincher was that it had working a/c! It made the drive back from Nicosia to Paphos, so that was a good sign too. As there was no service history, she had to be recommissioned, which entailed new coolant, brake and fuel hoses. The brake and coolant fluids had to be seen to be believed, they were in a terrible condition! A full service of course. Laid up for most of 2017 because of a house move. In 2018, a/c relays replaced, steering arms replaced, four wheel alignment done, prop shaft couplings replaced, engine tune and a (brand new) replacement period Blaupunkt radio cassette have been fitted. Things to do are repad the passenger seat, replace two of the three exhaust boxes whose baffles have failed and respray the drivers door which has been bodged in the past (doesn't show in the photo). I hope the above details are useful to anyone considering buying a classic car that does not have service history, as there will almost certainly be work and costs to factor in.
Patrick and Geraldine Acarnley
MGB Roadster 1963
In 2001, my father phoned me to advise me of his new purchase: an MGB Roadster from a local MG restorer based in Kirkcaldy, Scotland where I too was living on the South West Coast of Scotland. It would be the first off of the production line with a pull handle door.
She had a name before I even laid eyes on her; her white body still wearing through the years of being in the American sun, having moved there on her birth in 1963. We were led to believe she wouldn't return to the UK shores until some years later where on her return, she found herself in a completely different climate, cold and very wet at times. Named after my father John and his wife Helen, “Johel” as she came to be known, proved to be a loved member of the family, a love affair which continued by myself after my father became ill and priorities changed for him.
I had moved to Cyprus in 2007 having spent some time in the retail trade and made a return journey to Scotland to catch up with one of my sons and my father. “Johel" had been laid up for 2 years at my dads garage; the pine needles from the tree next door had at this stage manage to decorate the old cover over the car and the dust had sugar iced into parts of the interior.
I had said to my dad whilst I was staying, I'd roll the car out and give it a wash and have look to see if we could get it started with a change of spark plugs, a new battery and a tap on the petrol pump from a small hammer which my dad keeps under the drivers seat ,but to no avail. I washed it anyway, which was my first true encounter, and with me living some distance away from my father, had never driven the car and very rarely even been a passenger. However I began to see why my dad had fallen for the curves and shapes. I didn't realise it at the time but I think she worked her magic on me also.
I'm trying to conclude the above information on a happy ending and I suppose the fact that my father is sitting across from me on the sofa watching his addiction of the 6 O'clock news after flying out from Scotland for his yearly visit, worrying about the Brexit and how it will affect his traveling to Cyprus I sit here writing the above and wondering if Johel will be dry under the stars of the Cypriot sky. Andrew and Morag Carrington-Porter
Triumph Spitfire 1500
This car is a 1973 mode and was purchased in Nicosia in 2016. It has had some restoration work and a respray. You may have seen this car as it was used in a TV commercial in Cyprus for KEO beer. Its only outings now are car club run-outs and sundowners on the beach Tony and Janet Singleton
MGB Roadster 1971
The car now registered 830 A, was originally registered in the UK on the 23rd June 1971 as VFJ 28J. It arrived in Cyprus in October 2016 from Dubai where it was briefly registered as an historic vehicle on plate no. 1624. The car has been owned by Trish since 17 May 1992. Manufactured in Abingdon in the UK in August 1970, it was one of five MGBs delivered and registered to premier motors of Southgate, London. The plan had been to sponsor 3 pf the cars for the 1971 rally and hill climb season, holding back as spares. During the winter of 1970, modifications were made to all of the cars to allow them to pass competition scrutineering. Probably due to the economic decline of the 1970's, the project was put on hold, and then cancelled early early in 1971. The cars were sold as dealer "specials", later that year. The car changed hands nine times between 1971 and 1992. Full restoration took place in 2002. The car displaces 1997 cc, produces 122 bhp, and has a moss close ratio gearbox overdrive.The brake and suspension system are significantly different from a standard production MGB. Substantial difficulties were experienced during the restoration as many of the 1970 modifications featured were no longer available and some substitutions had to be made. Since its restoration, the car has been registered in three countries and covered only 10,000 miles and remains in very good condition. Don and Trish Sainsbury
THE STORY OF HENRIETTA We decided to have a "fun" car in Cyprus & ultimately decided on a Nissan Figaro. As readers probably know, these were only manufactured in limited numbers in 1991 and there are not that many still running. In fact, there was an original production run of 8,000 cars, with a further 12,000 later in the year. They were built solely for the Japanese market and 100,000 potential customers entered into a lottery to purchase. Only 4 colours were offered to coincide with the 4 seasons .and made in the following quantities:
Lapis Grey Winter 6,000 Emerald Green Spring 6,000 Pale Aqua Summer 6, 000 Topaz Mist Autumn 2,000
We could not locate one for sale in Cyprus & had all but agreed to purchase a fully refurbished specimen(from the Figaro Shop - highly recommended) & import into Cyprus.
We visited Cyprus the next week &,much to our surprise, we passed a garage in Paphos with a totally refurbished Figaro for sale on the forecourt & on an impulse buy, purchased there & then ,having had the car checked. We have been delighted ever since & Kassandra has named her "Henrietta" after her Scottish grandmother.
Henrietta is virtually completely original, except for "modern" alloy wheels but, as we cannot get the originals in Cyprus, we are resigned over the proper ones from the UK. It is good that our car is in one of the original colours(green with ivory leather) & not resprayed some awful shade of pink or whatever. She is not the fastest girl in town but has quite a few items of standard equipment eg 2 + 2 format,,leather interior,auto,p/s,aircon,convertible (sadly rather archaic),reversing alarm sensors etc.
We look forward to seeing you all soon Kassandra & Michael Reeve
John Raine’s 1937 MG SA saloon was one of the oldest cars to be displayed at the 2016 Paphos Harbour Classic Vehicle Display and won the coveted “Car of the Show” trophy as a result of the public vote.
Launched at the 1935 London Motor Show, the SA Sports Saloon was the first of the cars in the MG "SVW" family incorporating the SA (2 litre), VA (1.5 litre) and WA (2.6 litre) models manufactured from October 1935 to late 1939. 1945 SA saloons were made, of which about 10% are known to have survived today. The saloon is 4.92 metres long and weighs 1511kg. The straight six 2.3 litre engine is fitted with twin SU carburettors and a “wet” cork clutch running in a bath of oil.
This car was originally supplied in England by Dewsbury Garage, Yorkshire on 10th November 1937. It was purchased by the previous owner for £140 in 1951 and remained in his ownership until April 2015. The car was completely restored in 2000-2001, since when it is reported to have covered only 4000 miles until it was bought by the present owner and imported to Cyprus in June 2015. Driving it in Cyprus wasn’t as straightforward as hoped as the engine overheated and the clutch failed on the first club run. So a lot of work followed, including a re-cored radiator, new shock absorbers, re-tensioned leaf springs, alternative fan, new clutch, improved lighting and electric power steering, all done at Chris Garage in Geroskipou. And, as most British cars of the period leaked even when they were new, lots of seals and gaskets were replaced. While some further work remains to be done during the winter of 2016-17, the car is now in very good condition and drives as well as a large old saloon can be expected to.
And Pip Brown writes about his Land Rover:
JMW 692 aka 164 A Chassis number 36103232
Milley went down the production line and emerged on 9th March 1953 She then went to Haskins Garage Wroughton Wiltshire on the 20th March and sold to Herbert L Sainsbury, Manor Farm, Castle Eaton, Swindon, Wiltshire
and registered 17/4/53. There was no more history until it appeared in the local Free ads newspaper on 13/12/2000 for the princely sum of £300 .I travelled up to Mill Farm (now you know where the name came from ) Bratton Fleming near Barnstaple,Devon.to view the vehicle and was greeted by the sight of a Landie in a dark dingy barn up to her axles in 23 years worth of good old muck!!!! And this object was offered for restoration!! I managed to borrow a trailer and travelled up with a friend to dig this thing out. On getting Her in the daylight i thought I had really overdone it this time. I would like to point out that I had just finished doing up a Series 3 Land-Rover which had only taken me 18 months and that had included a full engine re-build along with a gearbox re-build and chassis re-weld. Milley was a bit of a mess with the wrong type of engine which had to be removed rather quickly(and put in the skip) as the offside engine mount was about to collapse due to the dreaded tinworm. Saying that it was the only welding I had to do on the chassis. To make the engine fit a large hole had been cut in the bonnet to facilitate the fitting of the air cleaner. Not a pretty sight!! With the aid of The Land-[Rover Series One Club I was able to retrieve the original number plate. I do not think I could do it now as I had no documentation to link my chassis number to that registration number. It was painted on the tailgate but that was all I had. I had to provide the DVLA with a photograph as part of the documentation. So how do you do that in a vehicle in a few hundred pieces, I tell you how. You put all the wings on with vise grips and lean the wheels up to the hubs in the wheel arch and then you take the picture,and I got away with it. Milly was finally re-united with her original number plate on 21/06/02. An engine was found after 3 years of searching, under the workbench of an Agricultural Engineers in Devon and all I did was take the sump of to check the big ends and mains. I did however get the carburetor professionally refurbished. Had a lot of trouble starting it as it wanted to chew up points until someone pointed out that it was ballasted coil. The other thing I had a problem with was trying to get the dynamo to charge. It took an electrician friend 30 secs to clean the points in the regulator, which had got dirty having stood so long!! I dragged the wife around the country to numerous Auto Jumbles and such like looking for various bits that had gone missing over the years, the main complaint being that it was always Her that ended up carrying rusty bits of metal back to the car whilst I was off searching for more. You cannot please all the people all the time can you. I would like to say at this point that one of the reasons for me finishing this project was Eastenders. It no sooner appeared than i was down the garage/ play-pen never to appear until when bed time arrived. It was a bit of a panic when we made up our minds to move to Cyprus. By the time it went into the container to come out here the furthest I had ever driven her was to the container depot for onward shipping. Even after being here ten years there is still lots of tinkering to do. Changing the camshaft and followers being just one of the things on the to do list. In reply to the question as to whether or not I would do another restoration the answer is that you are too late. I was fortunate to be given another Series 1 called Alex. This one was a 1949 model chassis No R061-04165 registration AV 817. This one has some interesting history in that it went out to Kenya on the government Nut oil (peanuts ) Contract. It was kicked around Africa only to appear in Cyprus in 1989 and I have been trying to repair the ravages of the African Continent for 6 years. As to when it will be finished is in the lap of the Gods as to whether I will be able to find certain pieces.