Dave Nattress… Who recalls their first car? I got my first car in 1971, a 1958 Austin A35. Many a great time in it for a year or so before graduating to a 1965 Ford Anglia. I can’t even recall if the Austin had a radio? But the angle-box did and I soon fitted a cassette player as well. Who else recalls their first cars, what were they and lets have some stories about them. Everyone piling in going to gigs, pubs in the back of beyond, racing back across the marsh from The Sundowners or Kings to get to Taffy’s. Have to admit after many a heavy night in Hastings driving back along the sea-front to, Bexhill, couldn’t hear, PA and backline on the pier too loud, could hardly see, fogged brain, one beer too many, could manage steering, someone else changing gears – well not quite but a few dodgy moments. Way back when cars were pretty unreliable but you could change an engine in an afternoon and a set of spanners and then a socket-set would do most things. The old Austin even had a starting handle – used it on occasions as well! Later on I got a Ford Cortina Mk2, 1600E, highly rated back then, and the back seats would come out – the bit you sat on, and I could just get my PA bass-bins in. One time, Robin Heggie’s (RIP), 2 x Simms-Watts 4 x 12 cabinets and amps went in not with the PA though. Often drums and goodness knows what else.
Lynn Humphrey… Well, Dave, how strange–my first car was the same as your second–a Ford Anglia. Not only that, but it was also a 1965 model. It definitely didn’t have a radio, or not my model anyway. Mine was grey in colour (I wish I’d looked now to see if it had, “Nattress was here,” carved on the steering wheel.
Pauline Sims… My first car was a Triumph Herald, like this, probably around 1968 – it definitely did not have a radio but it was a lovely motor!
Chris Meachen… My first car was also an Austin a35, bought from Jerry down the pub for 50p.. I’d never driven before, but he showed me where it was (by the blue dolphin) gave me the keys & I taught myself to drive it on the way home up Croft Road…
Terry Corder… Ford thames van, 15cwt, blue, 3 speed, column change. Probably 1969/70. Not the van but the year I bought it.
Jane Dorsett… Remember it well, Dave.
Judith Monk… I had a Vauxall Victor Super in two tone grey and black. The license number was SRX 615. I adored that car, bench front seat that would squash four across, no seat belts, column gear stick and tons of chrome and class!
Mike Curtis… Triumph Herald in a mushroom colour. 7086 DU. So proud of it. Have more than 70 since, many of which would be worth a lot of money if I’d kept them?
Geoff Peckham… I remember it well, Mick. I used to ride on the back of your scooter prior to your getting the Triumph. It used to get a bit chilly. When you turned up with the car for the first time you were dressed in shirtsleeves – just because you could!
Jeff Belton… My brother in law had one, and when turned up he managed to to fit my mum, dad, sister and me , and himself,. A tight queeze, but we all got in . This was the first time we met him.
Chris Baker… I had one during my mid-life crisis! It had the original engine but was souped up so it could rev to 8000 rpm without melting and do 130 mph. Scared the shite out of me!
Colin Fox… Mini, which had the start button on the floor, a piece of rope to open the door and sliding windows.
Dave Nattress… Hi Lynn, mine was light Green with a White roof. Bought off Roy Sanderson – The Road and Lysander and other bands often mentioned on these pages!! So, definitely not yours old friend!! I think we’d lost contact by then by year or two – we left the Downs in what – 1969!!
Now, going back to my own question – first cars and gig travels etc. I suddenly recalled this. Who from the area recalls going to see Pink Floyd at Earls Court on the Dark Side tour -1973. Between Bexhill and Hastings we filled a big coach one evening 45 – 50 odd seater. Possibly a Renown from Bexhill. Can’t recall who organised it but it was a pukka do. Possibly the idea originated in the Castle, Bexhill, but undoubtedly it took in some of the haunts (pubs), of Hastings, maybe the Nelson/Anchor, to get the coach fully booked – coach and tickets and all. The driver was quite possibly the only one not, (at least slightly), off his head! Not condoning that sort of behaviour and all that!!
Graham Wilks… A 1955 Fiat 600 with suicide doors. Not easy to get a Vox AC30 onto the back seat!
Chris Baker… My first car was a mini which I bought from a Debenhams colleague for £50, I think. Apart from the door hinge breaking when my driving test examiner got in, which I think helped me pass, it was great! Got it from Sean.
Paul Huggett… Split screen Morris Minor, all throbbing 803cc of it, bugger-all brakes, and a fair bit of filler. But I loved it!
Neil Cartwright… Paul – ditto!
Simon Page… Austin A40
Mick O’Dowd… Mine was a Ford Consul with a bench seat in front and column change I bought for £75. Replaced it with a red Triumph Herald convertible. That’s where my hair went!
Wendy Weaver… My first car was an Isetta Bubblecar, 300cc I think. My fourth car was a green (same as above) A30 with a 35 engine. Great little car, I bought it in 1969 for £25. It had a smaller rear window than the A35.