Though I learned to drive in it, I have no nostalgic fondness for the farm Land Rover – it was noisy, uncomfortable and not very reliable. I was much more taken with a relative’s Ford V8 Pilot; a big cruiser with an American V8 and the torque to go with it. An old fashioned car then, by the standards of today it was decidedly primitive; inadequate 6 volt electrics and vacuum wipers (driven from the manifold). This one had no heater but on Winter Sundays my uncle filled a 10 gallon milk churn with hot water, put it in the back, and the car was heated for the trip to church, a little bit of luxury.
Up to the age of 10 my main experience of four wheels was on a tractor – a David Brown with a seat wide enough for two, provided one was a child, spending quality time on the tractor or the trailer behind. We bumped along, often with a trailer of fodder, in some comfort by the standards of the day as most other tractors had a single steel springy seat which was cold to the bum and bounced alarmingly over bumps.
Of course, by no means everyone could drive in the early days even though it was easy to get a licence; indeed, tests were not even introduced until 1934. My father was untested but could, and did, drive anything from a motorbike to a lorry. But people like my grandfather, a skilled and talented man with horses, were entirely inexperienced with cars or even tractors. He was encouraged to learn to drive in the early 1930’s as farms became mechanised.
I wanted to find someone who would be prepared to visit me first and discuss options. As I was carrying out my own welding and basic panel preparation I needed to make sure that they would be happy to take on what I gave them and then finish stripping all the paint before re-painting. I also wanted to see some examples of their work before making any commitments.
I was impressed by QBCC having visited them initially as part of a car club trip. Examples of their work looked very good and discussing options with Paul and Rod (who visited me and the MGC early in the process) built up my confidence to the point where I chose to give them the job.
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