I lived in UK until 1982 when I emigrated to Australia. My first car was purchased in July 1962 and was BTD 272, a 1936 Crossley Regis as shown in the photo on the Home page of this site. When purchased, it was painted in a grey and black livery not in the style used on Regis cars. I became interested in the marque which was why I bought the basket case Regis in Australia in 1998 as described in these pages. Subsequently, I purchased Regis AOL 313, Chassis 100067 for spares since the garage roof had fallen on to it. Later, BNF624 was bought since the steering needed work and it was due for scrapping when the Registration expired. I used the engine for BTD 272. CXW 468 was a worn but original car that had been owned by a 70 year old gentleman in Stockport and was subsequently scrapped since the engine fell apart due to extreme wear.
BLJ 17 was my first four cylinder Regis and was in good order and very original. It came with a spare, overhauled, 6-cylinder engine. BTD 272 was my main car and BLJ 17 became my second car until I upgraded to an Armstrong Siddeley.
In 1965, I decided I needed a more modern car for everyday use and bought a battered 1954 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire with automatic gearbox from a Farmer on a Welsh mountain - for five pounds. I got the car roadworthy after buying a 1953 Mark 1 Sapphire in good condition at a Rally at Beaulieu in May 1966. This car was fitted with a preselector gearbox. The car was registered PNK 6 and had first been registered in Welyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. I enjoyed the car with its electric- selected gear on the preselector gearbox. The car was sold in September 1967 to a friend in London since I fancied the later Star Sapphire with automatic gearbox. I bought JB 184, a black Star Sapphire in December 1967 after having used BTD 272 again for the three month gap between Armstrong Siddeleys! BTD 272 was sold in April 1968.
The Star had a Borg Warner DG 250 gearbox, one of the best autos I have ever used. It had a hold mechanism where a lever could be set from 20 mph to 65 mph when the top gear would be engaged at whatever setting was used. Unofrtunately, I still missed the preselector gearbox of the Sapphire so repurchased PNK 6 when my friend had run it into a lamp post when working as a Councillor in London.PNK 6 was brought back to life and JB 184 was sold.in June 1969.
PNK 6 was again sold to a friend when I married in 1971 and a Morris Minor Traveller was purchased. A very reliable and useful car, this was retained when we re-purchased the Sapphire in 1973. When we needed a second car, a Morris Minor Traveller was invariably the choice of car over the years. At one stage, a new clutch plate was needed for PNK 6 for the centrifugal clutch unit. I had bought a new unit from Armstrong Siddeley some years previously and used this plate. This was the plate where the rivits came apart and the clutch centre was not, therefore, fastened to the clutch plate. There was then no drive! I was taken, with the car home to Manchester and my Family were collected from Gomeldon by the firends whom we were visiting. I returned after repairing the clutch to return the Family to Manchester. I found that, owning an old car, one sometimes uses second hand parts for which there is no guarantee. Using new parts that fail is extremely annoying since the new part is supposed to overcome the problem of second hand units. It was assumed that, in the final years of spare parts sales from Armstrong Siddeley, apprentices had done the rivitting without appropriate supervision.
In 1975, I replaced the main sills and welded new sections into the A-posts. I also added fibreglass front wings that I made to replace the original steel units. These fibreglass units were altered to take the four headlight system similar to the Star Mark 2. I used the bezels off a 1969/70 Austin 3-litre car since they were almost identical to the Star. Star Sapphire tail lights were also fitted since I had added fins to the rear wings to accommodate them. These improved the trafficators for the rear of the car. I also added a permanent open front air intake and rear extractor as on the Star to improved demisting of the windscreen and rear window.
After this, PNK 6 remained with us until sold in Australia in May 2004. I had owned it for 34 of the 38 years between buying it for the fist time and selling it finally in 2004. The car ended up with Torre Pannuze of Melbourne who had a wedding car fleet and was later sold to Queensland, somewhere in the Brisbane area.
In 1965, I worked for North Western Road Car Co Ltd of Stockport at their Manchester Garage. A friend, George Philpot at Head Offcie suggested we buy one of the Bristol double deckers that were about to be withdrawn. Four of us did so, including JohnnTweed, a friend and Richard Higgs who also worked at Head Office. Richard droppped out of the Group after a year but the others carried on. The first photo in the Gallery shows the bus in Cheadle whilst George was arranging insurance for it for when we took delivery. I had seen the bus because I was driving a bus through Cheadle and stopped to take the photos! Originally, we parked the bus alongside the Melba Motors garage at Reddish but later were offered space in an old cotton mill at Rochdale. Buckley Mill turned out to be an excellent location. The bus was rallied and worked on and the rear section rebuilt before being driven by John and myself to George who had by then moved to Pembrokeshire. George kept the bus until it was sold to members of the Greater Manchester Transport Museum in Manchester in about 1981. I think they collected the bus in late 1981. 432 was taken to the Manchester Museum where it was cleaned up and repainted and continues to look well-cared for with its new owners.