Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More Old Photos on Flickr

A visit to our storage unit has unearthed another supply of old photos (old means anywhere from 1964 to 1997 or so) which I am laboriously scanning and uploading to Flickr. Several new sets have emerged as a result, with the first two relating to cars I have owned (and in both cases restored).

Photo shoot after the first rebuild

The first one relates to my 1952 MG TD sports car. I bought this from a friend, Wybe Valkema, while living in Singapore in 1976. I already shared ownership of a 1954 Jaguar XK140, photos of which have yet to be scanned, so this was to be 100% my challenge. As the photos show, the car was stripped down to the bare frame, the drive train carefully rebuilt, and then re-assembled and used as every day transport as well as fun weekends in Malaysia. In 1980 I foolishly shipped the MG to Texas where it was not considered to be worth anything as there were a large number of VW knock-offs on the road. I eventually sold it to a Houston enthusiast in 1988. It was a fun car and the children (then small enough to fit behind the seat, even on long journeys) loved it. I raced it several times at the old Batu Tiga circuit at Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, but never allowed the revs to go too high - I had to get back home somehow!

1935 Riley 9 Saloon

The second set is all about the start of a new restoration project which had to be abandoned in 1980. The 1935 Riley 9 Saloon was a classic British small car with a superb engine that was subsequently (much) modified to power the famous ERA racing cars. This car was heavy but still motored nicely. I bought it sight unseen in the UK and shipped it out to Singapore and used it for a while before deciding to rebuild the engine and gearbox. I never got to the bodywork but had realized this was going to be a challenge when on a sharp corner the body tilted over more than the chassis! The cable brakes were interesting - you could adjust them while driving. I regret never completing this resoration but I hope the new owners managed to do something with it!

It's interesting that today I have very little interest in old cars or their restoration. I see lots of them on the road at weekends but never do I feel any renewed desire to get grease under my finger nails. I guess I really did get the whole old car thing out of my system!