A (small) selection of the cars owned by James Putnam previously of Farringdon House. You may notice the Horse Head on the bonnet replacing the usual ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ on the Rolls Royce!
A selection of some of the family cars. Can anyone put an age to them?
Some of the cars owned by me.
In December 1968 after passing my driving test, I bought my first car a 1964 Austin A40 Farina Countryman, registration 20 TUO. 1964 saw the start of the new registration system with an end letter denoting the year of manufacture. Not all registrations followed this until 1965/6. It was maroon in colour with a 1100 cc engine. The ‘Countryman’ had a hatchback in two parts enabling access to the boot area with both a lift up top section and a drop down boot lid. From mid 1970 it was fitted with a kit built Transistor Ignition system which had a habit of failing! The car was sold early 1972.
By January 1972 there was an urge to drive a sports car and I purchased a 1966 Triumph Spitfire Mk 2, registration GRX 814D with a 1150cc engine and twin SU carbs. Two spotlights were added to the front grill as shown in the photo above. It had a short life (with me) and suffered a severe crash on 8th September 1972 from which I was lucky to escape with only slight injuries. Wearing a seatbelt was not compulsory at that time and I wasn’t wearing one! The car was subsequently fully restored by my school friend Maurice with a new chassis and a fibreglass Ashley bonnet. The bonnet had a different look to the original Triumph style but is not easy to see from the restored photo. The car was sold in 1973.
Not to be put off driving a sports car, pushed me to get another one. I was impressed with the Spitfire and next came a Mk 3 style in October 1972. A 1967 model, registration JFJ 141E in Royal Blue colour now with a 1200 cc engine. I fitted a tow bar for the purpose of pulling a small trailer! This one I recall had been in an accident previously and had wider rear wheels (5½J) with 4½J wheels on the front. The transverse suspension spring had also been modified to make the rear end more responsive. This helped to overcome the inherent problem with Spitfires and Heralds of the wheels tucking in under the wheel arches. It was sold in December 1974, and the end of the ‘sports’ era.
In December 1974 a Ford Capri, 1969 1600GT XL in Silver Fox was purchased. This colour had a problem of flaking off and was re-sprayed in Silver Grey with a black roof and boot lid. In March 1979 it suffered a broken piston ring and the engine and gearbox were replaced with a reconditioned unit. It was sold in August 1980.
August 1980 and I was in a position to obtain a loan and purchase my first brand new car. The Morris Marina had come to the end of an era and was replaced by the Morris Ital. I must say that I was not impressed with this car at all! A 1980 model, Russet Brown in colour with a vinyl roof and registration KPN 88W. Back then you could choose a registration from a small selection in a list at the garage of purchase. Despite the lack of ‘love’ for this car, it stayed with me until July 1985. Unable to locate any photo of this car (I wonder why?)
The next car is a Fiat 132 Bellini, the flagship of the Fiat range. Larger and more powerful than the more commonly known 131 Mirafiori. With a 2000 cc overhead cam engine and four headlights, it had a superb performance with the look of a BMW. Fiat cars were renowned for rusting and this one was no exception. It was part exchanged in December 1989.
Now for a couple of Peugeot cars. The first one, a 1988 Peugeot 309 SR 1600 cc engine in grey, registration E882 CAP. At only 18 months old and 19,000 miles on the clock was very reliable. This was later traded in for a Peugeot 306 1800 cc engine in red.