Digging up London's street-parked gems of the past

| 9 Dec 2013

For most of us, spotting another classic on the road is a comparatively rare occurrence these days. I usually see only two or three over the course of a week and normally this is enough to induce a serious amount of head-swivelling, neck-craning and road-crossing just to get a closer look.

Elliott seems to have better luck though – as those regulars on the C&SC Facebook page will know. Perhaps it is something about living in London, but it seems like he spots something on a daily basis that is worth bringing to our attention and I will admit to being a little jealous that, for him at least, the daily grind still offers an insight into the classic-owning community.

Of course, if you could turn back time (no, I’m not doing a bloody Cher impression), then things would be different. A simple (and self-gratifying) web search for AC Buckland resulted in an unscheduled visit to www.etypeuk.com and in particular its forum where one of the administrators of the site had posted dozens of old car photos. The link between all of the images? They are all of cars parked on the streets of London in period. Of course there are a few that suggest that the geography isn’t limited purely to the UK’s capital, but for the most part it seems perfectly plausible.

Naturally the majority of the cars photographed weren’t wearing the ‘classic’ tag at the time – they were merely cars in use, but I’d doubt the contemporary vehicles gracing London’s streets nowadays would prompt someone to go around taking snaps in the same way. Once the first Range Rover Evoque was dispatched with, then where would you turn? 

Decades on though, and there are some real gems to be found on this humble web page. The Embericos Bentley just three images in for instance,  or 63 EMU – the works’ Aston DB3S that is now a regular at Goodwood (although admittedly it is on a trailer in the photo!). 

Oddities such as a Trident Clipper share the streets with a Mini and an A35, while a snapshot of the ‘70s shows a NSU Ro80 parked up while a VW Beetle and Transit motion past.

Just imagine the potential excitement if, as a classic car enthusiast, you could pop back in time and walk the streets captured in these photographs. Then consider just how long it would take you to reach your destination after all of those distractions and attempts to haggle a bargain purchase of something you now know to be almost priceless! 

Pop along to http://tinyurl.com/lwuwgnq and start dreaming.

Of course, if by posting these pictures I have infringed anyone’s copyright then I apologise and please let us know, but to whoever the photographer was, thank you because it was a great excuse to avoid doing any proper work for at least an hour!