How Many American Classics Are There In The UK?

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GreaseMonkey (not verified)

By the way, apart from the T-Birds, Teddy also had fibreglass replicas of both Auburn Speedster and Cord 812.

Chris M.

GreaseMonkey (not verified)

V-8 Woodie wrote:

Hi Grease Monkey,

Back in the 1970s I used to belong to a car club dedicated to American cars, most of the club members were located around the Greenford and Hayes, West London area, the club went under banner of 'The Uxbridge Valley Cruisers', one of the guys in the club had a black '55 Oldsmobile convertible, it was very unusual to see American cars of the 1950s in London, a '55 Oldsmobile convertible would have been a very rare sight, so I wonder if this could be the same Olds' that you once owned!

I do remember Teddy Turner's fabulous collection of T Birds, I think they still remain within the family, not seen any of the cars exhibited anywhere recently.

Coincidentally I did sell it to someone from Hillingdon, (I seem to remember taking a red '64 Ford Country Squire as part payment) but it was not black. It was originally cream and green, but a mate resprayed it off-white, which it still was when I next saw it looking a bit neglected ten years later. It was parked across the street from a dealer specialising in American cars in the Greenford area. This was a Rocket 98 which was four inches longer than the 88, it had power top, power seat and an Autronic Eye, which basically meant you could leave headlights on main beam and it would automaticaly dip them whenever it detected lights ahead. The WonderBar radio had a footswitch to tell the self-seeking tuner to find the next station.  The only other '55 I ever saw was an orange and blue 88 Hardtop which was around Potters Bar in the seventies. I had assumed it to be home-made paint-job, but having later acquired an original period sales brochure, it could have been factory spec!  I could ramble on here for ages.........happy days.

Chris M.

GreaseMonkey (not verified)

Found these old photos of aforementioned '55 Olds, before and after repaint.  Chris  M.

.BeforeAfter

ticktock
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hi jagnut,

reading the various forums, may I congratulate you on a stunning classic collection!

V-8 Woodie
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Hi GM, Found this photo amongst some club photos from the early '70s, I'm pretty sure the photo was taken in a breakers yard for American cars in  in West Ealing. Nearly identical to your green and cream Olds, but sporting a very nice registration plate 2 HRE. Unfortunately a lot of the more desirable American cars, especially 1950s convertibles were snapped up by Swedish enthusiasts in the late '70s, hundreds were exported from the UK to Sweden and Norway. It's extremely rare nowadays to find an original 'UK survivor'.

GreaseMonkey (not verified)

Yep! That's the one. I was at the first 'Chelsea Cruise' when there were only a dozen cars, but the second month they stretched from one end of Battersea Bridge to the other and filled the Park.

This car was there, owned by a hippie character who lived with a family of squatters in one of the biggest palaces at the top end of Bishops Avenue, Hampstead. He said he would take 200 for it, and as I was working for a mate who had a small garage in Edmonton whose dad's initials were HRE, he said he would pay 200 for the rego.

So far so good, I get a free car. So I bought it without daring to mention anything about the rego in case the price went up, paid cash, and when he gave me the keys and log book, he said "that's the new registration number, I sold this one so you'll have to get plates made - hence it did cost me 200 and became 593JGU.

Chris Martin

55 Olds 98

V-8 Woodie
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Hey Grease Monkey, that's a very interesting story on how you acquired your Oldsmobile, quite a coincidence that I just happened to have a photo of your car taken nearly 40 years ago! I probably knew most of the fifties yanks that were on the scene back in the '70s. It was myself and a few friends  who started the Chelsea Cruise back in May 1975, a group of us who owned American cars were regularly cruising the Kings Road a few years earlier and before the media publicised it.  All of a sudden the Cruise exploded into a regular monthly event attracting thousands of cars and spectators, those were amazing times!  I know you were at the very first cruise as this photo will testify - I'm pretty sure this is your Olds parked on the left on Chelsea Bridge!! 

GreaseMonkey (not verified)

Well yes, that is the Olds' and that is where I first found it, but I bought it the following week.  I came along as passenger in my mate Larry's '69 Firebird convertible, in convoy with Mark from Edmonton in a '67 Firebird. I will start a new thread on the old days at Chelsea so as not to hi-jack this thread on 'Classic Americans' but here are a couple of photos of another of Teddy Turner's cars; a '66 Lincon Continental convertible. He hired it out for a 1986 August Bank Holiday parade in Hemel Hempstead with an American theme, and I was sent along as chauffeur. The mayor of Hemel Hempstead wanted an open car and I had to drive at walking pace with police motorcycle escort to lead the parade through the town. Problem was, as soon as we started it rained, and as the mayor insisted on driving with the top down, (he had an umbrella in the back) I got wet! I think I also lost brownie points when I asked, as we were passing the big Kodak building in the centre,  if "he had any political enemies in town". "Why" he asked, "well this is a similar, but slightly younger version of the car Kennedy got shot in" I replied.

We fifnished the parade in silence.

Chris Martin

GreaseMonkey (not verified)

And here are a couple more of my old T-Bird from back in the eighties, Registered Q372PGT - where is it now?

Chris M.

V-8 Woodie
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[quote=GreaseMonkey]

Well yes, that is the Olds' and that is where I first found it, but I bought it the following week.  I came along as passenger in my mate Larry's '69 Firebird convertible, in convoy with Mark from Edmonton in a '67 Firebird. I will start a new thread on the old days at Chelsea so as not to hi-jack this thread on 'Classic Americans' but here are a couple of photos of another of Teddy Turner's cars; a '66 Lincon Continental convertible. He hired it out for a 1986 August Bank Holiday parade in Hemel Hempstead with an American theme, and I was sent along as chauffeur. The mayor of Hemel Hempstead wanted an open car and I had to drive at walking pace with police motorcycle escort to lead the parade through the town. Problem was, as soon as we started it rained, and as the mayor insisted on driving with the top down, (he had an umbrella in the back) I got wet! I think I also lost brownie points when I asked, as we were passing the big Kodak building in the centre,  if "he had any political enemies in town". "Why" he asked, "well this is a similar, but slightly younger version of the car Kennedy got shot in" I replied.

We fifnished the parade in silence.

Chris Martin

/quote]

Grease Monkey,  One day in the 1970's, by sheer chance, I found myself outside Teddy Turner's Hampstead home, parked outside were a brace of Thunderbirds, Teddy was busily polishing one of the cars, a red '57, I don't think I'd ever seen such fantastic cars and little did I realise then, that these were just a part of his huge collection of classic American autos.

On another occasion I attended a Can- Am club event held at Syon Park, West London,  there was a small gathering of American cars on show, including some of Teddy Turner's wonderful Thunderbirds, I guess this would have been around 1975/6. Here are some photos from the event.

Teddy Turner's 1957 Thunderbird.

A nice line up of 'Birds, a '57, a '55 'Porthole' Hard top and a white '56.

Nice '64 Lincoln Continental Convertible. I think that's Teddy in the centre wearing the cap!

I wonder if this 1950 Cadillac Sedan still survives in the UK today?