How Many American Classics Are There In The UK?

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GBt
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For the uninitiated, Teddy Turner was  Chairperson of Chelsea FC and whilst a memeber of Thunderbirds of England, was a somewhat infrequent visitor,by the 90s, when he was understandably well into being an octiginarian himself.

Like a certain Sir Cliff, OBE, whom joined after a show featuring a Squarebird, just like the one he had himself see below,(and also a ragtop one featured in the film Summer Holiday)was restored for the show and kept by him,there were fanfares and bows and scrapings after he too condescended to be amongst the hoy poloy, and elitists within the English Chapter of the VTCI. I know he was in Time but I went on a firm outing it was David cassidy starring! deepest joy in the Thundermoulds

Tony Meehan, Harry Roger Webb(aka Richard)talk to Jet harris and Jet's girlfriend Carol Costa

 

 

 

Speedangel
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I absolutely love American classics but sadly I do not own one yet. I find difficult to choose the right one. I love mustangs for instance but I am not sure which one to buy as I don't know much about them. any suggestions? budget arounf £5k to £10k

V-8 Woodie
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Trigger wrote:

I absolutely love American classics but sadly I do not own one yet. I find difficult to choose the right one. I love mustangs for instance but I am not sure which one to buy as I don't know much about them. any suggestions? budget arounf £5k to £10k

Trigger, I think you may  have a hard job finding a pre '67 Mustang in good shape, especially one that fits your £5-£10K price range. The early classic Mustangs have jumped in value in recent years, even the once- not so popular notchback coupes are now in the £15k plus bracket. You might want to consider one of  the later models, personally I like the '67-'68 cars, these handled and drove a lot nicer than the earlier cars, you're probably looking at £10-12k for a reasonable coupe, forget the fastback as these will be £20K plus and about the same for convertibles. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty, occasionally there are some '66 and earlier projects on offer on the internet for around £5,500. Happy hunting!

V-8 Woodie
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GBt wrote:

For the uninitiated, Teddy Turner was  Chairperson of Chelsea FC and whilst a memeber of Thunderbirds of England, was a somewhat infrequent visitor,by the 90s, when he was understandably well into being an octiginarian himself.

Like a certain Sir Cliff, OBE, whom joined after a show featuring a Squarebird, just like the one he had himself see below,(and also a ragtop one featured in the film Summer Holiday)was restored for the show and kept by him,there were fanfares and bows and scrapings after he too condescended to be amongst the hoy poloy, and elitists within the English Chapter of the VTCI. I know he was in Time but I went on a firm outing it was David cassidy starring! deepest joy in the Thundermoulds

Tony Meehan, Harry Roger Webb(aka Richard)talk to Jet harris and Jet's girlfriend Carol Costa

 

 

 

That's a great shot of Cliff's '60 'T Bird, I had no idea he owned a Thunderbird although I knew he once owned a Corvette Stingray in the early sixties. The Shadows were and still are one of my all time favorite bands, thanks for posting the brilliant pic!

 

 

 

GBt
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You are very welcome, he also owned a 63/4 Caddy, the last series with fins, the type seen in Tin Men, but Cliff Richards one was more a limo. This very forum's parent mag did a supplement a while back with star's cars, and there was a picture of it in that journal, albeit I cannot find it now, sorry, maybe James Elliot or the team could point you in the direction of its archive-I am not sure how that works but if I should find it then I will happily scan and upload it too.

GreaseMonkey (not verified)

Thanks for the info chaps. GBt's photos do seem to show my old '66. Last I heard it was in pieces in Essex advertised in Exchange & Mart and the seller said he had dismantled it for restoration but a back injury prevented him from doing anything further. It was stored in three separate garages and he said he had removed the vinyl roof as there was some rust under there - believable as where the chrome trims fitted they did not seem watertight and if moisture got under..... I was tempted, but had too much on, I had moved to Milton Keynes as I was working for a Formula One team by then and my house only had an Escort size garage, but I think that was mid-nineties, so maybe after you took that photo? I know the seller said he had some interest from a Belgian who was coming to look it over, so maybe it went there?

Anyway, the full story was, I bought that car in '86 from a gent called Barry who lived not far from me in Hendon (and coincidentally, not far from Teddy Turner, I think he was a bit put out that I beat him to it).  Barry had bought it on a whim while on hols in Florida and shipped it home. Lack of anti-freeze meant the block cracked while at sea so he had a new motor fitted, but he then found he did not like driving it in London traffic as the Landau top and LHD meant it did have a big blind spot over the right shoulder.  It was supposed to have been fully restored, and certainly it was rust-free with a perfect 'Parchment' interior, which was correct colour for the limited edition 'Emberglow' models, a colour scheme also available in '65 for T-Birds and Mustangs, but the paint was flat and the suspension a bit loose, so I had it resprayed by an old mate Clive in Edmonton and I replaced all the suspension bushes, shocks and brakes, and from then on it ran fine as my daily driver for over a year. One interesting thing I found was that I could average a true 20mpg in town, not bad for a 390 and here's how.  As it had come with a new set of American whitewall tyres I was reluctant (or too tight) to bin them and fit Euro radials, so it had zero grip and I drove it like it was on ice, but it did occasionally get away from me when accelerating as the throttle linkage had an over-centre lever that would open the second two barrels with a bang, causing random wheelspin. As it was hard to modulate the pedal accurately to avoid this I tried disconnecting the secondaries and found it drove much better, the only difference being it ran out of breath around 85mph instead of the ton, which was plenty fast anyway, but then for a year I discovered the happy accident that it was using far less gas than the 2.8 Granada it had replaced! A useful tip for any T-Bird drivers out there. It would also get sideways under braking although as I knew what it would do I could always catch it, but I did scare Barry one damp evening when I saw him coming towards me up Fitzjohn Avenue, Hampstead in his new Mercedes 500SEC and I dabbed the brakes and got it almost broadside on before correcting it, he musy have thought he had done the right thing by selling it! The only time it let me down was when I had taken the aircleaner off to get sandblasted and repainted, and it stalled on me a couple of times, apparently flooded. I even replaced the carb' with a newly rebuilt one before I saw the problem; the third or fourth time it did it, I ran round the front, opened the bonnet and only then noticed the sound-deadening felt was not glued tight and was being sucked down on the carb and choking it 'til it flooded. I sold it to Milton Homan who sold it on to somone in Harelesden from where it went downhill fast sitting neglected in the street for some time.

At this time I was working part-time for Teddy Turner looking after his cars which were mostly kept in the garages of a row of mews houses he owned and rented out in Belsize Park. From my vague memory I think there were twelve T-Birds at that time, a few '55 and '56s, one '57, the fabulous '63 Sport Roadster, a '64, two '65 and one '66 all convertibles and all with distinctive registration numbers, SAT 1, STT1, TT100, CAT 2 etc and on the '66 CFC2 which was the car he usually drove to Chelsea football matches. I serviced them all, kept them all clean and ready to go as he liked to drive them all as much as he could, there was always something to be fixed, and I even used to get calls from other T-Bird folks asking advice, I rmember talking someone through the procedure to remove the back seat on a '65 to crawl through the gap (take a torch) to access the relays for the top mechanism as the screwlocks that opened the back were jammed and the rams had tried to push the top up denting the bootlid.

There was also a '54 Ford Customline that he had bought along with a '55 T-Bird at auction in Portugal with only a couple of thousand miles on it, the aforementioned '66 Lincoln convertible, a Cord and Auburn Speedster replicas and his '59 RHD Galaxie Skyliner 'retractable hardtop'. As he liked to take several cars to some shows; Enfield Pageant, Rally Of The Giants etc I used to drive some of them occasionally and I remember the Skyliner in particular as a heavy old boat to pilot.

A great character, old Teddy, with a lot of stories that I can't repeat in public, I would probably need to contact his family to clear a few things before I get around to writing my book of 'a life with motors' of which he would deserve a chapter!

As for the black and cream Cadillac limo shown in a previous post, I remember taking a photo of that in St Johns Wood in the eighties, but I seem to remember it was one of a few Caddys owned by a late seventies pop group 'The Babys'  (singer John Waite later had more fame later under his own name)  who shared a big house in Hackney.

Meanwhile back to the original question of how many Americacn classics there are in the UK - and I have no idea anyway, I have been in Australia the last ten years - I do know there were always a few dealers specialising in American tin, Kingston Motors, Pete Tucker in Hoddesden, Cliff Davis in Shpherds Bush etc, and this was before Milton and Stewart started dealing from underneath a tower block in Battersea, and obviously a lot more have been brought over since, but going by the turn out at various club events and the Rally Of The Giants, I would suggest there are plenty out there. If anyone from the Can-Am club reads this, they may know how many are on their membership, and if I can find my old photo albums I know I snapped many rarities at various shows.

Keep ' em coming !

Chris Martin

GBt
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Yes GM, PC was a pain, butt in the neck(not back)only kiddin' 

I used to have discussions centreing about my opinion the ordinary hard top or 64/5 Landaus were nicer with rear qurterlights but he obviously dissagreed. An American lady from the Chicago Chapter of the VTCI agreed her 66 landau had a distinct blindspot. To be fair PC did fit radials with red band rims to the rebuilt suspension but for some reason wouldnt sanction rebuilding the 352 lump in it due to it not being a 390-my big block rebuild manual gave the codes.

Another friend i mentioned going to Brooklands with and many other venues had /has a nice 66 HT but with an early emmision 2 barell carb, he was averaging 20(my old friend Pete Morris used to get 25 on a run in his de smogged 351 Cleveland Torino)much more than a 3 litre Grandad i had too!

With the greatest respect ,no offence intended, GM but are you getting Pete Tucker, who lived in Royston, mixed up with a guy who had TBirds and ran a tyre outlet in Wormley West End Broxbourne, near Hoddesdon-When I left the sea after working on the farm, i later got a job driving a timber lorry for WC Ware aka Hertford Timber, so what with that and even later Security work could say it was sort of on my patch and after a first coronary a dissability advisor arranged for me to do some City and guilds IT courses at The East Herts College and i used to go past that guy's shop, i have some pics of a cigar bird with conti kit he had outback, at the time..

SFunny tastes change I know prefer the 66sorted through myriad pre digi photos again last night,but even after buying a new Packard bell from PC World last year, have only gotten the scanner, printer spooler up and running again and oh boy does it take forever to spool into action, so this is being done via an Acer(Ace!)Laptop. Your ex TBird is behind 56, just about viewable.

PS some frinds at Canvey Island have a Valiant with six pack, right hand drive!

ppsTT's?

GreaseMonkey (not verified)

Correction accepted, Pete Tucker was in Royston and the tyre shop near Hoddesden was maybe called T.I. Tyres at a guess? Anyway, given the passing of the years I surprise myself how much I do still remember, and certainly forum discussions like this do help put it all into order again, needed if I ever do write that book! And yes, I too would prefer the regular hardtop over the landau given the choice, which ever side of the road I was on, it was a bit like driving a van.

So it ended up with a 352? I know it had the motor replaced as mentioned above, but we checked it all out, numbers etc, and that was a 390, so between selling it to the Holmans who sold it to someone else in '87 and it sat in a side street in Harlesden for a while, then later still, looking sad outside a car valet business next to Finchley Road Frognal station and it turning up in '92 it had another motor replaced, poor bugger, it must have had a hard life.

Teddy's Auburn was cream or off/white and actually looked quite good for a replica. Most I have seen tend to be overdone with two-tone paint and too much bling, spoiling the lines of the original. His Cord was red by the way. Wonder where they are now.

Chris M.

GBt
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My 64 had the second choke stuck down, initially,it handled quite well on American racing wheels with radials but the brake fade on drums was monumental.Some nerk whipped one of the birds of a rear light kerbside but otherwise she was left alone.This taken with my V4 Honda, after movedon blocks, with engine out

Unfortunately i blew the 390, in company with a Porker911 and VTech Honda on the A12, because my other bird, a Nissan Bluebird was only covered on the RAC and the AA said it was too big, it  cost me 120 quid to recover, they quoted 60 but didnt say that was only one way. Yea it was a friday 13th and sadly sat kerbside for several months till redundancy galvernised one into some action.

A Piston was wedged down the bore and the road twisted to heck, as well as the cam broke in 3 pieces-the bores had heavy lips and it was a bit silly having ignored the plumes of blue smoke but then it did go out with a hell of a rattle bang, and not at a measley 55 either.

Mr Corley sought me out, he living in the town t'other side of Epping forest and between us, honestly, both prevaricated on our projects various(going to many a show or cruise instead)

.

When finally rebuilt, the pistons I got with the 352 were 50 over and the the only rings i could get were 60 thou, so much carefull filing later, etc ad info nitum.

the body was fine-at first,  i had aquired a carter 4 barrel, with a complete 352 that got delivered by a fellow called Bris, in his 58 Ranchero, after a mind bending heavy duty Jack Daniel's session in a tent at Blake hall, but as was a then fitted Thunderjet, she wouldnt run smoothly and i happened upon a pucker Fomoco 4 barrel, at of all places Barleylands Steam rally autojumble(for 15 quid), however a friend with a 66 Hardtop had a dual barrel water cooled emission carb and of course the extra kickdown surge was missing on various outings, however with UK fuel prices maybe a blessing.

Regarding dealers GM, there was/is a chap selling American cars in a Village north of Bury saint Edmunds and when I looked in around a decade back he had a nice right Handrive Studebaker hawk GT, which I was rather taken with, but didnt have the spare ware with all at the time, can't remeber his or the village in the sticks either.

GBt
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