How Many American Classics Are There In The UK?

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GreaseMonkey (not verified)

A few more from the same event, a 1930 Chrysler roadster GN4584, a '39 Hudson KMD532 and a super rare Continental MKII (never actually called a Lincoln but sold through Lincoln Mercury dealers) reg 6LMG. As always, where are they now?

Chris M.

GreaseMonkey (not verified)

GBt wrote:

Canadian made? that last reg must be worth a bit MGD 2(or is it MGO 2)?

Indeed. GM bought the McLaughlin Motor Car Company of Oshawa, Ontario in 1918 and the cars were called McLaughlin Buicks. Due to those old commonwealth tarriffs most Buicks sold in the UK came from Canada, and they were particularly popular in the thirties, although post WWII any imports became very expensive. Regarding the above '39 convertible, I was recently trawling through some old C&SC mag's and found in November 1988, page 173, a similar one for sale at Ivor Bleaney's New Forest place. The most famous Canadian Buick in Britain though must be the ex-King Edward VIII custom built Buick 90L Limousine which Bonhams sold in 2007 for a couple of quid over 100grand. Further to the mention of Excaliber on the first page of this thread, there was one advertised on page 186 of the same C&SC at Chariots of Hounslow. Browsing on there were ads for Bernie Chodosh selling mostly Corvettes and Big Boys Toys of Greenford had a good selection of about twenty-five assorted Americans. We are no nearer guessing how many in the UK but there always were a lot being bought and sold down the years.

Now here is a long-shot question, but maybe V-8 Woodie may have been there? In the seventies while looking for parts for one of our (now forgotten) projects I phoned an ad in Exchange & Mart and ventured out to a country lane near Leighton Buzzard where I met an elderly chap who had barns full of old American stuff, mostly thirties classics, I seem to remember Packards, Auburns and Studebakers among others. I didn't see everything, there were several sheds, but there were parts for Cords, Duesenbergs too. He said he had had a deal with the US airbases to remove all the old unwanted cars left when the troops went home. Anyone remember him, his name, or know what became of the cars?

Chris Martin

and the King's Buick;

V-8 Woodie
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GreaseMonkey wrote:

GBt wrote:

Canadian made? that last reg must be worth a bit MGD 2(or is it MGO 2)?

Now here is a long-shot question, but maybe V-8 Woodie may have been there? In the seventies while looking for parts for one of our (now forgotten) projects I phoned an ad in Exchange & Mart and ventured out to a country lane near Leighton Buzzard where I met an elderly chap who had barns full of old American stuff, mostly thirties classics, I seem to remember Packards, Auburns and Studebakers among others. I didn't see everything, there were several sheds, but there were parts for Cords, Duesenbergs too. He said he had had a deal with the US airbases to remove all the old unwanted cars left when the troops went home. Anyone remember him, his name, or know what became of the cars?

 

GM, Call me a bit of an anorak if you will, but I actually have an old address book from 40 years ago and listed is the name Don, Tel Leighton Buzzard 2638, there's a roughly drawn map with these details; American Breakers Yard on A5, - if you've gone past RAF station you've gone too far- look for two hub caps on gate! Could this be our man?

In your pics; the '39 Hudson Coupe I know very well and I love the '56 Lincoln Continental. There's an interesting 1950s  film clip on the Pathe- News site showing the Duke of Bedford driving away from Woburn in his black '56 Lincoln Continental. Only the very rich could indulge themselves in such a luxurious and expensive car, priced at a whopping $10,000 when new in 1956, that's probably about the same price as ten semi -detached houses in London at that time!!  Great photos!

 

GreaseMonkey (not verified)

V-8 Woodie wrote:

GreaseMonkey wrote:

GBt wrote:

Canadian made? that last reg must be worth a bit MGD 2(or is it MGO 2)?

Now here is a long-shot question, but maybe V-8 Woodie may have been there? In the seventies while looking for parts for one of our (now forgotten) projects I phoned an ad in Exchange & Mart and ventured out to a country lane near Leighton Buzzard where I met an elderly chap who had barns full of old American stuff, mostly thirties classics, I seem to remember Packards, Auburns and Studebakers among others. I didn't see everything, there were several sheds, but there were parts for Cords, Duesenbergs too. He said he had had a deal with the US airbases to remove all the old unwanted cars left when the troops went home. Anyone remember him, his name, or know what became of the cars?

 

GM, Call me a bit of an anorak if you will, but I actually have an old address book from 40 years ago and listed is the name Don, Tel Leighton Buzzard 2638, there's a roughly drawn map with these details; American Breakers Yard on A5, - if you've gone past RAF station you've gone too far- look for two hub caps on gate! Could this be our man?

In your pics; the '39 Hudson Coupe I know very well and I love the '56 Lincoln Continental. There's an interesting 1950s  film clip on the Pathe- News site showing the Duke of Bedford driving away from Woburn in his black '56 Lincoln Continental. Only the very rich could indulge themselves in such a luxurious and expensive car, priced at a whopping $10,000 when new in 1956, that's probably about the same price as ten semi -detached houses in London at that time!!  Great photos!

 

Ok, my turn to be an anorak.

First, the name Don sounds right but Leighton Buzzard is not, and was not, on the A5. Good old Watling Street dates back to the Romans, and the nearest it gets to LB is just north of Dunstable. I don't remember any American Breakers, or RAF bases on that part of the A5 either, but I know it was on a smaller, what we used to call 'B' road, although the hubcaps on the gate sounds familiar too. Thinking back, I am sure he told me there was a Dusesenberg in the next shed, but I never saw it, although with what was there I had no reason to doubt him. Have any Duesie's come to light in England in the last thirty years?

Second, my parents house in Arkley, (just outside of London then) was built in 1955 and cost 2,500, or a quarter of a new Continental.

Third, and is this pedant of the month material, but the MKII Continental was never called a Lincoln Continental. It was sold through Lincoln-Mercury dealers, and was built at the Wixom plant also known for Thunderbirds, but for  some reason Ford tried to make the Continental name a new brand. They lost money on every one sold, and reverted to selling Lincoln Continentals later. Still on my wish list though, just behind the Cord Beverly and the Facel Vega HK500. Did you note the reg number of the good Duke's Continental? Was it black? I doubt there were many in the UK.

What with that news, and the previous tale about King Edward VIII's Buick, I feel a new thread coming on; cars of the Royalty and their hangers-on.

Chris M.

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GM, I think I would have remembered a yard that was full of Cords, Packards and the odd Dusenberg for sure, I think I need to delve into my archives again to discover  who this chap was!!

 In the 1970s I spent a good deal of time travelling up and down the country with other members of the "Spirit Of The Fifties club" seeking out American classics in old breakers yards, our biggest finds were discovered in the Woolhouse yard near Barnsley. Most of the cars had been driven into the yard decades before, Fords,Chevies, Buicks etc were stacked ten cars high, sadly, after years of being exposed to the harsh Yorkshire winters, there was very little left to salvage, even so, it was an incredible sight for any American car buff to see!

You are correct in deleting the 'Lincoln' name from the MK 11Continental model range and yes, they took a $1000 hit on every car sold, try and justify that bizzare piece of marketing strategy in today's new car market! 

This staged shot of a 1953 Buick was taken in London in the late fifties.

I wonder if it still exists, even if the car doesn't I bet that rare number plate does!

 

 

 

 

GreaseMonkey (not verified)

For what it is worth, the name Don does ring a bell. I said earlier he was 'elderly' but thinking back, that may be unfair; I was in my early twenties when anyone over forty is old. I do remember he was average height, quite thin and wore a greasy baseball cap long before they became fashionable in UK. The barns were old wooden structures linked by narrow doors and the low beams and most of the walls were covered with hubcaps and trim parts. Probably part of a farm, it was certainly not near any other buildings. Someone must remember the place! Is there a Packard or Studebaker club that may have members dating back that far? Or any Cord restorers?

Chris M.

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The Torino Cobra 351Sportback,& the next years offering, so much nicer than the Bluff front 74 Starsky and Hutch Tomayto that every man jack knows about

 

GreaseMonkey (not verified)

V-8 Woodie wrote:

 

 

GM, I think I would have remembered a yard that was full of Cords, Packards and the odd Dusenberg for sure, I think I need to delve into my archives again to discover  who this chap was!!

 In the 1970s I spent a good deal of time travelling up and down the country with other members of the "Spirit Of The Fifties club" seeking out American classics in old breakers yards, our biggest finds were discovered in the Woolhouse yard near Barnsley. Most of the cars had been driven into the yard decades before, Fords,Chevies, Buicks etc were stacked ten cars high, sadly, after years of being exposed to the harsh Yorkshire winters, there was very little left to salvage, even so, it was an incredible sight for any American car buff to see!

On the previous subject of scrap dealers taking American cars off the miltary bases, I just came across a name of another from an old C&SC. A Jim Lambert wrote to the letters page of the April '89 mag' and states his Buick Riviera was bought from the RAF Bentwaters base by a Woodbridge based scrap dealer W.J. Mills. Do they still exist? And one wonders how many other gems went that way.

Chris Martin

eb88
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V-8 Woodie
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eb88 Hi and thanks so much for posting the photos of your Grandfather's cars. I never actually met the man himself personally, but I do know his wonderful Thunderbird collection will always be regarded by many enthusiasts here in the UK as one of the finest collections outside of America. You must be very proud to be the custodian of his remaining cars!