Getting Exchange & Mart early.

2 replies [Last post]
Chris Martin
Joined: 2011-08-20

In the pre-internet days, the esteemed Link House publication was our favourite organ to find our next bargain motor.

Although I never liked the way the ink stained your fingers, I was as avid a reader as any.

Despite their warnings to sellers that anyone calling before Thursday had probably come by their copy by nefarious means, and requests that anyone so propositioned should dob in their potential buyers, it was always with an air of expectant excitement that we used to hang out around Kings Cross paper sellers around midnight on Wednesday in the vain hope ( oh dream on ) that this week, yes, this week I may be the lucky owner of a Cord 812 for a monkey.

Or be the first to spot the bargain of the century - "cheap as chips mate".

Never happened of course, I guess the usual result was a couple of people getting woken up at a silly hour by the 'phone ringing, and a few more of us gullible folks getting their black thumbs cleaned up by the grease of a bratwurst in a bun down on Westbourne Grove at 2am on a Thursday.

Anyone else been there?

Did anyone get their bargain wheels from E&M at dawn on a Thursday?

Chris M.


James Elliott
James Elliott's picture
Joined: 2011-03-11

Same story but with Thames Valley Trader for me, Chris.

I seem to remember that, again, despite the dire warnings, there were several outlets known to get it a day early and I was always under the impression that that was actually sanctioned by the publisher. They certainly didn't make any effort to stop it.

So the same small group of us would always be there waiting for the delivery.

The only time I took advantage of my, er, advantage I ended up buying my Robert Mandry Scamp, so that just illustrates that the fever and excitiement of being a day ahead of everyone else can adversely affect your behaviour and common sense!

Chris Martin
Joined: 2011-08-20

Ha James, you're just a young whippersnapper. I was talking of the days before Auto Trader, which itself was initially just one mag for the whole country, before they then came up with the regional versions.

No Expand & Fart was the ONLY real source of ads. And of course if something was in Cornwall or Glasgow, it was a fair trek for a Londoner, AND there were no photos.

How did we manage?

And too, for selling, Ex & M had a shop you could drop in ad copy and pay over the counter, but in the seventies the only one was at Store Street WC1 near Maples on Tottenham Court Road, and then of course they later opened more local shops for the same purpose - my nearest in the eighties was on Finchley High Road.

If you wanted anything American and were really flash there was only Hemmings, I knew someone who had a subscription but even then in the days before internet, and nobody could use a credit card number over the 'phone, it was very complicated to get international money orders and so on.

No, luddite that I am, this is one area where I am grateful for modern technology.

Chris M.