Joining the club on the classic commute

| 13 Nov 2012

I have a confession. At C&SC we have always advocated using classics as much as possible, and several of the team genuinely do use their old cars every single day, but for me it was not always thus.

As a result of my Suzuki being in long-term dry dock, until fairly recently I was in a modern more often than not because I didn't have an old car that I trusted (or wanted to risk) with the twice-daily hack across town.

And I was convinced that everyone else felt the same.

Although hardened classic commuters Port, Elliott (in his Triumph, above) and Evans swore blind that they saw interesting old cars being pressed into use day in, day out, I just wasn't seeing them.

Perhaps, I thought, the part of Surrey I drive through was a bit of a classic-car vacuum.

Then I found a classic that I was confident with in traffic jams (click here to read all about it), and it was as if my eyes had been opened.

Suddenly there was an interesting car in every traffic jam and a cheery wave at every junction.

And not just from the driver's seat of my mate Pete Brown's Moggy Minor, with which I play a game of cat-and-mouse along the rat-runs to work.

These aren't just tatty MGB GTs like mine, either - although Abingdon-built classics make up the lion's share, along with Youngtimers such as the Bentley Turbo R I saw last night (above), plus various VW Beetle variants and the ever-rugged Volvo Amazon/1800 range.

But there are some startling sights: a glorious 1957 Chevy Bel Air custom, a canary yellow Trident Clipper (or was it a Venturer, I didn't get a close enough look?), a Lotus Elan +2 with Christopher Neil drop-top conversion (above) and, best of all, the military vehicle I spied running along a Thameside road.

At first I thought it was some sort of VW Schwimmwagen, but after a bit more research I reckon it's more likely to be a WW2-era Ford GPA Amphibious Jeep (lead image). Can anyone confirm?

Even dropping into the supermarket can prove a happy hunting ground - I've spotted everything from a mint Austin Ambassador 1.7 HL to a slightly scruffy but deliciously well-used Riley RM. In a funny kind of way, I'm jealous of both owners!

But my favourite, mainly because I was in the Magnette and another '50s car is a slightly rarer sight, was a couple of nights ago when I saw this wonderful Mk1 Ford Zodiac (or perhaps it was a Zephyr, sorry, it was pretty dark!). Sadly, I couldn't get any closer because the traffic was too heavy.

What's the most interesting thing you've seen on the commute? Don't forget to post a picture on our forum thread classic cars spotted on the road.