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My First Car: Morris 8 proved to be uphill struggle

Alan Payne with is 1937 Morris 8 and the invoice for £100 for the car and £7 15 shillings for insurance. Pictures: Alan Payne

Alan Payne with is 1937 Morris 8 and the invoice for £100 for the car and £7 15 shillings for insurance. Pictures: Alan Payne

Alan Payne supplied

Alan Payne’s 19-year-old Morris 8 would not go up steep hills forwards so he had to go up them backwards.

Alan Payne with his 1937 Morris 8. Picture: Alan PayneAlan Payne with his 1937 Morris 8. Picture: Alan Payne

I started to learn to drive in April 1956. A local man taught me at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire – he was probably one of the first forerunners of the driving schools of today.

He had a small under-powered Standard 8 horsepower car and had a lighted cigarette dangling from his mouth throughout the lesson. But, nevertheless, he got me through the test in six hours.

I was soon looking for a car and eventually found one – a nice little 1937 Morris 8 which I bought for £100 and paid another £7 15 shillings (£7.75) for third party, fire and theft insurance.

It was 19 years old but, remember, most people were driving older cars as new cars were only for the more well-off people. We kept it for a few years and my wife, Sheila, learned to drive in it.

The invoice for £100 for the Morris 8 and £7 15 shillings for insurance. Picture: Alan PayneThe invoice for £100 for the Morris 8 and £7 15 shillings for insurance. Picture: Alan Payne

One of the problems was that it would not go up any steep hills in forward gears so you had to drive up the hill in reverse gear.

Winter was always the worst time as it would never start – you have to swing the starting handle witch always resulting in blisters on your fingers.

Tell us about your first set of wheels – email your memories with a picture to motoring@archant.co.uk or post it to Andy Russell, Archant motoring editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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