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My First Car: 1962 Ford Popular choice but not ideal one as tow car

Tony Hewlett needed his first car, a 1962 Ford Popular, when he started working as a plumber. Picture: Tony Hewlett

Tony Hewlett needed his first car, a 1962 Ford Popular, when he started working as a plumber. Picture: Tony Hewlett

Tony Hewlett

Tony Hewlett had some explaining to do when his 1962 Ford Popular was used by criminals and he did not know it was missing. But it didn’t fare so well as a tow car.

This is my first car, a 1962 Ford Popular that I brought in 1964 when I was 17.

After crashing my first motorbike, I was persuaded by my mum and brothers that four wheels are safer than two. I had great fun driving around in her.

I was training to be a plumber and, in those days, you were not given vans so you had to use your own transport. Once, when I was 18, the police knocked on the door at 7am and said they had found my car 30 miles away and I had to collect it – I did not even know it was missing. When I arrived at the police station I was informed it had been used in an attempted robbery from a building site and, because the boot was full of my tools, I had to convince them I knew nothing about it.

After a while they agreed with me and I was allowed to go home.

I had the car for six years and it was our family transport until I had to part with it in 1970. I married in 1966 and we drove to Dorset for our honeymoon. Three years, two chlidren and a dog later we tried towing a caravan round the South Coast for a week – by the time we got home to north London the big ends had gone and we had to let her go – these cars only had an 1,100cc side valve engine and were not designed for towing.

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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