Rust ate away first floor, then termites attacked wooden replacement!

Keith Hirst’s parents with their Ford Popular in the then United Kingdom Trust Territory Cameroons i

Keith Hirsts parents with their Ford Popular in the then United Kingdom Trust Territory Cameroons in West Africa. Pictures: supplied - Credit: supplied

Keith Hirst recalls his father's first car which survived rust only to be attacked by termites which munched their way through the timber floor.

Keith Hirst’s parents with their Ford Popular in the then United Kingdom Trust Territory Cameroons i

Keith Hirsts parents with their Ford Popular in the then United Kingdom Trust Territory Cameroons in West Africa. Pictures: supplied - Credit: supplied

This was my father's first car in a town called Tiko in what was then the UKTT (United Kingdom Trust Territory) Cameroons in West Africa, now part of Cameroon.

The year was 1956 and, though I was quite small, I have a vivid memory of this mud-coloured brown Ford Popular. Garages were effectively an unknown luxury and owners had to make do and mend although the AA did provide a restricted service.

This car suffered badly from rust but dad fixed it by cutting out the damaged floor and replacing it with a timber one. Brilliant, worked a treat!

When the family returned to the UK my father sold the car to a local politician who used it canvassing for the upcoming election. All well and good you might think but the flooring had suffered a bad attack of termites and the whole floor was eaten while the electioneering was going on. The unfortunate man found he had a progressively more floorless car!


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Tell us about your first car – email your motoring memories with a picture of the car 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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