My First Car: Taking a pride in protecting his 1961 Ford Prefect 107E

A Ford Prefect 107E similar to Graham Coe’s first car. Picture: Sicnag/ Wikimedia Commons

A Ford Prefect 107E similar to Graham Coe’s first car. Picture: Sicnag/ Wikimedia Commons - Credit: Sicnag/ Wikimedia Commons

Graham Coe's first car was a Ford Prefect 107E and he aimed to keep it as immaculate as the previous owner had done with plenty of polish and a plastic cover to protect it.

My first car was a 1961 Ford Prefect 107E which was in production only a short while.

These models had the 100E body but were fitted with the 'new' Anglia 105E 997cc engine and a four-speed gearbox. They often had two-tone paintwork but mine was blue with a black vinyl roof. I found out many years later that the car had been tipped over in an accident and the roof repaired.

I remember driving it after passing my test and how strange it felt not having someone sitting beside me. I drove it to a petrol station, forgetting it had a petrol locking cap, and had left the key at home.

I did not have a garage but left it on a nearby piece of land. I bought a plastic car cover to protect it from frost and rain and also a plastic panel for the rear screen to prevent condensation – it was not a success. This was in the days before heated rear windows were common.

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My young sister and I spent hours polishing the car, the previous owner had kept it immaculate and we tried to do the same.

I do not remember having much trouble with the car except for a burst heater hose which filled it with steam.

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The car stayed in the family as a cousin had it next. I bought a 1964 Morris Oxford Series VI, complete with leather upholstery and an electric clock, but, as they say, that's another story.

Tell people about your first car – email your memories with a picture to or post it to Andy Russell, Archant motoring editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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