My First Car: Joys of owning classic cars from ‘Anglebox’ to Austin

Eamonn Harvey with his current classic car, an Austin A35, called Horace, and his dog, Charlie. Pict

Eamonn Harvey with his current classic car, an Austin A35, called Horace, and his dog, Charlie. Picture: Eamonn Harvey - Credit: Eamonn Harvey

A 1960 Ford 'Anglebox' Anglia 105E put Eamonn Harvey on the road to enjoying owning classic cars and he still has an Austin A35.

I have so many fond memories of my first car – a 1960 Ford 'Anglebox' 105E.

Many 'modern cars', especially those with diesel engines, are proud of the high mileages clocked up but the odometer of that tiny Ford Anglia 'died' at about 99,000 miles and it went on to clock many more miles of service.

My mum bought it for me as an 18th birthday present for the sum of £90 from her brother-in-law. We lived in Bethnal Green in the East End of London and I used it to commute to college in Loughton, Essex, where I was doing my A-levels.

My first ever girlfriend, called Della, didn't seem overly impressed but my car was regularly used for 'lifts home' often fitting in at least five impoverished students and avoiding Tube fares on the Central Line.

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Later, I attended a teacher training college in Cheshire and the little Anglia took the long journey from London several times a year in its stride, along with various, silly adventures around the Cheshire countryside.

I ended up working in Coventry and lived in a bedsit in nearby Leamington Spa for many years and the Anglia served me well on the daily commute to work.

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I was the drama teacher at a girls' school and I remember the pupils used to line up at a roundabout nearby to witness the daily spectacle of the passenger door of my car flying open every time I went past. By now, the old car was getting a bit worse for wear and the brakes needed to be pumped very hard to get any sense out of them at all! Well, it was the 70s and safety didn't appear to be particularly high on the agenda.

Eventually the local garage declared the Anglia unfit to even be entered for an MOT and it was sold for £12.

It was responsible for introducing me to the joys of classic car ownership and its replacement was a Morris 1100, called Trigger, which also came to an untimely end. That was followed by a gorgeous Ford Capri Calypso which was responsible for changing my luck with the ladies! That car eventually 'died' too.

Now a little Austin A35, called Horace, gives me many joys of 'classic' motoring down the gentle lanes of Suffolk near my home. I don't have a photo of my first car but here is my new friend, Horace, with his partner in crime – Charlie my dog!

Tell us about your first set of wheels – 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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