This month was quite a busy one as in addition to Lucie being on show for four days at the 2010 Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham, I also at last moved house and now live in a detached house with a garage. Sadly Lucie isn’t in there yet as it is full of boxes and other items so as soon as we can get everything unpacked then I will be fetching Lucie and introducing her to her new home.
Whilst hundreds of classic car owners were no doubt polishing their pride and joy for the Classic Motor Show, there wasn’t much I could do with Lucie as she was going in TV character as a gardener’s van. I have over the last year or so been collecting spare parts for her for when I eventually do get round to restoring her and so for the Motor Show I fitted brand new chrome mudguards to the front. Prior to this she had none fitted and the mudguards in question are as rare as rocking horse manure. I was very fortunate enough therefore to get a pair that were new old stock. I won’t mention the price of them though. Once fitted the mudguards gleamed and looked completely out of character with the rest of the car. Also fitted were Reliant script badges to each wing and above the doors on the back. These are also quite rare as they were only fitted to the side-valve Regals from 1953 - 1962. After that the Reliant script was then at an angle rather than upright.
The back of the van also had a good clean out and I washed the sides and sanded the wooden floor. I then had an idea that for the show I will fill the van full of old 1960s type gardening items. A quick visit to the bottom of the garden in the shed found some old crock plant pots, an old metal watering can and wooden handled tools. As my spade and gardening fork had plastic handles, my girlfriend’s parent’s let me borrow the ones they had.
As we were moving house my girlfriend wanted things to be “modern” in the new house where as my place was old and Victorian which also included a few silk plants in dark corners where even aspidistras would die. (And they were nick named by the Victorians as “Cast Iron” plants as you couldn’t kill them). Anyway all these fake plants were thrown away and then salvaged out of the bin and with certain ones placed into a wicker laundry basket they seemed gardener-ish. Next it was onto Google searching for old 1960s seed packets. I found a few old seed packets (though not actually sure of the year) but when printed out and made into a packet with a bit of padding inside, they made very convincing seed packets. Also on ebay I came across an old Pelican book from 1950 on “Uncommon Wild Flowers” by John Hutchinson and so this was purchased for the humble sum of £1.99 and placed on the passenger seat during the show.
What with an old garage thermometer, leather gardening gloves, old bird house, ball of string and some old hessein sacks full off padding, they all went together nicely to put the van into character.
The Classic Motor Show ran from November 12th - 14th and so on November 11th, Lucie was packed up on the trailer ready to go.
Go to Part 2