About vehicles our man James currently enjoys.

Having just spent a happy two and a half years with Beech Hill Garage
dealing with all matters concerning M.G.’s, buying, selling, fixing and repairing them, Our Man James has learnt a lot and formed quite an attachment to the marque.
Clearly, due mainly to the great age of Our Man James, preference is for the pre war and fifties style, particularly the TA, TB, TC’s and TDs. If you want a reasonably simple sporting car, these take a lot of beating and Beech Hill Gargage know them well and can provide parts and expertise to support them.
For lovers of later models, particularly the MGBs, again, Beech Hill know their stuff and usually have a good selection. Their man Anthony will bore you to death with the merits of the MGC but for practical help, the mechanics, will get you out of trouble.
Now there is a certain amount of hesitation when it comes to owning one of the later MGF’s and TF’s. They are great fun and providing you buy wisely and maintain them correctly, you will enjoy them. Again Our Mann James recommends a call to Beech Hill Garage, for their own cars come with a decent warranty and will have had the dreaded head gasket and/or cambelt change done or carefully checked for wear.If you need one fixed.
Our Man James has parted company with the Firm on very amicable terms and they have all become great friends. Good quality MGs For sale and Wanted- Give Alex or Will a ring on 01189884774, or see the website www.beechhillgarage.com

Meanwhile what is in the Our Man Jamesgarage at home near Andover? Again, being an elderly person, comfort and reliability come first so it has to be a 1933 Austin Light 12/4 Harley Saloon.

The car was restored in 1977 and following a reliable trip to The Le Mans Classic, was put into dry storage for some 30 odd years. Retrieved a few years ago and re-commissioned, it eventually found its way to Our Man James, where it has been carefully checked over and has been seen out and about at local runs and Rallies, including the Bean Car Club Daffodil Run. It seems in great fettle mechanically and bodywork is sound. The paint is getting old but looks authentic and the interior boasts original looking leather in the back, although the front seats have been refreshed. Headlining and carpets are all good. Currently on offer in Car and Classic website or call 07768 630969 for details.Might swap for early MG with cash adjustment.
WARNING: tell your friends you own a Harley and they expect you to turn up in leathers with bushy whiskers etc.

For the longer run or Grand Tour even, the 1939 Rover 14 sports saloon is a must, particularly for those that cannot quite stretch to the £50,000 needed for a Derby Bentley. The six cylinder engine of just under 2 litres, pulls well through a 4 speed manual gearbox with the added Freewheel device. This when engaged, removes any form of engine braking, so taking your foot off at a dire moment, leaves you with no alternative but to ram whatever has blocked your progress. That apart, with sunshine roof, the smell of old leather, wood and oilyness, this is a delightful Gentleperson’s conveyance.

Then of course, every Classic Collection needs a Commercial so Our Man James was delighted to acquire this little gem:
The Dansk Oversoisk Motor Industrie imported Morris Cowley commercial chassis cabs in the 1950’s and fitted their own coachbuilt bodies. These originally had the split screen front end and scuttle of the MO series, but it appears that in later years Morris Minor chassis were also used, lengthened to take the DOMI body.
The vans were popular with the Scandinavian Post Office and it is thought that a lone Minor may survive.
Offered here is a 1969 Morris Minor Van, with chassis suitably lengthened, on to which has been grafted coachwork from an original Domi grp mould. A 1275cc BMC engine is fitted, coupled to a Ford Sierra five speed gearbox and disc brakes are fitted to the front with servo.
The cockpit is standard Morris 1000 but with a good quality wood rimmed steering wheel.
The vehicle is thus rare, yet highly usable and enormous fun. A definite head turner enhanced further by the period Morris sun visor.

As we move into 2018 the above three vehicles have been lured away to new homes. Current replacements:-

1991 MAZDA MX5 EUNOS, a cute little roadster with hard and soft tops, rollover bars, nicely presented in green with smart tan trim. The automatic gearbox is a great boon to a mildly damaged Our Man James. It seems to have done about 75000miles and has clearly been well loved.

1952 STANDARD VANGUARD PHASE 1A, just the thing for comfy cruising for 5/6 people. Remarkably good condition following careful rebuild by John Alexander, chief mechanic at Beech hill garage. These are really rare now and a lovely example of 1950’s motoring.

Due in in the New Year is a very pretty Austin Ten Sherborne, which is being partexchanged against our dear old !2/4 Harley.

As June approaches the Mazda is coming into its own with open top motoring between the showers. The Sherborne and vanguard having moved on, the search was on for a prewar sporting car M.G. or similar. What came along has been a complete surprise and fits the bill admirably. Not as expensive to run as some vehicles of this era yet extremely rare is a 1936 Austin Ten Ripley Sports. This little 4 seat tourer was delivered new to Derbyshire Constabulary with 5 others, to take up patrol duties around Belper. Being a police car, the engine featured a high lift camshaft and a downdraught carb, making 65 mph possible against the standard 55! The car was restored by its previous owner in about 1997 and still looks great. A trip by train and boat to the Isle of Wight, with young assistant and the car was collected, driven across to Yarmouth, then home via Lymington, in the rain, but otherwise no problem. Truly a great find, very sporty yet with Austin Ten running costs we hope!

Just goes to show you never know what you can find.

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