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Growing up - What were your Neighbour's Cars ?


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When I was a kid I grew up in a 70's built private housing estate in Telford in the late 80s/early 90s. From there I remember our next door neighbour, Tony, he had a succession of Capris until he bought a 2-tone Blue/Grey Montego which he used to wash/wax/polish every weekend, he became obsessive about keeping his cars absolutely immaculate, his cars were never dirty. After the montego he bought a White/Grey Rover 216 R8 with cross spoke Rover GTi alloys.


Neighbour on the other side, all I remember them having was a facelift Ford Sierra, next to them, my mate Ben's parents had a succession of crap laying around thier house, Bens mum had a seriously rusty Blue Metro which looked as if it had been hand painted at some point, his Dad had a 1988/9 Saab 900 which one day blew its engine and spent the next 5 or so years sitting outside on the road (This was before DVLA enforcement laws) eventually it moved on the driveway which contained a tatty old caravan nontheless. His Dad also had a Reliant Scimitar as some sort of project, after getting rid of the dead saab, he bought a green Datsun Laural which Ben hated, then a couple of Peugeot 306s followed after all the tat had been got rid of.


Across the way had a White/Grey Rover 214 whioch remained in thier family for a very long time (10+ years) before that, I seem to remember they had a Fiat Ritmo in the garage which never moved, this eventually disappeared and the garage got filled full of household tat. Next to them a young couple had a mk1 Vauxhall Astra with a 'FAT WILLY'S' sticker on the back. Further up some big twat had a Red Astra GTE, which I accidently kicked a ball at. Slightly further up is a house that has had a succession of boring stuff, but al the time they also had a Blue/White VW Camper van which they have still got!


Back down the drive to the bungalows had a Silver Montego, next door, I think were a young couple who had a Dolphine-Grey Sierra Cosworth with whale-tail spoiler, then the old couple next-door had a Nissan Cherry.


In the Cul-de-Sac a few meters from where I lived, at the time I had a sort of 'mate' he was a bit mad, but his mum had a succession of Escort XR3is, a woman who lived on the corner had a mk3 Fiesta XR2i and a onetime boyfriend of hers had a Mk3 Cavalier SRi.


There are more cars I remember but they are a little too boring to list....

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Lot's of chod around where we lived in the late 70's to mid 80s. Thinking back, and starting from house number 1 on our street:


Wartburg Knight

Fiat 126

Escort mark 2 van

One of those little DAFs (33/44?)

Wolseley Six crab (lay dead on the drive for years), another Fiat 126

Chevette saloon (us!)

Chevette hatch

Mark 1 Fiesta

Mark 1 Granada which was actually a Consul

Morris Oxford which belonged to the father of my sister's friend. We used to play in the car, as it was knackered. 2902 OZ.

Renner 4


I can't remember the order of the cars on the other side of the street, but there was 2 or 3 Marinas, a couple of whatever the last model of Viva was called and a big old Lancia which I think was a Beta. Some family lived there for a very short time, and they had a spankers Alfasud, which everyone thought was mega cool. The other one I remember was a very early Austin Cooper S, which got hiabbed in 1982 during the World Cup.

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I was brought up in an area of London which did not know if it was still going down in the world or starting to come up in the world, so there was everything from newish Jags to abandoned old Hillman Minxes parked along the road (there were no drives or garages) Next door ran a garage (well three railway arches, one of which was the spray shop :shock:) and had a very nice Sunbeam Rapier, next door on the other side had an A35 van with seats in the back but no windows. The neighbour over the road made Arthur Daley look like a new age hippy. He had a Bedford (TK?) Luton parked in the road with '***** Van Hire' written on the side, but he ran antique fairs and used it to store all the stalls, etc as his warehouse was full of other stuff. He also had a Mercedes 190 SL which he never used but was always going to restore, but never got round to it. The street seemed quite empty after he moved :wink:


A few streets away the area was almost entirely occupied by Hassidic (ultra-orthodox) Jews, who for some reason all drove Volvos. I don't know why, does anyone here have an answer? Perhaps they didn't want to drive German cars for understandable reasons, but Volvos didn't seem an obvious choice.

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Very dull I'm afraid, we had a Morry Minor, there was a Viva & a Rapier 1V across the road,

everything else was 1100's apart from the bloke next door who bought a new '66 Corsair & said that it would 'see him out'

Surprisingly it did & his widow promptly replaced it with the first Wartburg anyone had ever seen!

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Just remembered that the lad with the MK1 Escort's dad had a MK3 Capri, it was red and silver so probably a 'Calypso' or something. He sold it to the lad across the road who painted it black and smashed it up. There was an Irish family with 5 kids at the end of the road, I can't remember if they had a running car but there was a Mini sat on the drive, it had the roughest orange paint you ever saw but it had 'Cooper' badges on. Often wondered if it was genuine.

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I remember...


1970ish Baddesley Ensor I was 4ish

Black Morris 1000.

White ADO16.

Grey Mk1 CF LWB with double SLD.

Orange Marina Estate.


1972ish Barrow -upon-Humber

Yellow Humber Sceptre (Arrow)

Green Viva.


1973/4ish Polesworth

Blue and White Mk1 Escort with a blue light on the roof (We lived across the road from the Police Station)

Maroon and Grey 105E.

Yellow 105E Estate.

Mk10 Jaaaag (Local shopkeeper who also ran the local PDSA Branch)

Mk1 Granny in THAT Copper colour. (Pub Landlord... my mate's Dad!)

Applejack (I think) Allagro.


1977ish to 1980/1ish Bracknell

White Mk4 Cortina.

Sable Brown Mk2 Cortina.

Blue R16.

Blue Austin Se7en..!!!

PC Cresta 3.3... in Orange with a black roof.

Yellow TVR Taimar.

Two tone Grey Rover 105S

Citroen GS

Various Mk2 Escorts.

Purple Mustang.

2CV Cabane...?? Blue and Cream

A Fleet of Tonibell Transits and CFs in Pink (I earnt my pocket money washing these on Sunday mornings..... and sold the maggots to friends who fished!!)


1981ish to about 1983/4ish. Sunningdale

Green R14 CGY 119T

Maroon VDP Princess ADO16 ARX 201J

Blue Ami Estate.

Blue Colt Hatchback

Green Marina 1.8TC.

Pug 604 OPG 604R. (Local newsagent)


1984ish to 1986ish. Slough

Yellow Cavalier SWL 234P

Red Nissan Cherry or Sunny BND 785Y

Blue MK2 Jag.

Grey Rover P4

Saab 99 ??

Sherpa van!


Then dossed about a bit....


1989ish Wiltshire

LWB Commercial Suzuki SJ Pickup!

RWD Escort Mk3 V8 Twin Turbo...... a seriously cool motor.

Red 2CV WEL 42S

Moggy Thou.

Vulva 740.

Willys Jeep MB (Early Early)

Nissan Prairie (Postman)

Sherpa Milk float ... bloody diesel outside my bedroom window at 5am EVERY fucking morning.


1991 onwards.. Nottinghamshire.

Leyland Terrier

VW LT (These were a pair owned by Crusty travellers)

CX Safari

BMW 2500


And then it all went a bit hazy.....


I might remember more later.

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I remember my neighbours cars back in the early nineties the best, circa late 1992.


One neighbour had an E reg Galaxy Blue mk4 Escort five door (1.3 or 1.4L from memory) and had it for many years.


On the other side, the husband was a Vauxhall employee and had a new car pretty much every time the season changed. They briefly had a Y reg Bedford CF camper and the only car which did hang around for several years was a light green four door Cavalier L saloon - BKL 708Y.


Surrounding us also included:


G reg Lada Riva saloon in sky blue (G*** SMA - I remember that much)

A reg Rover SD1 (same owner as the Lada, but was only used on ‘special’ occasions)

E reg Cavalier LXi in red

E reg Nissan Sunny Coupe in red

G reg Astra LX hatchback in red

A reg Nissan Cherry Europe in Silver

H reg Nissan Bluebird in Silver (same owner as the Cherry Europe)

K reg Cavalier Expression saloon in maroon

E reg Montego saloon in silver

F reg Montego 1.6L saloon in red (post-revision, ‘89 model)

J reg Escort 1.8i LX in Burgandy Red (me and my dad really fancied that)

W reg Austin Metro in dark blue

Y reg Renault Fuego (x2!)

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Ok, 70's and 80's Bedfordshire... They were mostly one car households so each car succeeds the previous one.

No1 Corolla E70 (first person in the house to own a car)

No2 Rover P6 2200TC, Datsun 100A FII Coupe

No3 Cortina MkIII, Opel Manta A, BMW 2002, Escort MkII, Opel Kadett, Datsun 140J, Renault 5

No4 Viva HC, Nova saloon

No5 some form of Abarth coupe (wish I could remember exactly what type but I was very young at the time and it's all very hazy!), Viva HC, Chrysler Alpine, Capri 2.8i, MG 1300 (the owner of the Viva/Alpine was an actress in Crossroads!!

No6 Vanden Plas 1100

No7 Triumph Herald, Triumph Toledo

No8 Early Escort MkI (F reg)

No9 Triumph 1300 & Mini Countryman, Vauxhall Chevette saloon, a variety of Cortina MkIV & V's

No10 Renault 12, Toyota Corolla E30, Opel Kadett, early Vauxhall Cavalier MkII (X reg), 2x Rover 213's

No11 (Us) Maxi 1500 (BUC 696H), Datsun 120Y estate (PPP 944R), Datsun 120Y 2-door (CMJ 133T), Triumph Acclaim HLS Triomatic (WLB 310X), Rover 213SE Automatic (B105 OLO)

No12 Never had a car

No14 Simca 1500 & Wolseley Hornet, Renault 15, Saab 96, Peugeot 304, Mazda Montrose, Volvo 740

So, all in all a pretty good variety of shite. Wish I could go back now.

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Cars I remember were:

The really-old dears next door had a long-lasting 1100 which was treated to max revs/max choke on a cold engine whilst reversing out of the garage. Was replaced eventually with a Metro HLE, didn't last as long. Think they walked evrywhere after that until nursing homes took over. Opposite was a succession of Vivas, old agricultural pesticides salesman who swore what he sold made people get cancer, made their land die and only ever put bonemeal on his own garden - one of the most productive known to Western civilisation. His thin, batchelor son was a boring intellectual sort who loved white or red Capris, always shiny and clean. Kind of odd, given his brain. Son-in-law in management, clever and generous fellow had one Alfa fter the next, SudSprints usually. Drove like a madman. The daughter had Citroen GSs then GSa, always on their way to or from Turkey/North of Scotland/Scandinavia. Had loads of children with her socialist husband. She was very good-looking, I remember! The large business woman from round the corner with skinny husband had 2cv4s, several of. Remember watching them past at full chat, amazing sound like a jet aircraft, the only car to move when the snow was bad - famously got through when the farmer was stuck first in his BMW then his Land Rover, presumably with worn tyres.


Nasty, corpulent and pasty-faced young accountant with trophy skinny wife (straightened, bleach-blonde hair) had a brown 1974 Audi 100, brand new. Never stopped going on about it. We kids thought he must be foreign or a spy. Otherwise it was Morris Minors and old Fords for the real locals, Volvo 145 for the bank manager, Triumph Vitesse then 2000s for the local headmaster. Very few Jap cars as I remember. One Grandfather had a 1969 Saab 99 which seemed really weird - other one a Merc 200 with vertical headlamps which replaced a Wolseley 1500. Older cousins had interesitng stuff - old MGs with loads of rust, '50-'60s Rovers etc.


Not neighbours, but teachers cars were often interesting. Ancient Moggie Minor Traveller on pre A plates, rusty as fuck but lasted for ever, Geog teacher had a crappy 120Y in white, completely the opposite of what you thought she'd have had (which was some ancient rapid Jaguar), French teacher had Fiat 124s I think, remember one buying a Gof diesel brand new and everyone thought he was mad.


Going to school involved a huge (it seemed) yellow P reg Rover V8 with the BL smell and a powerful engine, a Mini Clubman estate with young daughter in the back eating her breakfast (that was the nicest car and felt well made too), a Dyane, a large yellow Vauxhall with a six cylinder engine, don't think it was a Victor or Ventura, had a bad ride, one of the first Ford Fiestas (metallic blue R reg I think) which seemed quite good, a T-reg yellow Golf 1600 and a collection of BL stuff - Princesses, Ambassadors, Metros, Maestros and Montegos. One of my mates' dads was a BL salesman and all the speedos were disconnected, usually accompanied with various faults. Only Fords routinely broke down, only Renaults were worse to ride in, particularly 9s. The smell was puke-making when they were newish. It does make modern stuff look pretty 'orrid and boring.

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Memorable cars either side of the parents' modest semi in late 70s Malvern were a Rapier H120 followed by a bright yellow Cavalier Sportshatch, a Hillman Imp Californian and a Marina TC. The best one was an ex-Avon & Somerset Triumph 2500S motorway car with wide steels, odd holes and intergalactic mileage... 8)

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Memorable cars either side of the parents' modest semi in late 70s Malvern were a Rapier H120 followed by a bright yellow Cavalier Sportshatch, a Hillman Imp Californian and a Marina TC. The best one was an ex-Avon & Somerset Triumph 2500S motorway car with wide steels, odd holes and intergalactic mileage... 8)


Late 70s Malvern? You MUST have seen my Citroen CX in light blue back then - at least once man! It lived in Malvern until the late 80s apparently.

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Down in autoshite close, circa 1993, parked either side of our Datsun Laurel (KLX658V) and R reg Austin Allegro (SVX929R) was an F reg Volvo 740 Saloon, D reg Granada Scorpio, D reg Isuzu Piazza, a faded blue Chevette, a Triumph Acclaim, a brand new black Peugeot 405 L903FPD, a black Maxi with a slight....er terrible lean. Further down the close was a blue Renault 11 B444JAP, G reg Astra and some others.

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My parents house was mainly surrounded by 1980s repmobiles, the window cleaner had a yellow (?ex bt) bedford HA that I liked, but a visit to my Grandads was far more interesting, with a motley selection on old crocs lining the tightly packed cobbled streets. Next door neightbours had a reliant scimitar (an early one) and even aged 5 with little understanding of what that thing was, I loved it and instantly preferred it to dads shiny company granada. Further down the street was a battle scarred and faded austin somerset that had various old giffer type running repairs done with whatever fell to hand. lots of mk II/ III cortinas that were all fairly rusty, and my fave, a two tone red/ silver cortina crusader.

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OK.... next door had a F plate Escort LX in Burgundy - because my mum had an E reg one and they liked to do one better. They didn't know my mum's was a company car, they just had to show off. Prior to that they had an E reg Maestro in white - hence the inexplicable upgrade a year later.

T'other side, Ernie had a yellow Volvo estate. I remember it being a P suffix, not sure if that makes it a 240? That got chopped for a P prefix Micra which very quickly developed dings on each corner as his eyesight went.

Over the road there was a nice E21 BMW in black, sounded lovely but was driven everywhere flat out

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In the mide to late seventies, our next door neighbour was Jock Henderson, the sales manager for AC Cars wo wrote a book on AC. He had a pale blue Anglia Estate. Over the road, a blue Austin 1800 in in our street, a Chrysler 180, metallic purple Escort 1300E, a Monza blue Escort Sport Mark 1 and an almond green Austin Mini.

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I was finishing school/starting Uni in the mid '70s - we had a Mk 1 Cortina estate before I went to Uni, changed for a Sunbeam Alpine whilst I was away. Walking to school (which we all did in those days) I can recall passing a 1600E Cortina, a Consul Capri, a PA Cresta, several Morris 1000s, Mk 1 and 2 Escorts, a Mk 4 Zodiac and, most memorably, a late '20s Lanchester, which I recall being HUGE compared to anything else in the street! Oh, and the only Teacher's car which sticks in my mind was a Consul Classic! I liked my Fords even back then!! The coolest kid in the school became the envy of us all in the 6th form when he started coming to school in a Mini Traveller, and then a white Triumph Spitfire! though he didn't seem quite so cool when a front wheel fell off as he turned into the car park!! :lol:

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Consul Classic! Thank you, that reminded me of a teacher at my school who had a four-door one in yellow with the white roof. Number plate was something like KJM 926, but I could be wrong, it was nearly 40 years ago and he wasn't even one of "my" teachers! Also, I'm sure one of the younger lady teachers had a purple Mini with red interior...

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