Charlie Binyon

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Car History

I first learned to drive in the garden on a 1935 Austin 10 hp that had been bought for 30 bob (£1.50) from a scrapyard. It was started using a crank handle, and the seat squab was reversed so I could reach the peddles. In later years the body was removed, and it was used to drive around the garden like that until it eventually threw a big end and was no more. To get petrol I used to cycle to the garage at the end of the road with a 1 gallon oil can strapped to the back of my bike.

When I was 16 I bought a Hillman Minx for £10 that had been taken in part exchange by Ashby's, the garage where I was working. I did a bit of work on it and sold it for £12

I then bought a 1954 Morris Minor series 2 (870 CMY) from another mechanic at Ashby's for £12.50. This I had repaired in Woking and ran it for more than a year. I painted it orange with black wings and cut a panel out of the roof which I covered with a piece of canvass tarpaulin to keep the rain out.

in 1971 I bought my 1961 Austin-Healey Sprite mk1 (196 LTW) for £40 and I have it again in my garage now. I took that to Woking and fixed it up in the evenings after work, then kept it on the road for a while, until about 1974, the front suspension collapsed one evening on the Hammersmith flyover and I had to have it trailored home. After that I sold it to Steve Beresford.

I officially started to drive in our 1962 Mini, with driving lessons in a Hillman Imp once I was 17. The mini I later bought off my Father for £50 and did some repair work enough to get it through an mot.

Once the mini had gone, I bought a Singer Gazelle estate from Paul Beresford which was fun for a while, I also had a Heinkel Trojan 300 Bubble car for a few months, which I sold on to Simon Rowlands at Guildford College.

Whilst at college, I bought a few cars from auction, a Jag mk2, a beetle, a triumph 1500 fwd, a Mini Cooper. The Cooper I had re-painted with Permabelle, a special paint that didn't need polishing.

I bought a Triumph Spitfire mk2 from friends for £220 as the clutch had gone. I had to sell the Cooper to get the cash for it, it was only 9 years old and the most modern car I had bought. The clutch was easily repaired and it was this car that I set out on my European adventure in. I later had it repainted, and fitted wolfrace wheels. The main reason for this was that a front wire wheel had come off under braking when over in the Dordogne area which put me off wire wheels for life. At one point I exchanged it for a Herald 13/60 from Julian on a temp basis.

I bought an Austin J4 van in about 1979 which I drove down to Antibes loaded with a triumph 650 bike and a whole load of painting equipment and materials. it had a faulty water pump so it overheated quite often, but on the whole it was reliable. I spent all summer with it in Antibes, then drove it back where I got £8 for it from a scrapyard.

 

Whilst living abroad I have had a number of cars, Citroen GX, series 2 Landrover, Audi Quattro, Range-Rover, Peugeot 205GTI, Mustang 5L GT, Hyundai FX, Audi A3 diesel, Audi A3 V6 3.2 Quattro

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bikes

Honda P50E

BSA Bantam 175

Francis Barnet 250

Suzuki 50 step-thru

Suzuki TS 250

Honda 500/4 UDR 27L

Triumph TR650

Suzuki GT250 twin

Suzuki GT750 Triple

Yamaha XS1100

Ducati 900 MHR (new)

Suzuki TS125 trial

Yamaha XS 1100 Swiss plates

Suzuki TS 250

Yamaha 1000 Genesis

Honda CB900RR Fireblade

Ducati 900 MH evolutione (new)

Ducati ST3 (new)