TC1313 (Registration HKR 471) was originally a Police Car with the Kent Constabulary from 12 September 1946 until 14th January 1949. I see one of her stable-mates from that era, TC1315, now resides in Nova Scotia. She had a further two owners before my father Robert bought her in 1955 (I still have the original registration books).

She proved her worth in attracting many pretty nurses and WRENS to accompany my father on his jaunts out from Dartmouth Naval College, one of whom was my mother. Apart from a minor accident in a tight Cornish lane against an oncoming Mercedes the car remained pretty much intact and running well through to 1967 when we moved to Australia. HKR 471 didn't make the journey there with us and was put to bed up on blocks until I was given her in 1979.

Enthusiastically I filled her up with petrol, fitted a new battery, fired her up and drove off to the local MOT testing station. A long list of dangerous faults were found, including a sheared engine mount, a broken leaf spring and defective brakes, but a bit of work saw her on the road and once again impressing the next generation of girls.

Disaster struck in 1983 when a big end bearing went on the M5 near Taunton. As a student with little money and being a long way from home, I improvised with my tool roll of a few spanners and removed the offending piston and con-rod beside the road and put the engine back together with three pistons instead of four. The car shook like hell to start with until I was brave enough to wind the revs up a bit when things thankfully smoothed out. The crank survived and I managed to drive the 120 miles home in less than four hours. Needless to say a bit of a rebuild was required on the engine and that got me tinkering with other parts.

When time and money allowed in the 1990s the car was restored chassis-up with a fair bit of work being done by Naylor Brothers in Yorkshire. She was originally painted in black with green interior trim but I had her re-painted in green with a tan trim.

She is now in fine fettle and tackling the challenging roads around the Highlands of Scotland with eager pace, giving delightful squeals from rubber at the rear. I love the tick of her engine, the suck of her twin SUs, the twist of her chassis, the reflection of the sky down her bonnet and that warm oily smell. I have five years to go until my son James starts driving so I'm making the most of the lively lady until he gets his hands on her.

John Burdett