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Pride of Ownership Finalists 2024

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Colin Fidler – 1956 Austin A35

Colin Fidler – 1956 Austin A35

These little Austins are absolutely packed with charm, and the lovely example you see here was originally found in a front garden by the owner’s Uncle Robin. He nicknamed it ‘Rusty’ but it has come a long way since then.

“My uncle was an old-school mechanic and although he planned to restored it properly one day the first thing was getting it roadworthy. It was in use for a few years, but he sadly passed away in 2018 so now it belongs to myself, brother Mark and father Ronnie.”

After spending a couple of years tucked away in the garage the arrival of the Covid pandemic presented the perfect opportunity to begin the A35’s restoration, and the work was completed in April 2022. “We did most of the work ourselves, although we had plenty of help from a good friend. There was a lot of laughs but also plenty of swearing!”

A lot of effort was spent getting the car to this condition, and after a full strip-down and repairs to the bodywork it was re-painted in its original colour. All of the chrome was restored, too, and the straightforward mechanicals were given a thorough overhaul with replacement parts where needed. They even managed to find a new-old stock manifold.

Robin had always wanted to display his car, so the restoration was carried out in memory of him. “Now we can say that we have done it, and to have it at this year’s show is the icing on the cake for us.”

We think the family has done a superb job, and while it might be the smallest car on display it’s certainly big on character. It’s one of the reasons why these classics are so popular, and this fine example might just encourage you to buy one for yourself.

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