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My first car: Austin 1100 with red leather seats was scrapped in favour of a Mini - which didn’t last long either

21:00 14 July 2014

Janice Poulson

Janice Poulson's Mazda 323

(c) copyright citizenside.com

We may complain about the treacherous roads when it snows each winter but it was far worse in the 1970s.

Janice Poulson remembers driving her Mazda 323 around Ipswich, struggling to get up the hills in Belstead.

She said: “That wasn’t my first car, my first car was an Austin 1100.

“I used to work at a garage called Graham Avery along Main Road in Kesgrave, I had a Saturday job and I saved up and bought that. It was E-registered 1967 model and I would have been about 17 or 18 at that point,” added Janice, 60, of Kesgrave.

She continued: “It was white with red leather seats, I paid £50, which was quite a few Saturday’s worth of wages.

“I got rid of that and bought a Mini. I think it had nearly had it when I bought it. It was four or five years old but they were notorious for smoking.”

Janice drove the Mini to and from college but it smoked so much she eventually gave in and upgraded.

“I bought a Mazda (pictured). it was a rotary engine, Mazda 323 which was quite a big car for those days.

“I got that for about £150, I was about 21 and I saved up myself.”

She added: “That was a beautiful car, it had leather seats but no power steering, that came later on.

“It was quite a heavy car, with big wide tyres. I used to live down Belstead and had to go up a hill to get anywhere.

“They didn’t grit the roads in those days and it was a nightmare. One day I got stuck and it started to slide backwards, there was a bus coming up behind and I managed to go sidewards, luckily I managed to stop and then I took it home and went on the bus that day.”

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2 comments

  • I too started out with an Austin - in my case a 1971 1300 in "Midnight Blue" (a sort of purple) - that I called "Samantha". I also bought a white one and my uncle (a mechanic of some repute locally) swapped the engine and gearbox from that into Samantha. After a couple of years I fancied a change and went for a Maxi (in a "sort of" orange) and sold Samantha to a mate. From there I followed Janice into a Mini (in "Applejack" - a pretty revolting green) but which was actually great fun to drive. Then it was a Metro - yes I know! - and then a Maestro (written off at just 8 months old). From there it was a series of Fiats, Vauxhalls, a rather interesting Mazda (323F) and now a Hyundai. Those cars have been a pretty even mix of very good and very average but I now also have a 1996 Mazda MX-5 and, despite it's age, is the most fun I've had in a car since my courting days! Ah .... happy memories ......

    My Mx-5 at the Owners' Club Rally at Pendennis castle a couple of years ago.

    Report this comment

    Ramases

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • Mine was a MkII Ford Escort reg# KCX 912N it was metallic purple with all the trimmings added, rostile wheels, spot lights, mini steering wheel, a cassette deck that could eject the tape into the back seats and so many brake lights that when you hit the brakes the car slowed down just through the drain on the battery!

    Report this comment

    richie w

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

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