Man reunited with vintage car he last drove in the 1950s after current owner tracks him down
A vintage car enthusiast has been reunited with the beloved vehicle he last drove in the 1950s after it was painstakingly restored to its former glory by the current owner who later tracked him down.
Bert Davidson, 83, thought he’d seen the last of his 1929 Humber saloon when he sold it for £185 nearly 60 years ago, until he was contacted out of the blue by engineer Robin Wills.
Mr Wills’ father Ken, a solicitor, also once owned the car in the 1970s but sold it to fund an upgraded central heating system in the family home.
Mr Wills, 46, decided to try and establish the car’s existence and in 2007, after two years of research, he discovered it was in California and was owned by Lotus designer Martin Waide.
It emerged the car had travelled across the Atlantic four times, but had not been driven since 1979 after its engine blew up. Mr Wills paid £10,000 for the car, and spent a further £6,000 restoring it to working order over nine months.
Remarkably, Mr Wills was able to find Mr Davidson from an enamel badge on the car’s dashboard, informing him it was driven in the 1959 Kildrummy Rally. Some further research revealed it was driven by Mr Davidson, who ultimately won the vintage rally.
The men met this afternoon in Mr Davidson’s hometown of Elgin, Scotland, after Mr Wills towed the car 300 miles from his home in Brancepeth, County Durham, with his wife Anna and son Harry, 9, using a trailer.
Mr Davidson, a retired mechanic, said: “It was a great experience. He’s made a beautiful job of the car. The memories came flooding back.
“I was very surprised and delighted when he got in touch with me.”
Mr Wills added: “When I first called him he was shocked to find out about the car. His face lit up when he saw it today. It was quite astounding to watch.”
In 1976, the car also had a starring role in the opening credits to The Likely Lads film.