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"Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963"

Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963

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Postwar Standard 8 Saloon Feature

Postwar Standard 8 Saloon Restoration in South Africa:

Thanks go to  Richard Edkins, a member in South Africa, who sent me this article on one of his Standard   cars:

I spent four years training to become a teacher in the late 1960's and early 1970's......1969 to 1972 to be exact. My first car that my Dad bought me was a 1954 Morris Minor split windshield ---803cc I think. It was a great little car for a student and took me all over the place. I blew the diff at one stage but was able to get a good second hand one and was mobile again in a short space of time. One day, travelling back to 'Varsity after visiting my girlfriend who lived some 200miles away,(I married her and have been happily married to her for the past 28 years) the Morris stopped on a hill 20 miles from my destination. The car had to be towed back to town. Cost was 22,00 Rand; R20,00 towing charges and R2,00 to CLEAN THE S.U. CARB. Since my monthly allowance was R15,00 per month, this was a MAJOR expence on my budget. The mechanic showed me how to clean the carb in case the problem occurred again. I felt so helpless and stupid....not to mention poor !!! So began my interest in things mechanical.

After this expensive incident I rersolved to find a car wreck to just strip and learn for myself how a car worked. I just could not afford anymore repair bills. And so the search for a wreck began. I started at the scrapyards but had no success.

One day, while driving around in my University town, I spotted a little car, abandoned, in the back yard of an Indian General Dealers store. On enquiry I was told that the car was for sale for R50,00 !! This car was a wreck, not running, missing a number of parts and my lovely little Morris only cost R150,00. Much haggling and negotiating followed--------eventually settling on a price of R10,00. 3 tyres took took air, one needed a puncture repaired. A friend helped me tow my "new" aquisition back to where I stayed.

This is how I became the proud owner of my 1948 Standard Saloon. I managed to find most of the missing parts and got the car going. What an exciting and unforgettable experience hearing that little 1000cc side valve engine burst into life. The headlamps were wrecked and the side lights gone but the D tail-light was still on the car and in good order.The headlamps presently on the car are incorrect..too big, and the side lights incorrect as well having come off of a later British car, an Austin if I recall correctly. Otherwise the car is reasonably original.

Initially I had thought (as a 20 year old) that I would convert the Saloon into a hotrod......V8 engine, wide rear wheels etc. Then, thankfully, I met a true vintage car enthusiast who encouraged me to restore the car back to its original state. The vintage car bug bit me.....good and proper and I have remained a fanatical enthusiast to the present day.

My new-found vintage car mentor was the local undertaker and was a man in his 60,s then, which was OLD for a 20 year old. Of course 60 is no longer old since I'm now in my 50's !! He was very kind and helpful to me. I got a distributor cap from him. While he was burying the deceased he was resurrecting old cars. His oldest car at the time was a 1913 Hupmobile. He had many other cars in the teens, twenties and thirties.

When found my Saloon was being used as a beer drinking "den" by the locals and was full of empty bottles and containers....and, of course, stank of the smell of stale beer. Sadly the entire dashboard and all instruments were missing. Remnants of these were found amongst the trash lying in the car....perhaps the victim of some intoxicated soul who decided to take his frustrations out on one of the most difficult to find parts when restoring an old car,  the dash and instruments. My mentor, the undertaker, told me that he remembered that a certain garage in the town had been the Standard/Vanguard dealership in years past and that I should visit the place. The dealership had long since folded and the premises were now being used for a panelbeating shop. Guess what ??------ strung up high in the rafters was a brand new waterfall grill with surround to fit my Standard. Unbelievable?? Believe it, it's true; although to this day, 30 years on, I still cannot believe my luck. Though the car had its original radiator surround when I purchased it, the chrome-plated grill was missing.Thankfully the Union Jack ornament was still on the car. What a relief. Well the new grill was duly untied from the rafters and a price of R5,00 agreed upon. On further enquiry about any other spares the foreman directed me to an attic. There I found a brand new bakelite dashboard still with its price tag on.(I forget the price). I could not believe my luck and still think to this day that it was amazing that I found these "new old spares". I also found some door handles and window winders and that was about all.

I then found out about a fairly remote old car scrapyard some miles outside of a nearby city. The owner of the yard told me that he had scrapped a Standard like mine some years before and took me to the site where the car had once stood. There in the dirt I found the sun visor bracket and the petrol cap still with arm and spring attached. In his store he had the speedometer and other instrument cluster, but no bakelite dashboard. Fortunately I had found the new dashboard as explained above.

A friend gave me the ignition/lightswitch and indicator activator/hooter button, which is located in the centre of the steering wheel.  With these parts, I now had a virtually complete 1948 Standard Saloon.

The body had a lot of surface rust on it, which I sanded by hand.  With no spray painting equipment at all, the body work was hand painted...silver body and black mudguards.  The seats, surprisingly, were in very good shape, despite the car having frequently been used as a 'pub' before I acquired it.  Amazingly, the car still had all four of its hubcaps when purchased.  The doorsills, as can be expected, are very badly rusted and will need extensive repair.  (The Tourer sills, however, were much worse).

When I completed my studies at the end of 1972, my dad agreed to pay for the Standard to be railed back to my home town where it stood in storage until I established myself in my profession and bought my own home.  Since I acquired the car, it has always been garaged.

After I complete the restoration of my 1947 Standard Tourer, it will be the turn of the 1948 Saloon.  The Saloon will always have a special place in my collection of old cars as it was the very first old car that I paid for myself and worked on.

Other cars that I own: 

1928 Chevrolet Imperial Landau Sedan - restored

1928 Chevrolet National Tourer - restored

1929 Ford Model A Phaeton - restored

1954 Morris Minor 803cc - restored (unfortunately, not my original first ca

1962 VW Beetle - original

1964 VW Beetle - original (owned by my wife since January 1972)

1964 Opel Kadett - original

1939 Chevrolet Half Ton Pickup - unrestored

Hope this makes interesting reading for visitors to the website and perhaps encourages other Standard Motor Car owners to contribute articles/stories about their cars.

Good wishes.Richard

I am aware that there are other cars and information that could be added to this site to make it more comprehensive, so if you have material and photographs, please let me know.  Please send me, Phil Homer, a message at: Phil Homer