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Crayford Convertible
A Corsair is born
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My Ford Corsair started life at Halewood ( Merseyside ) in September 1964 but was not registered until 15 Feb 1965.   Mr L Harvey of 152 Beecham Rd, READING, had ordered the car through J Jarvis & Son, 46-50 Christchurch Rd, READING, who were a local car dealership. 

The car which eventually arrived at the dealership seems not to be that ordered as Mr Harveys widow still maintains that they ordered an Ambassador Blue model, ie dark blue, not light blue.   Mr Harvey said that it didnt matter as he quite liked the colour and so took delivery of this particular example.  The total cost for the vehicle was 766 5s 7d, including extras and purchase tax but Mr Harvey part exchanged his Austin A55 deluxe saloon, for which he received 310 5s 7d.

The Harveys lived in a garageless Victorian terraced street and so the car spent its life outside.  With the vehicle being used mainly for local journeys, by 1969 it had only covered around 24000 miles and this trend continued into the seventies.  In 1978, Mr Harvey retired and treated himself to a new car. The Corsair subsequently passed to Mr Goodall, the husband of Mr Harveys granddaughter.  Mechanically, the car was sound due to the low mileage but cosmetically it was in need of some work.  Mr Goodall carried out some extensive restoration work during the mid eighties.  Mr Goodall ran her as a second car for the next few years but covered few miles.  After some time of non use, Mr Goodall sold the car to a work colleague.

It appears that the person to whom the car was sold never registered the vehicle in his name and little is known about the cars history during this period.  The car was sold on again to a Mr  Silk who acquired the vehicle on the 3rd of April 2002. I understand from Mr Silk that one of the pistons was seized and that work was carried out to get the engine back in to working order.  Mr Silk was keen that the original engine should remain in the car and I am pleased that this was achieved. 

I came to purchase the car on the 12th of December 2002.  I had been thinking of purchasing a classic saloon for sometime.  There were three models that I had in mind all of which I liked for various reasons.  They were a Vauxhall FB Victor, a MkI Ford Cortina (pre cross flow) and a Ford Corsair.  It was by chance that it turned out to be a Corsair which came along first.  I was at a loose end one morning and saw the advert in a weekly magazine and decided to take a look.  As the car was in Newbury and I was in Bristol, I had agreed a price with the owner prior to setting off on the understanding that I could walk away if I decided it wasnt for me.  My mechanical knowledge of cars is very limited and my friend knew even less than I did but the car seemed sound and Mr Silk was a really nice guy and seemed genuine.  I suppose you could just say that everything felt right and my instincts told me that it was a good buy, certainly compared to previous cars I had seen, although this was the first Corsair I had looked at.

The reason that Mr silk had decided to sell the car was the fact that he had just purchased a Volvo Amazon, a car which he had always wanted, and so the Corsair had to go. 

I remember driving the car home.  It was a bitter cold Saturday morning and it was with some trepidation that I set off from Mr Silks house.  It was a true adventure in to the unknown as I had no idea how the car would cope with the eighty or so mile drive home.  It need not have worried, however, as the car drove superbly and effortlessly all the way.  The only thing which I did discover was that the heater wasnt working.  I had never felt so cold but it didnt seem to matter as I was having such fun, despite the fact that I could see every breath in front of me !  I was surprised at the cars speed capability and seventy mph seemed no problem.  I couldnt help noticing the looks and backward glances from other motorists as they passed by.  It gave me such a buzz.

I joined the owners club, got the heater working and I am please to say that the car has given me such enjoyment over the few years that I have owned it.  Touch wood, it has only ever let me down once and that was due to the battery and not the car.

If Sixties saloons are your thing, I would definitely recommend the inline 1500cc Ford Consul Corsair as a practical, reliable and a little more exclusive option.    







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This site was last updated 11/10/08