1930's family car? - stunorthants
A friend of mine asked me today about getting a weekend car that his whole family could enjoy. He likes the 1930's style but he doesnt know much about which ones are any good. he is decided on the era of car so just looking for suggestions within the 1930's.

He wants something that can easily seat 5 and max price of £10,000. He would prefer something that doesnt need an engine rebuild every year and size wise, atleast the size of a Ford Granada, which rules out something like a Ford Model Y.

I was hoping some of you can remember back that far and have any ideas on what he should look for?

I was told my grandfather had a matt black Humber limo which he bought for a few quid back in the 60's which he used as a family car for years, but I doubt theres many of them around now!
1930's family car? - SlidingPillar
The size of cars has increased dramatically over the years. I'd have suggested a Morris 8 and you might find a good one in budget. (A good pre-war car for the tyro as they have good brakes).

Buts the size of a Granada... Potentially going to go way over budget unless one of the larger Vauxhalls meets the bill.
1930's family car? - Sofa Spud
Rover P2 from the late 30's looks good.
1930's family car? - AlanGowdy
I imagine anything from the thirties, unless in the luxury bracket, will be a very disappointing drive. Probably slow, thirsty and with dynamics bordering on the dangerous. Consider the wisdom of it carefully.
1930's family car? - madf
He might be better buying a late 1940s car with pre war styling but more modern brakes etc.
I had a 1946 Rover 16 which looked pre-war but had upgraded engine etc. It would seat 4 and do 80mph. I ran it as my only transport 1968-71.

and it's a BIG but

Try driving any of them in traffic or in town:
NO power steering - incredibly heavy at low speeds.
Brakes require careful adjustment.

Axle tramp. (and if he does not know what that is.. don't buy until he does
Speed humps!!!!!

Safety? You joke.
I would never travel more than 20-30 miles in one. Apart from the dynamics and lack of seat belts they are tiring to drive in modern road conditions and if you are in a crash.. well doors are rear hinged for a start and as for safety locks. well what's that?

And finally ..lead free petrol and 1,000 mile oil changes and grease nipples. (the Rover had automatic chassi lubrication which fully worked.. after I had repaired it.!)

1930's family car? - cheddar
How about a 60's or early 70's car that has classic status though to drive will feel like a 1930s car after driving pretty much any car from the last ten years. Perhaps a Triumph 2000 (dog slow) or 2500, parts and servicing should not be a problem, a Rover 2000, 2200 or 3500, otherwise a Zephyr or Zodiac or why not a MkI Granada, after all that is one car that is, er, as big as a Granada!
1930's family car? - madf
Other suggestions:
Ford V8 Pilot
Austin 16
MG Magnette (pre war)
Any large US car - Lincoln? but LHD?
Riley - nice post war 1.5/2.5- great driver's car.
Armstrong Siddley

I ignore Bentleys as FAR too expensive to buy and run.

1930's family car? - local yokel
Just post war, but with pre-war looks MG Y type - available in saloon and tourer.
1930's family car? - Altea Ego
Having had a father who went through this phase, and bought a 1931 austin 7 tourer, I can say its not enjoyable for the family at all. Slow noisy uncomfortable, every journey etched witht he fear of not gettng there or back in one piece. On our way to show or rallies it was always the chore of sprucing up the car when you got there.

1930's cars have very little apeal for most folks unless they are very special indeed, and very special means a lot more than 10 grand.

YOu want fun family days out? if you can get one for the money a big open top yank tank of the 60's or 70's

If I wanted to go nostalgic, I would get a citroen light 15. ( i could get my 1940s panzer grenadier uniform and knee high black leather boots out of the loft then and screw my monacle in my eye - Von TVM)
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
1930's family car? - Sofa Spud
If you want a 1930's car, how about VW aircolled Beetle or a Citroen 2CV? They were both designed in the 1930's!!!!!
1930's family car? - barchettaman
.....knee high black leather boots out of the loft ....

Thought you kept them in the wardrobe, RF?
1930's family car? - Collos25
My father had a Austin 16 having sold his 1937 Austin 10 and I used tio think how large it was.It had a 2.2 4cylinder sidevalve engine, leather front seats and west of england cloth rear a rear window blind operated by a cord, rod brakes and 85mph down the newly opened Preston bypass ,I saw one recently and thought its no bigger than an escort,the Humber Super Snipes and the Huson Terraplanes were pretty large though the Humbers having inbuilt jacks that came through the floor when rust set in.
1930's family car? - stunorthants
I did go through all the cons with him and he said that he knows old cars arent as easy to drive as new ones, but thats part of the pleasure - the challenge of the drive. He also reasoned that some must be easier to drive than others which im sure is true to an extent.

He also said he wouldnt take his kids out in the car unless it had seatbelts fitted and there are several companies who make belts up for old cars, so that shouldnt be too much of a problem.

Plus he said that he has not often seen a 1930's car doing much over 40mph and always driven very sedately round corners, so safer than a modern car given your well aware you cannot push it even close to the limits that modern cars have.
Of course, very few cars have been safe in crashes before the 1980's at the earliest, so whether he has a 1930's car or a 1970's one, it makes little difference really as in any major crash, your likely to die unfortunatly, even in many modern cars that can be the case still.

The reason he suggested a rather big car was as much for safety as for comfort as with older cars, the more metal you have around you, the more there is between you and something that hits you right? It sure rather have a head on in a Humber Limo than an Austin Seven?

I suggested he looks for something british such as the Rover or Vauxhalls mentioned.
1930's family car? - Adam {P}
I'd rather have a head on in a Peugeot 206 than a Humber Limo though!
1930's family car? - stunorthants
And I would rather have a head on in a 30 ton lorry than a Peugeot 206, doesnt mean Im gonna go buy one.
The whole point of having a hobby/weekend car is an element of fun - the 206 is the motoring equivelent of a Tesco value microwave.... infact id say the microwave is likely to be more fun.

Its a wonder some people ever drove cars before the 5star NCAP rated cars without being nervous wrecks.

I was gonna suggest to him that he looked at the Beauford models as they do 1930's style but with more modern mechaincs or shudder, a Panther Royale if he could find one.
1930's family car? - Adam {P}
You've missed my point completely.

I hate 206's. I don't really like hatchbacks full stop really (not small ones anyway) and I'm always going on about the nanny state and having fun rather than following rules.

What I was highlighting was your mate's flawed logic. The fact he must go slower around corners doesn't make him any safer. Everyone else is nicely cocooned in their airbaged, side impact protected car and will still be going around corners driving fast and feeling perfectly safe. The difference is, when they hit your mate, they live, he doesn't.

That doesn't mean I don't think he should get one. (Although I wouldn't myself). In fact, I'd love people to buy all sorts of different older cars to make things interesting. I'm just questioning his justification of it and his logic.

And for what it's worth, I couldn't give two hoots what the NCAP rating of any car is. Safety wouldn't even be on my list when I come to buy a car. You live, you die. Simple as.

Oh - and before I'm 40, I will own a 1967 Ford Mustang.

Do things look different now?
1930's family car? - stunorthants
I get your point, thanks, sorry I misunderstood.

Ive had people drive into me in old cars and I have to say, they stood up very well, albeit mine were only 20 odd years old.

Would having a heavy car help? With huge separate chassis? May help in an impact?

1930's family car? - SteVee
I'd be looking for an MG SA - but not the tickford.
There was also a smaller VA and a very large (and rare) WA, but the SA was easily the best looking.

There are still several around, but one in good condition is going to cost 20-30 thousand rather than the planned 10 thou.

The MG Car Club has a SVW register for this group of pre war saloons so there is still some support for them.
1930's family car? - madf
If he wants a Rover, then

the Rover Sports Register Cars for Sale is a good start.

I have sold all my spares and books .. A Rover 16 or 20 has a very smooth 6 cylinder engine with overhead valves and nice alunium detailing. They are much better built and finished than an Austin 16. 16s are quite plentiful, 20s are like hens teeth.
The 10s,12s and 14s are also well finshed but noticeably underpowered and not much cheaper to run.

The RSR provides good spares backup.
1930's family car? - nick
And finally ..lead free petrol >>

Most 30's cars are quite happy on lead-free fuel and will handle really low octane stuff.
1930's family car? - Avant
I well remember a colleague paying something like £10,000 to have a 1939 Daimler professionally restored - only to find it was utterly boring to drive.

To some extent your friend will have to go with what's available - those 30s cars that haven't gone to the great scrap-heap in the sky are cherished by their owners and not often sold (except by their executors).

One of those huge old 6-cylinder Vauxhalls of the mid-30s might be what's needed - if one can be found. Only a few years ago I followed one pulling a caravan - at quite a good pace.

Ask Honest John

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