Ex-garage owner stunned as son unwittingly buys back beloved car 43 years later
Published 12/11/2015 | 12:11
A retired garage owner has been reunited with a car he fell in love with 43 years ago - after his son unwittingly bought it at auction.
John Edwards, 81, sold the 1972 Saab 96 from new for £1,023 when he was director of Westbury Garage in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
He was so taken with the car, registration BAW 77IL, that he photographed it and hung the picture in the garage for many years.
Last month, Mr Edwards's son, James Edwards, who took over the running of the garage when his father retired in 1996, spotted a 1972 Saab 96 at auction.
He recognised the vehicle had been registered in Salop - the official name of Shropshire between 1974 and 1980 - as old-style number plates start with three letters identifying the place of registration.
But he had no idea that the car, which he bought from Richard Edmonds Auctions in Chippenham, Wiltshire, had been sold by his father 43 years ago.
Mr Edwards was stunned to see the vehicle returning to the garage's forecourt, in which archives contained the paperwork of its original sale.
His son now plans to use the car and display it in the garage, which is now an all-makes service centre, and is researching its history.
"I was amazed to discover Dad had sold the car all that time ago," Mr Edwards said.
"I knew there was a local connection, but had no idea it was such a strong one."
Mr Edwards also tracked down Doris Williams, 86, from Westbury, Shropshire, who had worked in the garage and washed the car in 1972 while it waited to be sold.
Auctioneer Mr Edmonds said: " When James told us the story about the car and his father, we were blown away.
"I feel like we've played matchmaker in this story, which is wonderful for us and our team.
"Saab 96s were once very common in the UK but now you rarely see them up for sale. This one was in fabulous condition."
Anyone with information about the car's history after it was sold by Mr Edwards is asked to contact the garage on 01743 441445.