The story of my Granada ownership goes back to 1998. I had always wanted to own a Granada since watching ‘The Sweeney’ on television (a familiar story I’m sure !).
After several years of VW Beetle ownership I decided to look around for a Granada but most that were advertised were in the south of England, and living in the north of Cumbria they always seemed too far away. However, one Saturday I bought the latest copy of Classic Car mart and saw an advert for a Granada Mk1 only 20 miles from me. So, it was straight onto the phone to arrange to go to see it that afternoon. The car belonged to the daughter of a scrapyard owner, but apart from being dusty from being stored, it was immaculate. It was a 2.0GL in metallic gold, locally registered and had only covered 21000 miles.
I couldn’t let this one slip away and offered the full asking price. At the time I was working abroad from Sunday to Friday, so my dad returned the next day with a deposit and we collected the car the following Saturday. I joined the Guild on the recommendation of the previous owner and over the years managed to get to some of the national days at Billing often being the furthest travelled.
Over the next few years the car was enjoyed but only used for pleasure and always garaged so didn’t do a big mileage. Some restoration work was carried out in 2006 by a local classic car specialist. A couple of secondhand doors were sourced through the Guild and various other bits of bodywork were attended to at the same time, however, the quality of their work would become apparent later (they have since gone out of business ! !).
By 2010 the car was starting to show its age with both front wings rusting and rust bubbling up on the doors, a previous repair to the ‘C’ pillar was also looking suspect and the seats were past their best. Having got to know Peter Maskell over the years and knowing what had been done to his car, my wife Jane and myself arranged to go down and see Sean Frazer at Haven Classic and Kit Cars in September 2010.
Once there the car was checked over by Sean and Peter. They gave us a rough idea of the cost and the amount of time it would take to do the job. After a great deal of thought we decided to go ahead and have the car restored, although at this stage we didn’t realise how much work would be involved, as the car was in worse condition than we thought (sounds familiar ! ! – Ed).
The car was duly delivered in late October, the stripdown began and so did the search for parts. Thanks to ebay, and Peter, who kept sending us ebay numbers to look at, we got 4 new doors, 2 new front wings, various repair panels and loads of other bits and pieces. Peter provided us with almost daily updates on progress, with photos sent via e-mail. Every so often we would make the trip to deliver parts we had bought and to have a look at the car, although it was a 300 mile round trip from where we live, we were usually down about once a month.
To cut a long story short an amazing amount of work was put into the car, everything being done by Haven except the vinyl roof fitting and repairing the seats, carried out by a trim shop in Hull. We got the car back in June 2011 and have to say we are absolutely delighted with the car, it looks superb and we know what’s underneath is as good as what’s on top.
Finally a big thank you to Sean and Matthew at Haven Classic and Kit Cars for all their work, effort and expertise, Peter’s wife Ann for making us welcome and having bits of our car stored around the house!
And finally to Peter Maskell for all his help, encouragement and cups of tea ! We couldn’t have done this without you mate !
What a fantastic story which I hope you will enjoy as much as I did while typing it up. I really must agree with Andrew’s final sentiment about the good Mr Maskell. I had the engine of my Mk1 Estate rebuilt at Haven last year and things were sometimes far from smooth due to defective brand new ancilliary bits notably in the ignition department. That unique help encouragement and gallons of tea certainly saw everything come perfectly together in the end.
All things equal it will hopefully be said Estate’s turn in the bodyshop in a couple of years anyway! – Ed.