Village mechanic Jimmy Blanche collected antique cars for decades on his land. The decaying but complete and restorable Daimlers, Singers and Austins will be auctioned off in April.
The British newspapers are abuzz this morning with the story of a massive cache of old cars found in a cottage in rural Norfolk. Owner Jimmy Blanche, who died earlier this year, has amassed a collection that includes Austins, Swifts, Singers, Rileys, a Daimler, a Lea Francis, a Lanchester, a Sunbeam and a rare 1930s Morris Minor convertible. Bonus points to everyone who knows what all these things look like without the help of Google Images.
Blanche lived the life of a recluse and kept his cars on private property which turned into an overgrown wilderness over the decades. “He was a familiar sight in the village on his bike. He always wore a long tatty leather coat with a bit of baler twine as a belt and wellington boots,” reports a friend as quoted by the Daily Express.
The cars, which have been off the road for 50 years, will be auctioned off on April 4. Auctioneer Guy Snelling describes the cars as being in a poor state, but adds that they are mostly complete and can be restored. “One man's wreck is another man's restoration project,” he added.
With eight men needing two weeks to hack through the undergrowth in the manner of princes on their way to Cinderella's castle, this appears to be a Project Car Hell of Danteian proportions. Especially when you consider that any restorer will have to put up with the pun Sterling Moss at least 666 times.