101Smart Ltd.

Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th August

1950 /60's 70's A BARN FIND COLLECTION 

Estimate:  No Reserve

Remains available


Who is David Brown? Since we have been fortunate enough to offer the cars collected by David Brown, we have been contacted by several of his friends who knew him years ago including one gentleman, Richard, who now resides in Australia and who has been kind enough to provide the only image that we have of David.

It sounds as though David was a great guy, a character from a different era. Never married and loved the ladies. He is now 83 years old. Richard has provided the following anecdote:

"I met Dave when we were both learning to fly at Biggin Hill airfield, the famous old Battle of Britain fighter station, pretty much abandoned by the RAF in the early seventies and relegated to being the home of a dozen or so flying clubs. He was a few years older than me and in some ways was akin to an older brother I’d never had. Dave became passionately interested in flying and we had several ‘adventures’ together including a memorable odyssey to Greece in a Cessna 172 G-AVUA and several trips to France and the Channel Islands. Dave was intelligent, capable and resourceful with a dry sense of humour. He was a competent pilot but, as another friend said, he was often in a ‘bit of a muddle’ trying to balance the many and conflicting elements of his life. I migrated to Australia in late ’79 but my job in the Antipodes took me back to UK frequently and I tried to meet up with him for a drink whenever I could. He never changed. He always arrived late. It has only been during COVID that our exchange of Christmas cards ceased and left me wondering what had become of him.

Probably his interest in flying subsumed his other interests and objectives. Dave had a small workshop a stone’s throw from this house where he produced glass fibre hard tops for Land Rovers. He was more in the way of a bespoke tailor rather than a mass marketer; he advertised in ‘Exchange & Mart’ which together with word of mouth produced a steady trickle of customers and although I believe he could have done, he wasn’t interested in expanding his empire. It kept the wolf from the door and that was fine. He produced a smallish number of well-crafted hardtops cheaper than the OEM offering, pretty much to order; and sometimes with customers waiting impatiently outside the door for him to finish a commission when he was running a bit behind schedule! I recall on one occasion a manufacturing fault had left a hard top with a rather large hole in the roof. Undeterred he went out and found an acrylic sliding window, fitted it into the hole and charged the customer extra for a de-luxe version sunroof!

So it would be fair to say that Dave wasn’t the most organised of people and even back in the early seventies he had assembled an assortment of vehicles, including the E-types and ACs in various states of repair, disrepair, renovation and disintegration, parked in his shed or wherever else he could put them, exposed to the elements and awaiting the day when he’d get around to restoring them. Although he had his trove of cars and countless other pieces of trash and treasure parked all around his yard, and he did buy and sell, he was more a collector than a trader. He knew his motors and had an eye for a bargain. On one occasion, when we were driving past some car yard in South London he brought the car to a sudden halt and ten minutes later he was the proud owner of a somewhat decrepit E-type he’d spotted for sale at a knockdown price. I’m not sure what became of it. I owned a ‘G’ reg. Spitfire (which Dave referred to as ‘a hairdressers’ jamjar’) and on one occasion outside the ‘Bull’s Head in Chislehurst I started it up and Dave bent over and listened intently to the engine noise. He straightened up and advised: ‘Sell it, quick as you can; yer big ends are about to go up the pictures!’ I’ve no remorse in recounting that I sold it to a little Jack-the-lad who fancied himself as a wheeler dealer who beat me down from my deliberately somewhat high asking price and thought he was getting a bargain. As Dave said he got more than he bargained for!

I recall a dark blue AC, back in the mid –seventies, which I believe is the one in the photo, being in a roadworthy but certainly not in a fully restored condition; it was a sort of work in progress with him driving it in what could have been, but wasn’t, a really tasty car. I can’t recall whether it had a tax disc on it. Probably not. He did a more thorough restoration job on the yellow E-type which as late as 1978 he took up to Biggin looking, as he put it ‘the business’ and I recall being allowed to drive that for a short distance around the airfield at Biggin. Try doing that these days! Although restored to quite a professional standard I believe it subsequently got damaged, possibly mechanically, and he never got around to repairing it again. He had too many other things on his plate. That was the tragedy, I think he always intended to restore the vehicles; he certainly had the skill, mechanical ability and Trade contacts to source spare parts but simply never got around to it. Time flies."




Notice to Buyers: Please be aware that all lots are sold as seen and without any warranty implied or given. You must satisfy yourself as to a lot's description and condition before you decide to bid. We recommend that you inspect the lot in person during the general viewing days held prior to the auction or call us to arrange for an individual appointment when you can also employ the services of an expert. Please refer to the terms and conditions.