NOT many motor engineers could say that they took a car for MOT 46 years after selling it but that is exactly what happened on 16th October last year when Bert Reid took Norman McKenzie’s Hillman Imp to Cookstown MOT Centre.
On 15th December 1966 the car was sold by Bert to the late Patrick Devlin of Barrack Hill, Drumenny, Coagh.
Bert’s family owned McCammon & Beck, the Rootes/Chrysler dealership on Molesworth Road in Cookstown. The car was registered on 9th January as 6228 HZ. and cost £597. 10s. 6d.
Patrick drove the car for many years until his death in the early 80s when it was passed to a neighbour.
Norman had been on the lookout for an Imp for some time as he had been a fan of the model since 1972 and had owned several so when Patrick’s car came up for sale Norman jumped at the chance.
He attended various vintage and classic events for a couple of years but wanted to do some repairs to the bodywork as the car was getting quite old by then.
“I took the car off the road but did not expect the restoration to last so long!” Norman told the MAIL.
“I was lucky enough to have the help of my friends Peter Corby, Ivan Smyth and John Nicholl along the way and the welding and bodywork was done by Rodney Maneely. Finally Alan Somerville sprayed the car in it’s original colour of Capri Blue.”
Norman was unable to take the car to MOT himself so the job was entrusted to Bert who had successfully rallied an Imp many years ago.
Bert added that he quite enjoyed the journey to the MOT Centre in the little car.
Norman intends to take the car to various events in the future and ends by saying a big thank you to all who helped with the restoration.