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100th birthday surprise - Vic is reunited with much-loved car thanks to new owner from Somerset

100-year-old Vic Gamble is reunited with his old car, thanks to the new owner, John Ball. Credit: Alwyn Jones

Vic Gamble has fond memories of the old Ford Consul he bought in Taunton in 1960 but he'd no idea he'd get to see it again.

  • Watch the moment 100-year-old Viv is reunited with his faithful four-wheeled friend

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The car was first sold by S G Bartlett in Glastonbury in 1955. Vic came across it while on holiday in 1960 with his wife Elma and mother-in-law. His Ford Popular kept breaking down so while the women went shopping he took it into Whites Garage in Taunton for repair. He spotted the Consul and the rest was history - a part exchange and the green car was his.

The Consul holds memories of the holidays Vic shared with his wife Elma who sadly died five years ago. In later years, he only used it to visit and tend her grave. He finally gave it up in 2017 and a few months later it was bought by John Ball from Wincanton, who made it his mission to restore it.

John got in touch with Vic to tell him his plans.

I wrote to him and said I was restoring the car. Vic was telling me how much the car means to him and his late wife Elma, Later, Vic was very emotional on the phone when I sent him the pictures of their names I painted on the dash.

– John Ball, Car owner
John painted Vic and his wife's names on the dashboard as a tribute to the former owner. Credit: John Ball

Vic is now living at the Llys Cadfan Residential Home in Tywyn in North Wales and when John heard that staff were holding a 100th birthday party for him on 19 July 2019, he knew he had the perfect present.

John Ball gives 100-year-old Vic Gamble a ride in the lovingly restored Ford Consul Credit: Alwyn Jones

John decided to drive the restored Ford Consul up to Tywyn - a 400 mile round trip from Wincanton in Somerset and reunite Vic with his four-wheeled friend.

He says "Vic was very surprised when he see the car and his face was gleaming when I took him for a drive around the town and along the sea front."

This is what Vic had to say:

It was a very pleasant surprise. I never dreamt I'd see it again. It was a wonderful old car. I had it for 55 years.

My wife and I enjoyed motoring for all those years and it only let me down once.

– Vic Gamble, Centenarian