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Meet Josh – the lucky lad who got loaned a Triumph Herald

17 May 2024

Peter James Insurance is proud to sponsor the Classic Car Loan project and help inspire and enthuse tomorrow’s classic vehicle owners. Over the coming weeks and months, we aim to meet and share as many of the stories and adventures this year’s lucky applicants are undertaking in a huge variety of classics. To find out more about the scheme, visit:
https://classiccarloanproject.co.uk/cars-in-the-project

Car loaned: 1959 Triumph Herald

Loanee:  Joshua Perry from Peter James Club partners, the Triumph Sports Six Club

29-year-old Oxfordshire-based Shop Fitting Design Engineer Josh Perry tells us about borrowing an early Triumph Herald from the CCLP in this instalment.

Classic Car Loan Project - Triump Herald

I’ve always been interested in cars, particularly classics, but I’ve never had the resources or space to buy and keep one. I got involved in the CCLP via being a member of the Triumph Sports Six Club’s Oxfordshire Group’s Facebook group, which I’d joined as I’d always especially liked the styling of the Herald 13/60. I’d posted on there in March 2023 saying that if anyone wanted a hand with their car, I’d be interested to get involved as I hadn’t got my own at that point. One of the group members came forward and said, ‘Have you seen this? The club is offering JDX on loan?’ and posted a link about the project. Everyone in the TSSC knows about JDX because it’s almost a talisman for the club It was built in early May 1959, and it’s the oldest roadworthy Herald saloon to exist. The car’s owner, Chris Gunby, the TSSC Chairman, restored the car some years ago, and although his name is on the logbook, he regards it as a club-owned car to be used for the good of the club.  It’s an amazingly original car, which still has its original interior, seats and carpets and has only covered 33,000 miles. The car was initially owned by a lady who used it sparingly and knew it was an early one, so she offered it to the club not long after the club was formed. It’s done some long trips, Lands End to John O’Groats and an event in Holland, but it’s always been used as a second car, so we know that mileage is genuine. Part of the loan scheme deal is that you must have safe and dry storage, and I was lucky. A nearby neighbour had a grain barn where he kept some cars, and I was that until he had a moveable to access around, so I now keep the car in another storage unit a mile from my home.

I immediately decided to give it a go, hearing back from Chris a week or so later, and was pleased to be considered. After discussing it with Chris, I was accepted and received the car at the MG and Triumph Centenary meeting at Silverstone in June 2023, literally driving it home from there. It was a great day, and I enjoyed driving it home. I treat her gently and rarely go above 50mph, but apart from the brakes, which are different to the modern cars I’m used to, she’s really easy to drive. Having only a 948cc engine anyway is not about speed, but I enjoy driving the car. Over the year, I’ve been to quite a few classic car shows at Gaydon or Bicester, and on Drive It Day this year, we covered 130 miles, and she never missed a beat. I went to a restoration shop in Bicester in the morning, then to Caffeine and Machine on the hill in the afternoon, where I met my brother, and we then drove to our Grandparents in Pershore together and home from there.

I’ve been to quite a few events, including Rustival, where I parked with some of the other loan scheme cars. I’ve got various trips planned to events over the summer, including going to Beaulieu AutoJumble.  I’ve also taken her to work in Abingdon when the weather is good. There are a couple of shows in Milton Keynes that I plan to attend, and there is also a biannual classic car show very local to me in Blackthorn where I plan to display JDX with details about the loan scheme to, hopefully, attract some interest from other younger enthusiasts. I go to the local TSSC pub meets most months as well.

The car has been quite reliable, although the speedo cable snapped on the way to MG/Triumph 100, so the first job I had to do was fit a new cable which proved relatively straightforward. I had an issue with overheating too, which proved to be a sticking thermostat, but we ended up fitting a new housing and a new thermostat. Unfortunately, we stripped a rusty thread, but again, it proved to be quite a simple job, and you get great access to the engine because of the Herald’s design. There have been a few other odd little jobs, but nothing major.

My first classic has been a great experience, and although I still love the styling of the 13/60, I’ve now got a soft spot for these early cars. I want to keep it, but Chris said at the start, ‘Don’t ask me to sell it, as I never will’, and in a way, that’s nice because my first classic car will always be about and be visible in the club. I feel lucky the scheme picked me and the experience has been almost too good to be true; I’ll always be part of the car’s story now. Chris was great and said, ‘Look after it, but don’t worry, as you will put your own little nicks on it, and they become part of the car’s history’. People often don’t understand how good the loan scheme is and how generous the classic car community is to develop a scheme like this, and I’d like to thank both the TSSC and the CCLP for the whole experience. Having JDX has never failed to put a smile on my face, and hopefully, when I get a house with a garage, I’ll be looking to get a classic of my own.

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