Plans for Isle of Wight classic car collection to go on display

A 35 strong collection of classic cars on the Isle of Wight is currently in a leaky garage, but there are plans for an upgrade...

Plans are afoot on the Isle of Wight for a building to be filled with a collection of classic cars and assorted vintage memorabilia. The cars already live on the island, in a leaking old garage in Newport, but the owner wants to put them somewhere where they can be enjoyed.

Barry Price has been a mechanic on the island for most of his adult life, previously owning and running his own garage. That garage is now run by his son Matthew, who is also a councillor on the island. Over the years the elder Price has built up a collection of 35 classics cars, which he now wants to display.

Price has submitted an application to the Isle of Wight Council for a vintage car store to be built next to his old garage, so he can display his cars and the contents of three storage containers he uses, which currently house old tools, 7000 toy cars and other collectables.

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Two old police cars in the collection are now used for weddings on the island, and a pale-blue Mini was entered into a local carnival. Most of the cars are confined to remaining in the garage though.

After finishing his national service in the early 1960s, Price started his automotive career, and alongside collecting, has restored many cars ranging from the 1920s to the 1970s. The one vehicle that stands out to him is his former Fowlers work van from Fowlers, a garage he worked at from 1954 to 1976.

Price was one of 17 children, and he then did a stint at his father's taxi company before starting his own garage. 'I missed being a mechanic too much. I wanted to get back to repairing cars,' he explained.

The Fowlers van is the favourite car he he has restored, and also took the longest time at two years. It included an engine and interior rebuild, with the latter using wood native to the island. He also restored another Fowlers van, which belonged to his late friend Steve Hales, with the van even being fitted with vintage mechanic’s tools.

Until 2013, Price used a 1958 Wolsley 15/50 as his everyday car. He also has a 1963 16/60, which he's worked on since new and inherited from a loyal customer after her death.

As well has his counciller son, Price has nine other children, the youngest of whom polish the cars weekly and provide assistance in the garage.

'I’d love to have somewhere to display them properly, so people can come and have a look at them,' Price told local journalists.

Residents can view the plans for the vintage car store on the Isle of Wight council’s Planning Website.

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