There was a garage in the nearby village of Barston called 'Mastercraft'. Despite being located in some very 'oldie-worldie' buildings, they were good. I approached the proprietor, Peter Hope and explained the problem and asked if he could have a look and give us his opinion as to whether it should be cocooned or put back in the road. He jumped in and I took him to see the DB. We entered the garage, pulled back the cover and he said (quote) "F*@!ing hell. I was expecting a wreck. Of course you have to put it back on the road!"
About 2 weeks later, I took my first drive in the DB. An interesting experience. This was a 1950s sports car. It had drum brakes all round, a steering box, a De Dion rear axle, cross-ply tyres, the handbrake in a weird place, a clutch with lots of travel but very little bite and an accelerator which (until you got used to it), seemed to have two positions, 'on' and 'off'.
I drove the car sporadically over the next few years. I went to the odd classic car rally and the car always attracted huge attention, principally on account of the fact that it had not been restored and was almost totally original. Part of its attraction was, of course, the number plate.
We had a couple of minor issues with the car in 2002 and decided to take it to Four Ashes for a good look. They had to replace the valves, valve springs, guides and seats and some other work. The invoice was a bit eye-watering, but the car drove a lot better after that.
In 2006, my mother decided to move to an apartment. We decided to put the car into Four Ashes for a comprehensive overhaul and five new tyres. I had become increasingly nervous about driving round on tyres that must have been 30 years old. You can take originally too far! Mother and I had also decided to sell the car. Quite simply, the car needed someone with, time, money or both. I had neither. The car had been in the family for more than 40 years. It was time to pass it on.
Because we were in no hurry, Four Ashes put it on the back burner. Eventually, in early August 2007 the car was ready and Jean had found a buyer prepared to pay the asking price. This did not, however, include the number plate. There were just a couple more things that I needed to do with the car before it was sold.
The first was to get it to Air Atlantique at Coventry Airport for a serious photo session. I actually managed two before it was sold. The second was to transfer the number. The latter took a great deal longer than I thought, but was eventually accomplished. The car was then sold. All that remains is the Registration Retention Document.
A great car that has been part of my family for over forty years. Sad to see it go, but it was time. I trust the new owner will be very happy with it. We have kept the rear number plate and the old valves, just for old times sake. The front number plate now resides at Four Ashes Garage.
We thank Simon for this very interesting article about the beautiful Aston Martin DB registered with the totally unique number plate SUE 1.
The dateless registration is obviously extremely valuable and we are grateful to Simon for giving National Numbers sole agency. This plate must be one of the most prestigious marks we have advertised in the last 35 years of business. It is an absolutely classic mark and fully deserves to be called a "cherished registration". Please use our car numberplates search box to view SUE 1 along with all the other SUE plates available.