Man reunited with vintage car he last drove in the 1950s after current owner tracks him down

Stephen Walter
Bert Davidson after winning his class in the 1959 Kildrummy Rally.  - National Library of Scotland

Avintage car enthusiast has been reunited with the beloved vehicle he last drove in the 1950s after it was painstakingly restored to its former glory by the current owner who later tracked him down.

Bert Davidson, 83, thought he’d seen the last of his 1929 Humber saloon when he sold it for £185 nearly 60 years ago, until he was contacted out of the blue by engineer Robin Wills.

Mr Wills’ father Ken, a solicitor, also once owned the car in the 1970s but sold it to fund an upgraded central heating system in the family home.

Bert Davidson reunited with the classic 1929 Humber saloon today, which he last drove in the 1950s Credit: Robin Wills

Mr Wills, 46, decided to try and establish the car’s existence and in 2007, after two years of research, he discovered it was in California and was owned by Lotus designer Martin Waide.

It emerged the car had travelled across the Atlantic four times, but had not been driven since 1979 after its engine blew up. Mr Wills paid £10,000 for the car, and spent a further £6,000 restoring it to working order over nine months.

Remarkably, Mr Wills was able to find Mr Davidson from an enamel badge on the car's dashboard, informing him it was driven in the 1959 Kildrummy Rally. Some further research revealed it was driven by Mr Davidson, who ultimately won the vintage rally.

Bert Davidson last drove the vintage 1929 Humber in the late 1950s Credit: Bert Davidson

The men met this afternoon in Mr Davidson’s hometown of Elgin, Scotland, after Mr Wills towed the car 300 miles from his home in Brancepeth, County Durham, with his wife Anna and son Harry, 9, using a trailer.

Mr Davidson, a retired mechanic, said: “It was a great experience. He’s made a beautiful job of the car. The memories came flooding back.

“I was very surprised and delighted when he got in touch with me.”

Robin Wills, right, with his wife Anna, left, and son Harry, 9, was able to track down Mr Davidson Credit: Robin Wills
Mr Wills painstakingly restored the 1929 Humber to its former glory Credit: Robin Wills

Mr Wills added: “When I first called him he was shocked to find out about the car. His face lit up when he saw it today. It was quite astounding to watch.”

In 1976, the car also had a starring role in the opening credits to The Likely Lads film.

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