Story behind 'Swindon landmark' car left on driveway for 30 years finally revealed

·3-min read
The Ford Capri on the driveway in Deacon Street. Picture: Pearl Lucia Barcoe
The Ford Capri on the driveway in Deacon Street. Picture: Pearl Lucia Barcoe

The grandson of a man who owned a 'Swindon landmark' has finally revealed why his grandad left his iconic car on his driveway for over 30 years.

The Ford Capri in Old Town gained fame among locals who often wondered why it was left untouched for decades.

And the car caused another stir over the weekend after it was removed from the Deacon Street driveway it sat on for 32 years.

Jordan Davis was surprised by the high interest in his grandad's story and decided to put the many rumours to bed.

Noel Jones, who was well-known in Swindon, died earlier this year.

Swindon Advertiser: Noel Jones. Image: Jordan Davis
Swindon Advertiser: Noel Jones. Image: Jordan Davis

Noel Jones. Image: Jordan Davis

He bought the Capri in 1972 and travelled in style for 18 years until he was forced to stop driving because of a slipped disc.

"He paid more for the car than he did his own house and he got it brand new out of a show room," Jordan said.

"It was his pride and joy and he didn’t want to get rid of it.

"The reason it was left for wear and tear for such a long time was for a completely different reason than what everyone thinks.

"It was not because of the various amount of stories people have come up with like it was his son's or it had history to do with his wife.

"The main reason was because he didn’t want anyone reversing on his drive because there’s no parking in the town centre - as funny as it sounds! It was literally that simple."

Swindon Advertiser: The Ford Capri sat outside the Deacon Street house for decades. Image: Jordan Davis
Swindon Advertiser: The Ford Capri sat outside the Deacon Street house for decades. Image: Jordan Davis

The Ford Capri sat outside the Deacon Street house for decades. Image: Jordan Davis

Noel was a builder who worked on the Oasis and the Gorse Hill Community Centre.

He was a well-known figure in Swindon and could often be found in The Savoy, The Sir Daniel Arms and in the bookies.

He loved to travel and drove his MK1 Capri sports edition Ford around Europe. He also enjoyed taking his daughters Sarah and Lisa and his grandchildren to Florida every year.

Swindon Advertiser: Noel's daughters Sarah and Lisa with the Ford Capri
Swindon Advertiser: Noel's daughters Sarah and Lisa with the Ford Capri

Noel's daughters Sarah and Lisa with the Ford Capri

Jordan added: "I am very proud to call him my grandad as he was a amazing man and a legend.

"I inspire to have a mindset like his and love life as much as he did.

"He was a very friendly person and would always quote nice comments like 'happiness is the best medicine' and he would always wish people good luck."

Sadly, the ancient car has fallen into disrepair and Jordan says it cannot be restored.

Swindon's landmark has been sold for "spares and repairs".

Swindon Advertiser: Noel Jones. Image: Jordan Davis
Swindon Advertiser: Noel Jones. Image: Jordan Davis

Noel Jones. Image: Jordan Davis

"It will not only be missed by his family because it has been there so long, but also by all the people of Swindon," Jordan said.

Back in the 70s, Ford marketed the Capri as "The Car You Always Promised Yourself. British magazine Car called it a "Cortina in drag".

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