Motor project’s a triumph for Patrick

Patrick Smith of Birkenshaw with his Triumph Herald car
Patrick Smith of Birkenshaw with his Triumph Herald car

A SCHOOLBOY has given a new lease of life to a classic car that is twice as old as he is.

Patrick Smith, 17, bought the 1970 Triumph Herald and towed it from south Wales all the way back to his home in Birkenshaw.

The Silcoates School pupil has rebuilt the engine with the help of his dad and now enjoys taking his friends for a spin in the classic motor.

He said: “I got an insurance quote for our Smart car and it was £6,000.

“We checked out other insurance and saw it was a lot less for an older car.”

Patrick and Michael found the Triumph on eBay and drove to south Wales to pick it up.

Patrick said: “The interior was all right but it needed a lot of work doing to it.

“It took about five hours to tow it home.”

Patrick’s mum, Julia, said his dad had shown him what to do, but Patrick had done most of the work himself.

And by the time he passed his driving test in April the car was ready to roll.

Patrick said: “Most 17 year old boys don’t have a clue about anything to do with cars.

“It’s a really great hobby. I am learning all the time. The car is really nice to drive.

“I am a member of the Triumph Sports Six club and you get a discount on your insurance.”

And he said the car had caused quite a stir at school.

He said: “All my friends like it. It stirred everybody up in the sixth form. Even the teachers were talking about it. They all wanted to know whose it was.

“There has been the odd one who said it was an old man’s car, and there is the stereotype of the white beard and pipe smoking person who would drive that sort of car.”

He said he had become interested in cars through watching Top Gear.

But he said: “I was all about Ferraris and Lambourghinis then - but this is the sort of thing you can work on. It’s just nuts and bolts really – but I’ve got a bit of a bug.”

He said he was now hoping to buy a Ford Capri to do up, and his interest was shared by friend Michael Jessop, who had a Triumph Spitfire.

He said: “We have driven the car back to North Wales on holiday and it did fine.

“You get so many people stopping you to ask about it.

“It’s certainly more eye-catching than a Nissan Micra!”