The Motor House or Tales from the Shed by Nick Chandler
In 2011 I retired and moved to a house in Norfolk built in 1923. Typical Sussex style property but with no garage. The 1920’s was the golden age for the motor car and so we set about building a pre-war wooden garage or Motor House in period style, to complement the house. I had no great interest or knowledge of old cars,or engineering. I have had some interesting cars over the decades from TR6 to Jaguar xk but seldom lifted the bonnet. Looking for a retirement project I saw my first Teal in a corner of an Essex garage unsold for a year and covered in dust. With patina and age in abundance, I was hooked. My green Teal Tourer has been the first affordable step into a new and absorbing world. The car has been totally refurbished with the help of David my local garage owner, and is now a fine example running very well and in top condition. Disaster loomed when David decided to close his garage and retire, however he asked if he might continue his involvement with the Teal, to ‘keep his hand in’. The Motor House now had a qualified mechanic and a period style car to put in it. With David’s help we have now expanded our Motor House collection of old tools and auto memorabilia , and have Tom Gunz’s Blue boat tail Teal and a 1929 Hotchkiss Tourer in the collection. As we have only ‘Tealer’ Richard Ashton nearby to make up our eastern Teal group, I decided to share the cars and have them insured for others that contribute skills toward their maintenance. You do not own a Teal, you are simply a custodian, as these cars will most certainly out live us all ,and will bring joy to others long after we are gone. In turn my friends offer engineering and fettling skills for free. All retired we meet most Tuesdays at The Motor House and work on the cars. These are not only hand built but hand maintained and fettled with enthusiasm.
Jeremy, retired engineer and metal fabricator has brought his skills along and works on body work, the blue teal has just had new stainless and alloy interior fitted in the style of a 35 and looks great.
Engineer David is working on the Hotchkiss engine currently and has re built the magneto, suspension and wiring loom. Paul has fashioned a magnificent Gurney Nutting style dashboard from our old church pews for the 1929 French Hotchkiss open tourer. While Andrew and David have fitted a new differential and brake lines from David Ward onto the Green Teal Tourer.
Our mutual enthusiasm for these projects is a joy, we learn from one another and take on an ever increasing skills and knowledge.
So the delightful Teal Cars continue to bring pleasure after 40 years. cars and the Motor House has become a ‘club’ and an excuse throughout the year to meet friends and have loads of coffee and bacon sarnies and play.
It is the closest I have come to Meccano in 60 years!!
Few mortals will get to experience a real Bugatti or the mind blowing funds to own one, but I defy anyone to say that they do not get a buzz every bit as thrilling when out in their Teal. We can enjoy a piece of the Bugatti experience and history whilst tipping a great nod of respect to the builders and designers of the British built Teal Cars and their enduring attraction.
Report on Mid Summer Rally The Eastern Tealers chapter fielded two boat tails and a Tourer on June 16 for the annual Norfolk Sporting Car Club rally. The Rally included over 130 cars which were sent off in pulses from the Snetterton Race circuit with Tulip diagrams to pick their way through the rural countryside. The extremely rural course was terrific and we enjoyed beautiful countryside and perfect driving conditions. Richard Ashton and his wife Cynthia came along in his beautiful Triumph powered type 35, which is always a joy to see and listen to. David Veness and Andrew Chapman from the Motor House Club drove the ‘Gunz’ Blue Teal and I drove the green Teal with Jeremy as squadron navigator. The Teals remain very popular on these rallies, not least by the awesome sound of the ‘straight through’ stainless exhausts making them sound like spitfires. Would love to achieve ‘tearing calico’ but that could be step too far for an MG! After almost 100 miles and some great sight seeing stops, we arrived at the stately National Trust Blickling Hall, and more cakes! This is always a great Rally and the organisers do a great job in arranging and planning the trip for us. Let’s hope next year we might see a few more Tealers. Our next big Rally will be the Norfolk open Churches rally on the 3rd August. This is another must on our Eastern calendar. We have three Teals in so far and hope that may be the Hotchkiss can make an appearance. Based on visits to our local rural churches in Norfolk and Suffolk the Rally starts in Norwich centre at the City Cathedral and winds its way via Tulip diagrams to be welcomed by Parishes along the route. The trip concludes with a light hearted service by the Bishop on the joys of motoring. Bishop Graham (confessed petrol head) has recently retired and will be a hard act to follow. From: Nick Chandler