Book Published

Hobby or Obsession?
By John Braga
Why not buy a copy from Blurb in time for Christmas?!

A rare find on Ebay!

I had always been keen on the AEC Regal, particularly the half-cab version (that is Regal, Regal I, Regal II, Regal III).  Regal IVs were not half-cabs.  They do not come on the market very often, and by my reckoning there are less than 60 left in the UK.

But in April 2005, a 1951 Regal half-cab appeared on Ebay.  I was very tempted.  Due to pressure of work I was unable to look at the vehicle before the end-day of the sale, so had to take a lot on trust.

The vehicle had been in preservation since 1971, and had been significantly restored in 1980s, but had suffered (I did not realise how much it had suffered!) by being stored in the open for the last 4 years.  This does no good to a timber-framed body.

I took the plunge, bought it unseen, and arranged to meet a large lorry at a yard in Sheffield.  This took it (at a frightening pace!) down the M1 and into a Bedfordshire farmyard where I planned to work on it.

I did not have undercover accommodation, so bought several large tarpaulins...


As I look back over 7 years(!) of restoration, I realise that I have drawn on the invaluable services of many companies.  Here is a partial list:

Namrick ,– BSF nuts and bolts

Machine Mart, – rubber floor matting

CPA Services, 01476 571404 (Grantham) – radiator grille

J Hipwell & Son Ltd (Ebay shop) – Wheel nut covers

Beds Battery, 01234 340661 (Bedford and Wellingborough) – batteries

Vintage Wings and Radiators, 0161 202 6247 (Manchester) – front offside wing

Forge Services, Devizes, - rechroming of radiator cowl and headlamp rims.

Milton Keynes Metals Ltd, – steel panels and fabrications

Ladwa Engineering, 01933 410583 (Rushden) – aluminium sheets

A Baldeserre, Bedford (01234 359277) – seat upholstering

Bob Pentelow, Riseley, Beds, village blacksmith 01234 708298 - welding (both steel and aluminium), fabrication of steel items

James Gamblen, Upper Dean, Beds, 07712 778231 - welding, loan of tools and workshop

Blackpool Trim Shops, - moquette

Good Timber, Nether Heyford, Northampton, – ash planks

Buildbase Thrapston (01832 734495) – floorboards

Rob Masters, Wellingborough (01933 272003) – low loader

Screwfix Direct, - nuts and bolts, drills etc.

Ebay – for many hard-to-get items!