Spring Clean Spring Clean
Gentle reader, as you might have noticed from the timeline on this blog, it’s been a while since Crosstown Traffic last... Spring Clean

Gentle reader, as you might have noticed from the timeline on this blog, it’s been a while since Crosstown Traffic last sprang to life. House renovation, an excursion to France, plus assorted other adventures have had a lot to do with that, including how to plan, organize and resolve the thorny little problem presented above and below…6

Deep breath. For far too long now I’ve had this lock up full of car-related “stuff” which needed sorting but has been languishing on my “to do” list while other apparently more urgent matters needed addressing. Now the time has come….

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Starting way back when, I began accumulating books, magazines, brochures, press kits, tapes and, er, other accoutrements with no great masterplan in mind. It just happened. This also included several hundred copies of the Melody Maker, NME and Sounds, plus my sprawling LP and singles collection. And that’s just the stuff I remember…

Then I moved to Tokyo. My, ahem, “collection” then resided in my parents’ loft, subsequently to move through a succession of UK lock ups. When we came back from Japan, another big trail of boxes came with us. Oh Lordy…

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We were living in Canterbury when we were unlucky enough to be raided and the light fingered ones took off with a big chunk of my stuff. They were mainly interested in the LPs, it seems, but they also took my Dad’s early Meccano and all my Alfa models.

It’s a long story but, praise be, the Kent police managed to get it all back (much of it in rather sinister Evidence Bags, as above) after which it was all transported again to another lock up, to await a future time in nirvana when it would all be sorted and moved to our new abode in Herts.

Finally, this week, that miracle occurred. We hired a van and moved the whole lot out. The Hertsmere Borough Council now have their lock up back and I have a daunting array of boxes to pick my way through. A mate, in a similar situation, simply hired a skip and threw it all away. I can’t just bring myself to do that. Not yet, anyway….

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What will stay? I will certainly find space for the best books and magazines (CAR, Supercar Classics, Motor Sport and so on). From my time in Japan, past Tokyo Motor Show press kits (remember the Toyota 4500 GT? Subaru SRD-1 ?) and CR-X, GT-R, Prelude, Roadster brochures, models et al will also make the cut, for sure. Those extraordinary Nissan ‘Pike’ cars as well: Be-1, Figaro, Pao, S-Cargo. Various Honda models such as the Element, Mobilo Spike will also be keepers. Irreplaceable.

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The list goes on. I opened one box to find a pristine set of Observers Book of Automobiles that I’d forgotten I had.  The early copies are such gems, with a quality that would be inconceivable today. The Ladybird Book of Cars? Yup, mine has survived as well albeit ‘modified’ with a mash of boyish biro marks…well, it was a long time ago.

 

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Some more obscure stuff (hands up if you remember Competition Car ? It was a fantastic motor sport publication in its day, with Nigel Roebuck as its editor at one point) plus assorted music mags (ZigZag etc) will also avoid the trip to the recycling centre. But VHS tapes? Beatles? Group B? Maybe some due diligence is needed there.

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Somehow…I’ve also managed to accumulate a formidable array of car brochures (no idea where they all came from, from Allegros to Astons) plus Alfa and Citroen books and collectibles, in particular, which I’ve been meaning to sort out “one day.” Happily, that day has now come…

Oh, and if anyone is interested in an Ovation Vintage guitar or Mazda MX-5 hardtop (fits all Mk.1 and Mk.2 models, from 1989-2005), I’m selling….

Truth be told, while I’ve been putting off this massive clear out for as long as possible, for reasons which should be self-evident, now it’s actually happening, I can say I’m really starting to get into it. Yes, the fresh start feels good.

Peter Nunn

Peter Nunn

Peter is a writer and tester in the UK with more than 30 years experience of covering new cars, classics and the fascinating, fast moving car industry.