Owner’s appeal to trace history of his former civic limo

The photo that prompted Bob Ridges appeal for help.
The photo that prompted Bob Ridges appeal for help.

You may remember that some time ago I featured an article about the mayor of South Shields’ new civic car, a rather splendid Ford Granada.

The photo (top right) showed the mayor, Hugh Carling, polishing the 2.8-litre Granada Ghia (bought from Selwoods) with chauffeur Sam Adams, standing behind him.

Bob Ridge's Ford Granada Ghia.

Bob Ridge's Ford Granada Ghia.

Well, retired master mariner Captain Bob Ridge has been in touch, in the hope of securing the help of Time Of Our Lives readers into research into the history of his own former civic Granada.

I’ll let Bob take up the story:-

“I attach a basic history of my Granada, which I hope might stir some memories of previous owners to elaborate on its history, especially the time between December 1984 until April 1999, when it was owned by North Tyneside MBC,” says Bob.

“I am especially keen to hear who used it, for what purpose etc.

“As my Granada has just passed its 31st birthday (in December), I am hoping to put the past history up to date.

“From records I have obtained from DVLA (for historical purposes only) my Ford Granada Mk2 Ghia X Auto was originally acquired by Cowies of Trimdon Street, Sunderland, on behalf of North Tyneside MBC.

“It was registered on December 5, 1984, with the registration plate B60 GBB.

“I was unable to ascertain the purpose it was acquired for, but I assume it was for council business and transportation of officials etc.”

Bob says it remained with the MBC until April 23, 1990, when it was then purchased by a private owner.

“It underwent four change of owners from that date to July 10, 1993, when in that year, the registration was changed to TIB 6831.

“It had one more change in November 1995, before going to auction.

“Some time over the next three years it was re-sold to Cowies of Sunderland, and was auctioned at ADT Auction rooms, Longbenton.

“Unfortunately the dates during this period are unavailable.

“The records show that the next owner obtained it on November 1, 1995, and it remained with this owner until I acquired it on March 27, 1998.

“On February 13, 2002, I transferred my registration, WUP 1R, which I have had for many years on a Granada Mk1 Coupe, then a Mk1 Granada Ghia Auto saloon, on to the Mk2.

“Although not in concourse condition, after 31 years, I consider it to be pretty good, and certainly a good example of the workmanship of the motor industry all those years ago.

“Unfortunately, due to changes in regulations as to the use of particular types of gas, the air conditioning is no longer charged or functioning, but all other fitted items are 100%.

“I try to help preserve the condition by careful maintenance and by garaging the car from October to April, and only running the engine, electrics and mechanics during this period as much as possible to ensure all in good working condition.

“I would appreciate any input that may fill in any missing areas in the history. After surviving this long I think it is well deserved.”

If anyone can help, they can contact me at the usual address/telephone number.

* Recorded date changes of WUP 1R as per DVLA log book records. Names withheld: Cowies,Trimdon Street,Sunderland. Newcastle MBC, B60 GBB. 05.12.84. Owner 1, 23.04.90; Owner 2, 23.04.90; Owner 3, 09.11.90; Owner 4, 03.07.93; Change registration: TIB 6831, 10.07.93; Owner 5, 10.07.93, Owner 6, 01.11.95; Owner 7 (Bob Ridge), 27.03.98, change registration: WUP 1R, 13.02.02.