I have just received the new registration document in the post. Yippee!
It shows the elusive chassis number- 144379
and also the name and address of the missing link, the dealer in Yorkshire.
The body type is listed ‘Sports’
I couldn’t find the dealers name on directory enquiries or Google, but eventually I found an Ebay item with his address, on Ebay in Sweden??
I sent him a message on Ebay to contact me please about the Buick, and waited hopefully.
Bank holiday Monday it was raining and miserable and I was behind with my invoicing at work, so I went into the office for a couple of hours.
The phone rang about 12.30 pm and it was Robert from Yorkshire about the Buick.
Yes he had owned it. Yes he sold it a few years ago, and yes he had a couple of old V5 registration documents for my car.
$1000 question – “I don’t suppose you have the brass chassis plate and old brown logbook do you?”
“Don’t think so, it is not in this file, but I have another filing cabinet, I will look in that and ring you back”
Phone rings 1/2 hour later – ” Yes I found the brass chassis plate and old log book.” Dead casual like. I nearly fell off my chair!
It was still raining as I drove up to Yorkshire the same afternoon.
Robert gave me a thick file of paperwork, including the plate and logbook, and some interesting correspondence with the Kent County Council about licensing the Buick as a tractor, and some of Ray Butchers letters to Buick parts suppliers in America.
The old brown logbook seems to show that Arthur Read, Ivan’s father, bought the Buick in 1936 from a Ronald Hubert Deacon in Margate, specifically to tow the mower on the golf course. No mention of Olive Read unfortunately.
I will scan some of the letters and write a separate chapter about these later.