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Classic car legacy lives on

Ross Broadbridge in the 1966 S-Type Jaguar that once belonged to his father. Photo: Supplied.

A treasured vintage car is back with the family who first owned it, more than four decades after they bid it goodbye.

As a child, Blenheim man Ross Broadbridge proudly sat next to his mum in the front seat of his dad’s brand-new S-Type Jaguar

But the car was sold in 1973 and family Sunday drives in the vehicle became just fond memories – until recently.

Forty-five years after it was sold, the sleek red Jaguar is back in the family.

The red Jaguar has been used by three of Cyril’s grandchildren at their weddings after it was borrowed from the new owner. Photo: Supplied.
The red Jaguar has been used by three of Cyril’s grandchildren at their weddings after it was borrowed from the new owner. Photo: Supplied.

For proud owner Ross, having the car that belonged to his dad, Cyril Broadbridge, is very special.

“When going for Sunday drives, one child would be in front sitting by Mum with no seat belt on.

Four or five other children would be in the rear seat and when the kids were fighting, Dad could lean round and slap us; normally connecting with at least three. You can’t do that today,” he says.

Originally from Wairau Valley, Ross, whose parents are both buried there, says his dad ordered the car to be delivered on January 26 1966.

Costing 3100 British pounds, the special car is still in original condition and has clocked up 89,344 miles in 53 years.

“According to original ownership papers, dad traded car to Jaguar dealers Archibalds on 13th July 1973.

“It uses a little engine oil, but I can remember dad saying that Jaguars were designed to use a little, or leak it,” says Ross.

Cyril served in the RAF during World War II where his love of trucks saw him enlist with the fire service.

In 1947 he obtained his Transport Goods Licence and started the trucking career that his family still runs today.

“At the end of World War II, he worked on farms finally getting his own block, but he liked machinery much more.

“Mum, Rosie, was a tower of strength and support; bringing up seven children, running house, answering phones and despatching drivers on tasks,” says Ross.

Cyril went on to own 12 vintage cars and the Jaguar was bought by Omaka Classic Cars owner Ron Stewart.

In a twist of fate, the mechanic who first looked after the car, Owen Packham, worked there.

Ross says an offer from an Australian Museum to by six Jaguars, including the one that belonged to his father, prompted the buy back opportunity.

“Ron was a pleasure to deal with. It was his choice was to sell to me at a cheaper price.

“If car had gone to an Aussie museum it would never return to Marlborough and neither of us wanted that to happen.”

“My wife, Rosie and I, have told our children, Nigel and Pip that the car is never to leave our ownership again.

“It’s taken 45 years but its back in the family again”.

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