Back in 2006 Danny saw a 1966 Hillman Minx parked on the side of the road with a For Sale sign on its windscreen. "That's for me" he thought, and two days later it was in his garage. "I've always liked Hillmans, so I bought it", he admits
And thus he started his collection of classic British cars, which now comprise ten Mark I and Mark II Cortinas, Ford Prefects and the Hillman. He keeps this ever expanding collection in various nondescript garages and storage areas close to his Newcastle home.
"I like them all. I like the style and their engineering. They are simple to restore and to work on. And they do not cost mega dollars", he says, "The Hillmans are particularly strong cars and great for someone getting into classic cars for the first time", he explains.
"When they built them they were over engineered. So you find the seams are all overlapping and there is more welding than is really needed. The steel is thick and the front sub-frame rails go all the way under the front seat area."
Danny's Hillman Minx is a 1966 Series VI and is the final version of a style which was penned by famed US designer Raymond Lowey in the mid fifties. It has a 1725 cc motor, a five speed gear box and power disc brakes. Danny is the third owner.
"I've hardly spent anything on it" he says. "I drive it almost every day. It is a classic British car from the mid-sixties, and you will not see its like again", he says. Danny has a definite view about classic car restorations.
He has a limited budget so he does what he can and then goes out and has fun driving the cars. For example, he's rebuilding a 1968 GT Cortina for less than $3,000, and that includes the price of the car.
As an active member of the Hunter British Ford Club he is determined to demonstrate that the cost of owning and driving a classic car experience not be prohibitive.
"I hope others will see that with a little ingenuity, some help from people in their car club and a measure of perseverance, it can be done", he says with robust emphasis.
And with a sweep of the hand Danny points to the Cortina in his garage. It starts and runs beautifully. It's registered for the road. OK, so it has mismatch doors, but that's easily fixed by a quick re-spray.
What it represents is a low cost way to enjoy classic motoring. Go for it, Danny! We're with you all the way.