Vic Gamble now lives in residential care in North Wales. He bought the Ford Consul in 1960, while on the road with his wife Elma and his mother-in-law, at the wheel of a Ford Popular. That one kept breaking down, so they pulled into a Whites Garage in Taunton, saw the Consul and traded it in for it.
Since that day, for 55 years, the Consul had been in Gamble’s possession. He and Elma traveled across the country with it, and he kept driving it even after she died – but he would only take it out for short rides to her grave. In 2017, Gamble realized he could no longer take care of the car, so he sold it to John Ball.
When Ball heard that Gamble’s 100th birthday was coming up, he started working on the car, he tells ITV News. He wanted to do something really special, something that would honor Elma and the many wonderful moments Gamble and Elma spent in the Consul, on the road.
“I wrote to him and said I was restoring the car. Vic was telling me how much the car means to him and his late wife Elma. Later, Vic was very emotional on the phone when I sent him the pictures of their names I painted on the dash,” Ball says.
On Gamble’s birthday, Ball took the car for the 400-mile round trip to the residential center, so Gamble could be reunited with it. He showed him his and Elma’s names painted on the dash, and the tag on the grille, and he took him for one last ride around town.
It was a birthday present Gamble would have never imagined getting.
“It was a very pleasant surprise. I never dreamed I'd see it again. It was a wonderful old car. I had it for 55 years,” Gamble says for the same media outlet, with tears in his eyes. “My wife and I enjoyed motoring for all those years and it only let me down once.”