Back in January we appealed to the public to help us solve the mystery surrounding our pristine 1971 Vauxhall Victor.
The car, which had been bought new by Peter Milner, had spent virtually all its life unused (save for 88 miles on the clock), hidden away and with a boot full of spare parts and petrol cans.
The mystery captured the imagination of the nation with the national press, TV and radio all picking up on the story and sharing our appeal.
Thanks to the appeal, Mr Milner’s nephew (also called Peter Milner) very kindly came forward to shed some light on the mystery. We awaited our speculation to come to an end.
Richard met with Peter at Great British Car Journey, where he sat in his uncle’s car for the first time on 11 February 2023, nearly half a century after it was bought. The meeting was captured by the team at BBC East Midlands. Watch the broadcast here.
Here’s what we discovered…
Peter Milner was born in 1923 and was one of seven children. The family lived in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. Peter worked for most of his life for the GPO which was the telephone arm of the Post Office. By all accounts, Mr Milner was a clever engineer who was often summoned to fix local exchanges whenever there was a problem. He was a shy and reclusive character and he lived with his sister at 16 Gregory Street.
On 12 April 1974, Mr Milner bought the Vauxhall Victor from Mercury Garage. It was not his first car purchase from them as he already owned a Victor Estate which was only two years old. The Victor, as we know, underwent Ziebart treatment before being stored away forever with just 88 miles on the clock.
Mr Milner retired in 1983 and he became even more invisible. His nephew remembers visiting the house and ringing the bell. The door would be opened and a figure would scuttle upstairs leaving Peter to talk to his aunt.
On Mr Milner’s death in 2018, he left a sizeable estate which exceeded seven figures in value. The estate also included a Victor Estate along with a 1990s Honda and a fork-lift truck on an extremely overgrown allotment.
And, beyond this, we know no more. Peter Milner remains a man of mystery.
However, amongst his belongings his nephew found an unopened pay packet from the Ministry of Defence. We’ll leave it there and allow you to draw your conclusions.
And that is where the story ends. Mystery solved? Probably not, but we had a lot of fun trying to work it out.
Book a drive in a Vauxhall
If you have fond memories of old Vauxhalls, did you know that we have three in our Drive Dad’s Car collection which you can take for a drive? For just £49.00, you can drive a Vauxhall Viva, Astra MK1 or Cavalier 1.6 on a private on-site route at Great British Car Journey. Book your drive today here