A dad who bought a run-down sports car the year his first child was born has finally finished restoring it 27 years later.
David Townend, 60, bought the 1974 MG Midget in 1994 for almost £300.
He kept the rusty motor in his garage with the intention of returning it to its former glory.
But ‘life got in the way’ and the restoration project was put on the back burner.
The father-of-two got the kick he needed after son Michael asked to use the car on his wedding day to bride Millie.
David, who lives with his wife Christine in Poole, Dorset, said: “My son’s wedding gave me the impetus to finish it. I just needed that to do the final push.
“We’re hoping to use it for the wedding. It’s a very small car so I think they will have trouble getting his wife, Millie, into it in her wedding dress.
“They want to do a photoshoot with the sports car in the New Forest.”
The big day was initially set for April – but the delays due to the pandemic gave David a bit more time to get most of the renovations finished.
He said: “It did give me a bit more time because it had to be professionally sprayed. You don’t do that kind of thing yourself because the quality of the paint is the first thing that people look at.”
In 1994, a couple of David’s friends were buying vintage vehicles to do them up so he jumped on the bandwagon.
He said: “It cost far more than it was worth, but that’s what everyone was doing at that time. In certain circles, classic car rebuilding became a bit of a thing.
“I knew one or two other people that were doing it and I went out and bought one for too much money.
“I haven’t been working on it continuously for 27 years. I did bits here and there but life gets in the way.
“We had a family, we moved and did a lot of house extensions which I did all myself. There were other priorities but those have faded away a bit now.
“The old tax disc was 1998 so that shows how long it has been off the road.”
When the family moved house in 2000 the Midget car went with them and it is so small it was able to be loaded into the removal van.
The car’s repairs are not cheap – to the point where David has not even calculated the exact amount he has spent on his little sports car over the years.
He said: “It has cost a lot of money – so you have to justify it. I have no idea how much I’ve spent. I haven’t added it up because I don’t want to know – it will be far more than the car is worth.”
The Midget has recently passed its MOT and since then David has taken it for the odd spin.
It can reach speeds of up to 70mph but he would not dare take it on the motorway as it is so small.
David said Michael and 24-year-old daughter Kayleigh have started squabbling over who will inherit the car in years to come.
Michael will marry fiancee Millie in two weeks’ time.