Researcher Finds Father’s 81 Year Old Car in Black Country Living Museum

Filed under: Classic News |
1934 Sunbeam DawnRobert Bluck of Northumberland has discovered his father’s 81 year old 1934 Sunbeam Dawn in near perfect condition at the Black Country Living Museum after typing in the registration number from an old photo into Google. The car was purchased by his father in 1935 but was then sold just four years later when he left for war, after which its whereabouts became unknown. On Weds 11 May Robert and his wife Caroline met the mechanic who purchased, restored and donated the car after finding it in a garage untouched for decades. The car was made just four miles down the road, and there are only 6 left in the world. When Robert Bluck was researching his family tree, he couldn’t have known that such an important part of his father’s past had been preserved in perfect condition for over 80 years. Robert, now living in Northumberland with his wife Caroline was never really interested in the photos in his teens. The photos sat in a draw for a long time. When he finally came to research his family tree, he opened up the album titled “Scotland at Dawn” and was truly perplexed by the name. In the album were photos of his father and grandfather, Bernard and Albert Bluck – they were pictured standing in front of a car. Stac Pollaidh, a mountain in the Scottish Highlands, could be seen in the background. Left ROBERT BLUCK and right JIM PEASEAfter examining the photo, Robert researched the car by its registration. He found it was a 1934 Sunbeam Dawn, an exceptionally rare car – of which there are only 8 left in the entire world – one of those is preserved at the Black Country Living Museum. Robert was led to the Museum’s website, where he realised that the registration plates matched up. His father’s car was alive and well – and on display at the Black Country Living Museum. Roberts thinks that his father purchased the car in 1935 after he and his siblings were left a sum of inheritance money following the passing of their mother Emma. While his siblings made perhaps more ‘sensible’ purchases, Bernard (then in his mid ‘20s) decided he would get the latest of Sunbeam’s models: the Sunbeam Dawn. Following the loss of Emma, Robert (new car in tow) took the recently widowed Albert out on a tour around the Scottish highlands. His Grandfather can be seen proudly standing in front of the new car, Bernard behind the camera. Robert's Father ALBERT BLUCK in the late 40s with a new car which he purchased as it reminded him of the Sunbeam Dawn (which was no longer being made)In 1939 the car was, presumably, sold. When War broke out, Bernard left his job in the bank and joined the army, fighting in North Africa, Sicily 66alongside his colleagues in an artillery platoon. The car became a memory, and was never seen again. The Black Country-based Sunbeam brand was truly iconic, and its heyday was one of the most popular cars in the country. Sunbeam’s quality was comparable to Rolls Royce – and the company broke many land speed records in its day. The Sunbeam Dawn is particularly special however, as it was the last model ever released by the company before it went under in 1939. Representing the ‘dawn’ of a new era (for both Sunbeam and the fast-paced world of the late 1930s consumer) it was made to Sunbeam’s usual sublime quality for just over a year. Fast forward to 2002 and Jim Pease, a mechanic specialising in vintage cars found the car in a garage in Wolverhampton – untouched for decades and in a poor state. He purchased the vehicle, restoring it to its former glory. As the main mechanic for the Black Country Living Museum, Jim loaned (and later donated) the car to the Museum. There it has remained, lovingly cared for, bringing life a bygone era to some 300,000 visitors a year. Robert Bluck comments: “I was totally shocked when I found out my Father’s old car was being preserved at a Museum. That car will now be 81 years old – that it is still around is a miracle in itself and I am so pleased to come and visit it here at the Black Country Living Museum.”  Tags: