Super Nova pride of the showroom

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AN OLD Leake motorist has traded in his beloved car for a newer model after 16 years and 16,000 miles together.

While most people may ‘tyre’ of driving the same car for such a long time, Michael Shaw, 73, kept on driving and tending to his 1993 J reg Vauxhall Nova across three decades.

But the time came when he thought he ‘auto’ upgrade to a newer model so he visited Butterwick-based Thurlby Motors to part-exchange for a similar-sized Chevrolet Matiz.

Michael explained: “What a surprise I got when I took my Nova into the local Vauxhall dealer to part-exchange for something more recent.

“The deal was done with a satisfactory sum agreed but imagine my delight when they said it had been so well looked-after they were going to put it on display as one of most successful cars from an earlier era – as well as an example of careful ownership.”

Mr Shaw, who used to be The Standard’s Wrangle correspondent, said he bought the car in June 1996 from the same garage, which was then known as Palmer and Bell. Since then he has kept a log book for every time he waxed it, changed its oil or cleaned it.

“I would like to say I took it on many trips but it was mainly just used as a run-around,” he said.

He added: “I was proud and a little bit sad to let it go, but being 6ft 1ins there wasn’t a lot of leg room in the Nova. The Matiz is more comfortable to drive and has important modern safety features like airbags.”

Matthew Houlden, sales controller at Thurlby Motors, said: “The Nova is in a fantastic condition and has only done 40,000.

“We put in on display next to our newer models as it’s a great piece of history for Vauxhall.”

With Mr Shaw’s care of the car over the years, all Thurlby Motors’ valetters had to do to prepare it for the showroom was to give it a quick wax and vaccum.

Mr Houlden added: “We’ve already had a few people enquire about it but it’s not for sale.”