An 86-year-old man was able to reunite with his cherished family car, courtesy of the new owner who took it upon himself to restore it to its former glory.
In 1974, Cedric Macinnes purchased a Leyland P76 and kept it for 30 years before selling it to Mark Trembath 20 years ago.
Recently, Cedric was given the opportunity to see his old “P” in all its glory after Mark took the initiative to restore the car to its original condition.
Cedric’s Wife Zoe Macinnes said he was very excited to see his beloved car 20 years later.
“Cedric had the car before my time with him, but he sold it 20 years ago to buy a 4WD and travel around Australia,” she said.
“Three of his children turned up to see the car as well and all went for a spin with Mark.”
Ms Macinnes said Cedric and his children described the drive as a 360 moment as they reminisced in the former family car.
“Cedric has always been a bit of a car fanatic and was always working on it,” she said.
“Even though he sold the car 20 years ago, I always hear him talking about the old ‘P’.”
Ms Macinnes said that Mark had tried to get his hands on the original car plates but could not figure out why that specific combination was unavailable.
“It was quite funny because Cedric actually owned the original plates which we were able to present to Mark,” she said.
“He was just as excited as Cedric.”
After reuniting with his old vehicle, Ms Macinnes said that Cedric was over the moon to see his once shabby car back in quality condition.
“Mark did a fantastic job in doing it up and Cedric is so thankful,” she said.
“It is a pretty unique car, and it was great to see it back to its former glory.”
The name of the P76 derived from the car’s codename while in development (Project 76).
The official line was that the P76 was an original Australian designed and built large family car, with no overseas counterpart and that P76 stood for “Project 1976”.
The Rover SD1 (released in 1976) shared several engineering features with the P76 – including MacPherson strut front suspension, the aluminium V8 engine and a live rear axle.
The P76 itself was, however, out of production by 1976. An alternative theory is that P76 were simply the first three digits of Lord Stokes’ National Service number (Donald Stokes was Chairman of British Leyland at the time).