Friday 12 August 2011

The Story of a Vintage Car Company -Ken's Kars

Today we are delighted that Wayne Smith from Ken's Cars is sharing his heartwarming story about keeping  his late Grandad's passion for vintage cars alive. We particularly love the black and white pictures of Ken working on his cars in the 50s.

Helping my Grandad, Ken Harmer, from an early age and always having an interest in old cars, it seemed natural that when he unexpectedly died in 2006, I took over the running of his vintage wedding car company, Kens Kars, which is based in Chipping Sodbury.

Grandad set up the company in the early 1980’s as a sideline to his hobby of restoring and driving vintage cars. He had a special affection for big Austin’s which I am sure stems from using them in the 1950’s and 60’s running Chipping sodbury’s 24 Hour taxi service ‘Harmers Taxis’ with his father Albert. I remember him relaying stories about taking the local Darts team around in an Austin 18 shooting brake, and the story of when one of the cars was totally covered by snow along the Horton to Hawkesbury road.

                                  Kens Kars
Originally Ken’s Kars started with just two 1930’s Austin 18’s, both royal blue and black, but as time passed, and Grandad restored more cars, the fleet grew, finally ending up with 7 Austin 18’s. In 1988 it was Grandads son, my uncle Roy that introduced the first American car into the fleet, this was the 1928 Studebaker, and later the 1932 Oldsmobile joined this. Disaster struck on August 9th 2005 when there was a fire at our premises and 4 of the cars were totally destroyed in the blaze, not being disheartened by this it was a case of the show must go on.

                                         Kens Kars ivory Austins

A year later Grandad passed away and it was at this point that I put myself forward as the person to keep the wedding cars going and take over the running of the company along with my Nan. Since being in the driving seat – so to speak- I have replaced Roy’s 1928 Studebaker with one of my own, and also added another, this time a 1930 Studebaker.

                                          Austin wedding cars

We now run 6, 1920’s and 30’s, cars and are available all year round for weddings and film work. Anyone interested in enquiring about our cars can contact us on 01454 313194 or through our Website

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