Pics: The iconic Mallalieu Classic Car Collection, Barbados USA

This particular museum holds the Wolsely that belonged to my wife's granny!

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Let's be honest; nobody is going to fly across two oceans to see a small classic car collection. I did though! But there is a story to it. This particular museum holds the Wolsely that belonged to my wife's granny!!

You would be forgiven not to know where Barbados is. It is a tiny little island in the Caribbean. It is the most eastern island of the Caribean, on one side Caribean Sea, and on the other side Atlantic Ocean.

In 1982 I was sailing as the second engineer on the Motor Vessel Hector. We were on our way to New York, but due to a nearby hurricane, we made a stopover in Barbados. I was lucky as the Chief Engineer took my watch that night and I was free to go onto the island. It is where I met the future Mrs.D It took a year before we met again, that time in Edinburgh, Scotland. Four days later we decided to get married and the rest is history as they say.

My wife grew up in Barbados, both her parents are true Bajans, born and raised. When I met her she was just graduating from Edinburgh University and had come back to the island to visit her parents, family and friends. So a lot of random factors brought us together.

We were married in 1983, in Barbados. Ever since we have been going back on a very regular basis. When the kids were small we went every year for at least 3-to 4 weeks. My wife's mother was taken ill some time ago. This meant my wife, her brother and sister went about three times a year, alternating so there was nearly always one of the children present. Unfortunately, she passed away last year.

We had arranged this visit with my wife's brother and sister and their respective partners so we could all meet up, and start cleaning up the house and the various financial affairs that needed sorting. It was a very good and pleasant visit. All of us stayed in their mum's home. A bit strange with her not being there anymore. Plenty of memories though.

Back to the Mallalieu museum.

I have met Bill, the owner on previous occasions of course. The museum is open from 08-11. Most of the time Bill will take you on a guided tour. He has managed to build quite an eclectic collection. This being a tiny island in the middle of the sea/ocean means that rust is always a real problem, always. Bill has shown my panels he had stripped to the bare metal, rust-proofed and resprayed only to have rust bubbles popping up within a couple of years.

My wife's granny lived for quite a while in the same pavilion where Bill had his office and his museum. This is a tiny island and everybody knows everybody of course. I remember having worked on Granny's car during my early years coming to the island. Granny was quite the driver, not to say quite the road hog! Until of course, due to her age, she could not drive any longer. She told the family she had donated the car to Bill's collection. Bill has a somewhat different story. He told me, she did not donate it, she wanted money! And as Bill put it she haggled quite a bit!! In all honesty, the haggling sounded much more like Granny.

So here it is The only car, as far as I am aware, of our family that ended up in a museum. It is a 1969 Wolseley Hornet MK111. When Granny had it, it was painted silver, but Bill restored it to its original colours.

According to the sign Bill put up on the car, this car is the classic "little old lady" car! 28456 were built.

Next up is the 1937 Chevrolet, Master Deluxe Sedan. It was imported into the island in 1937 for the sum of $1000! It was last used in 2011 for a wedding and has been in the same family for all that time.

A London taxi, but quite an unusual one. This is a Beardmore, 1960. Most London taxis were Austin, BMC or British Leyland-made.

Fenders are made of rubber and you will notice the typical no-left door, instead of a platform for luggage.

A couple of overview images, so you get an idea of the museum and its collection.

A 1930 American Austin Roadster.

Another very rare car. A 1953 Daimler Roadster. 6 cylinder, 2433CC. Only 44 of these cars were produced. They turned out to be too expensive and did not sell. This is one of only 35 now known to exist!!

Another very nice Wolseley 14/60, 1948

This particular model was a carryover from the prewar models starting in 1936. It was particularly popular with the English police and the war dept.

This one has the original Police Bell fitted (no sirens in those days). Bill demonstrated it, still rings!

As one would expect, Bill has some special car models too. These nicely detailed Fiats were only given to Fiat employees. I showed them to my friend Berndt who runs the Minidome car model museum. Berndt had never seen these models. That must be the first time ever, I showed Berdnt a model car that he could not identify!

Some special Porsche model cars, signed by various Porsche executives.

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