Man drives 90-year-old 1931 vintage car to work every day and reveals his secrets to making it work

A man who drives his 90-year-old classic car to work every day reveals his secrets to making it work.

Mark Elder, 58, from Bicester, Oxfordshire, inherited the 1931 12/50 Alvis touring car from his father who bought it ten years ago.

Despite having covered over 200,000 miles in the past 90 years, the green Alvis still hasn’t given up on Mark, with the vintage car enthusiast taking him for a spin every day.

Mark, who runs The Motor Shed, buys and sells vintage cars, is able to drive the car in all weathers without the engine failing.

Mark Elder, 58, inherited this 1931 12/50 Alvis four-seater touring car from his father. (Courtesy Caters News)
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Green Alvis by Mark photographed in France. (Courtesy of Caters News)
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Mark (2nd L) child in Switzerland in front of a Sunbeam. (Courtesy of Caters News)

“The car has been in the family for 10 years and we are lucky that the Alvis has a very good supply of spares so through the vintage sports car club we can get spares for make it work,” Mark explained. .

“It has no power steering, it has no hydraulic brakes, there is no AVS or ride control, no heater, no windshield wiper, and I have to use my hands to signal when I turn left or right.

“I can’t say that old cars don’t break down, but by driving them regularly you can make them work.

Epoch Times Photo
Mark driving his 1931 Alvis. (Courtesy of Caters News)
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Mark and his 1931 Alvis walking past a McDonald’s. (Courtesy of Caters News)
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Mark pictured in his 1931 Alvis by a McDonald’s. (Courtesy of Caters News)
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Mark filling the gas tank of his 1931 Alvis. (Courtesy of Caters News)

“If you’re driving an old car, there’s so much excitement and fun when it comes to driving and there’s a sense of accomplishment when you reach your destination.

“I drive the car every day when I can; last week when we had cold snowy weather, I was driving it back and forth to work and it was fine.

“I go to the pub in it, I shop in it, and I go to work and back.

“You have to have confidence in the car and like anything, if you drive a car all the time you learn to appreciate the car better.”

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Mark’s 1931 Alvis photographed in France, again. (Courtesy of Caters News)
Epoch Times Photo
Mark driving his 1931 Alvis. (Courtesy of Caters News)
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Mark inside his 1931 Alvis. (Courtesy Caters News)

Mark’s love for classic cars comes from his father, who took him to vintage car meetups.

Now Mark has passed the hobby on to his two children, Charles, 27, and Harriet, 26, who both go out in the car.

“When I was growing up my dad got into buying and selling old cars, so when we were kids we were dragged around in the back of old cars,” Mark added.

“When I left school I joined the army but when I got out I joined dad in the business and that’s when I got really excited about them.

“I met my wife [Debbi] during a rally in France, the whole family is therefore interested in the world of vintage cars.

“The car has broken down from time to time, but the last time was a few years ago.”

Epoch Times Photo
Mark poses in front of his 1931 Alvis. (Courtesy Caters News)
Epoch Times Photo
Mark poses in his 1931 Alvis. (Courtesy Caters News)
Epoch Times Photo
Mark driving his 1931 Alvis, from the back. (Courtesy of Caters News)

Despite its age, Mark says the car is now worth around 35,000 pounds (around US$45,000), thanks to its timeless features.

“I would like to keep this car in the family and I have no intention of selling it,” he said.

“Old cars hold their value and maintenance is, on the whole, cheaper than modern cars.”

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