Mr. Newman Meets the Windsors

By Wednesday, January 6, 2016

My father once recounted a story, as he often did around the dinner table, about the time he was called to repair a garage door for a well-known English family called the Windsors. OK, it wasn’t ‘the’ Windsors as in the British Royal Family, but he did happen to know they had a large house and a rather large collection of vintage cars, many of which were British classics.

So, although my father was probably more excited about seeing the vintage cars than repairing the garage door, he was always keen to meet new people and to exchange stories and share his experience. He set off to find the house of the English Windsor family who had settled in the US some years previously. However, he had also heard that the house had a ghost!

As it turned out, once my father had found the huge house hidden away on the outskirts of the city near a large forest and driven up the long gravel driveway, he was confronted with not one, but three garage doors, all of a type very well known to him; the Crawford Marvel-Lift from the 1960s, the very make of door which got him into this business in the first place.

Mr. Windsor was a larger than life affable character that my father took an instant liking to, and the two of them immediately started chatting about garage doors, cars and life in general, but of course not before my father had established that the problem was linked to the famous “safety torsion spring”, part of the patented and allegedly fool-proof mechanism that made the Marvel-Lift door famous. To be fair, this mechanism didn’t fail that often and was a fairly straightforward case of changing the torsion spring which had the garage door operating in no time at all.

The ghost of the Windsors

As my father had repaired Mr. Windsor’s garage door so quickly, Mr. Windsor offered him a cup of tea, as you would expect from a British gentleman, and soon the conversation turned to the story of the ghost that my father had heard about. On hearing this, Mr. Windsor offered to show my father around the garages which contained 5 vintage cars, some dating back to 1900. As they walked through the garages, Mr. Windsor explained the history of each car, when it was made, where, what type of engine it had, and finally they arrived at Mr. Windsor’s pride and joy, a 1908 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.

As soon as my father saw the beautiful car with its silver wings and polished wood, he realised that the story of the ghost related to a classic car and not a spirit, and soon after that, Mr. Windsor fired up the vintage Rolls Royce and took my father for a spin around the block while they both laughed about the ghost story and agreed that often you can’t believe what you hear and it’s wise to verify rumours.


Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Boat-Tail Skiff

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