Vauxhall PA Cresta - The Pink Lady


Story & History


As per email sent to Peter Lane in response to ~ battered PA at Billing (2005)!:


I have got an old black and white photo of me and my brother leaning against my dad's ‘57/58 cresta in the late ‘60’s. sadly he's not here anymore so can't ask any details, but it broke its back and went to the PA boneyard in the sky...anyway treasured this pic and always wanted one as they are really cool. Also wanted a pink one as it is my fave colour!. Also Mark always wanted one too (probably not pink though!), we kept looking out for one but couldn't really afford one. Saw this one on ebay, but didn't have the money to buy it. Mark was talking in works canteen about PA’s and a guy he knows said he had just bought one off ebay.....turns out to be this one! Anyway, he said he wasn't happy with it as it looked good in pic but needed too much work doing once he had got it and looked at it. We went to look at it and fell in love. We couldn't afford to pay what he paid so struck a deal to pay some for the car and he would sell reg. no to pay for the rest. Anyway, spoke to a guy in the know at Stockwood Classic car show, said we just got her and he knew some of the history for this car! Where it started off, who owned it etc..So it left Vauxhall and started off in Devon we think, but spent the rest of its time on east coast. Last owner had a caravan same colour he used to tow with it! Anyway, took it to Billing week after we got it. Another guy had pics of it. Found out some more history, and it also turns out it is a really early one. So we have got to save her! Also met the original owner (who had it longest and had caravan) at Knebworth show, he was really pleased to see it again. Anyway, the more we find out about it the more we want to keep the reg no. as everyone knows it. The guy we bought it from hadn't sold the number, so we decided to keep it and pay him the rest. So the car will have the original number. It will never be showroom condition, but we love her and love going out in her as she is... Mark is hoping to do some work on her. (so i don't get covered in rust every time i shut the door!!) but nothing seriously major needs doing….or so we thought…famous last words, especially, we have learned when it comes to PA’s!!


Scrap those last few words!!!  Last time we used her the door came off in my hand! She needed some serious TLC….found lots of horrors…no strengthening panels, parts of chassis gone…holes everywhere…roof pillars rotted, door posts rotted away…etc, etc, etc….I think anyone else would have scrapped her, but we are determined to save her.


We have done lots of welding on her now (nearly all round everywhere with poor Mark patiently spending hours fabricating plates and panels to replace all the missing or rusty parts) and so, she is sitting straighter now and much stronger, don’t know how she didn’t break up! Anyway, need to start on the actual bodywork/cosmetic side and hopefully by next year she will be restored to nearly her former glory with a nice new shiny coat of paint.


Trying to compile history on her…. Some emails received:


just seen the photos of your Cresta on the P.A. Cresta site. I knew this car back in the late '80's/90's when it was owned by a chap I know from the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. At that time He had restored her to the original pink shade of Mountain Rose, a pale pink the colour of pink salmon as opposed to what is usually referred to as "Salmon Pink" which is much darker.


Also at the time he had the front seat redone in vinyl as opposed to leather, which I presume is still in the car. He also painted the roof & rear deck Dover White as he said it was two - toned that way when he got the car. This is probably not as it left the factory, as the two - tone offering with Mountain Rose was Charcoal Grey. However this one may have be may have been given the white roof at the dealers to customer order, or carried out by a later owner.


The car was quite well known on the circuit at the time, and was also used to carry record decks as Mike & his Wife have a mobile '50's style disco.


Going back a few years, YDV489 was used to convey the well known Monster raving loony party leader "Screaming Lord Sutch"  on some "official political business". I possibly may have some photos of this and others somewhere, if I find them I'll e-mail them to you.


Whilst looking for something else, I came across this photo taken at a show, in the Forest of Dean in the late '80's.  At the time the car was owned by Mike and Babs Delaney, whose F type Victor is pictured along side.


Glad you like the photo, it was taken at Clearwell ( Forest of Dean) carnival in if my memory is correct, 1988 or 1989. This was the event opened by the late "Screamin' Lord Sutch", who was transported to the show in YDV489 by the then owner Mike Delaney.


With regard to history prior to and after Mikes ownership, all I can tell you is that as far as I'm aware Mike obtained the car from the Banbury, Oxfordshire area.


Some where (?!!?) I have another photo I took of YDV489 whilst in Paignton, Devon on holiday in the early 90's.She was just parked in a side street off the front. If I can find it I'll mail it to you.


Hi Wendy and Mark, here are a couple of pictures of your car as promised, the black painted car is a photo i have borrowed from Colin Moorhouse from Yorkshire, i will have to ask him where it was taken, and the second picture in pink was taken either 1989 or 1990 by myself at Bromley pageant of motoring.


(See photo page)





 She was originally black, not sure when she went to pink & white, quite early on i think, but everyone knows her as pink & white, so we are keeping these colours.

 And so a huge restoration project to save this fine lady goes under way...


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