Here we are piecing together an accurate time of events from the production of VDL634 to the present day.
Commission number Y154469 and Engine Number Y17641HE was built in late July early August 1960 which sounds vague to start, so let’s clarify those dates: Standard Triumph had a two week factory shutdown/holiday the first two weeks in August – it was called the Coventry Fortnight and a large number of factories and component suppliers within the area all took the fortnight off. Complete factories would stop working and shutdown, our car was being built immediately prior to this shutdown, was left for two weeks, partially built, possibly completely built, as it was despatched the first week back – 15th August 1960. It was the 22nd car to be built in August. It was despatched via the main dealer/distributor for Portsmouth, Munn & Underwood for the invoiced price of £672. 11s 6d.
At this time Standard Triumphs dealers/distributors were responsible for the final checks, running in and ultimately the quality of the cars due to be sold. It is currently unclear whether VDL went straight to Munn & Underwood (very likely) or direct to the Isle of Wight dealer Downing and Donovan.
Saturday, September 3rd, 1960
Isle of Wight County Press advertise both a text and display advert for Convertible Magic. See it, Try It, Buy It at Downing & Donovan. This clearly indicates the car was on the Isle of Wight – and in the showroom on this date. The convertible was advertised for £766. At this point the car was not registered and would have probably been a static display.
September, October & November 1960
The convertible was continued to be advertised in the local newspaper both as text and display adverts.
Wednesday 2nd November, 1960
Downing and Donovan Limited, incorporation date. The company becomes owned by Reginald Shotter and (later) run by (son) Ralph Shotter.
Saturday December 3, 1960
Local advert. Text ad. New Cars Available. Convertible demoted to third in position. (From being first in the listing since September).
Thursday 8th December, 1960
Registered as VDL634. Mr Green, Ventnor.
Saturday December 17, 1960
Text ad. New Cars Available. Convertible in third in position.
Saturday December 24, 1960
Text ad. New Cars Available. NO convertible listed.
Saturday January 28, 1961
Learn to Drive with Downing and Donovan Limited advert appears.
Monday 9 January 1961
Recorded mileage is 1,330. The service book is stamped at Ryde Garage. (Downing & Donovan)