Mr Green – What Were You Doing?

Average mileage these days is seen as 10,000 per year, yet back in 1961 our car VDL634 seemed to cover 12,262 miles in nine months (28-9-1961) – on the tiny piece of land called the Isle of Wight. Clearly something happened, with Mr Green.

H J Aedy’s prepared for Sale note, sadly has no date but it DOES include the mileage: 11,698.
This entry is before the 12,000 mile maintenance voucher page on the service book, which is dated 28th 9 (September) 1961. We must assume here that the ‘first’ owner – Richard Stimson – has the car, as we have the first record of a service at Totland Service Station at The Avenue, Totland, Freshwater. Was the car simply serviced at its due 12,000 mile schedule? Probably.
Back track a little.
Monday, 9th January, 1961 the car had covered 1,330 miles. That’s exactly one month after the first registration.

The service book, confirming this mileage, is stamped from Ryde Garage – Downing and Donovan.

isle of wight Key: 1. Ryde (Downing and Donovan), 2. Ventnor (Mr Green), 3. Wootton (HJ Aedy), 4. Freshwater (Mr Stimson)

The next entries are in pencil, with no stamps:
Tuesday, 7th March, 1961 – 3,500 miles
Sunday, 21st May, 1961 – 6,050 miles
Sunday, 2nd July, 1961 – 9,040 miles
(with an oil change of Castrolite at 9,550 miles)
Notice the last two – garage service days were Sundays. No garages were open Sundays so perhaps a ‘self’ service, complete with pencilled writing.
A quick calculation (9040 – 1330) shows that VDL634, between Monday 9th January and Sunday 2nd July 1961 covered 7,710 miles.
175 days – 7,710 miles
or 25 weeks –  7,710 miles
or 5 months and 24 days  – 7,710 miles
An average of 44 miles a day for 175 days.
or without weekends, thats 123 days with an average of 62.6 miles per day.
The Isle of Wight measures only 23 miles long by 13 miles wide – ironically leaving Ventnor, each and every week day for 123 days to drive around the coast of the Isle of Wight would be the required average the car was covering!
So how?
Option 1. Driving School
Downing and Donovan offered driving lessons from 1961.
It’s a lot of miles each day – surely the service book would be officially stamped?
Option 2. Travelling
Off the Island – UK or Europe. With an address in Ventnor, the furthest away from the ferry ports!
The mystery continues…

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