My lackluster posting here results from nothing happening on the van. Consequently I’ve had to satisfy my quest for forward momentum in odd ways. I’m still trying to learn details about who the van went to originally in 1951. I know it was sold by Oxford Motors of Vancouver, but not much else.
Last week I found something really neat. A Supreme Court of Canada decision from 1959. It was a tax issue, but some details about the Oxford-Nuffield relationship. Here’s the section:
The judgment of Locke, Fauteux, Abbott and Martland JJ. was delivered by
Abbott J.:—Since 1936 appellant has been a distributor and retailer of Morris motor cars in British Columbia and in the adjoining States of Washington and Oregon, purchasing its cars from Nuffield Exports Limited of Oxford, England.
In the summer of 1951 appellant had a large inventory of cars on hand, for which it had not paid Nuffield (CH: one of these was my van), and by reason of the imposition of severe Consumers Credit Restrictions in March of that year was experiencing great difficulty in disposing of its inventory. Following discussions which took place between officers of the Nuffield company and its Canadian dealers during the summer of 1951, Nuffield offered to all its Canadian dealers a special arrangement in virtue of which it agreed to give a rebate of $250 on each car in stock in Canada on September 1, 1951, and subsequently sold in Canada, such rebate to be available upon payment being made to Nuffield of an amount equal to the c.i.f. value of the cars on which rebate was claimed. The amount of all rebates was to be applied on the dealer's outstanding indebtedness to Nuffield….
It should perhaps be mentioned that during the period from October 1, 1951, to September 30, 1952, appellant carried on its business in partnership with a related company under the firm name of "British Motor Centre" but the existence of that partnership is of no significance to this appeal.
Now the “partner” mentioned in the paragraph immediately above was Plimley Motors. In the 1951 Vancouver Business Directory (above) you can see that both dealer operated on the same city block, with Oxford having moved there the year earlier (and which I documented in another post). Well, Plimley’s doesn’t exist anymore, but it was a very famous dealer in its day. It was actually a third-generation family-owned business. Here’s a blurb out of the Vancouver business Hall of Fame:
Thomas Plimley Pioneer auto dealer b. 1871, Walsall, Eng.; d. 1929, Victoria. Started a bicycle business in Victoria in 1893, the year he arrived from England. Sold the first car in Victoria, a tiller-steered Oldsmobile, in 1901. His wife Rhoda was the first woman driver in Victoria. Sold the Swift, Coventry, Humber, Rover, two-cylinder Buick and air-cooled Franklin. Plimley Motors on Howe was one of B.C.'s largest dealerships. His eldest son, Horace (Thomas Horace) Plimley (b. March 5, 1895, Victoria; d. March 21, 1985, Vancouver) opened a British car dealership in Vancouver (1936). From 1957-86, grandson Basil (b. June 21, 1924, Victoria) was one of the few third generation executives of a B.C. business. The Plimley companies closed in 1991, after 98 years.
Well, guess who I talked to last week? Basil Plimley! Basil agreed to having me come over and show him my photos of the van. He sounds pretty spry for 94 on the phone, but maybe I can pry some memories from him.
On the way home from working on the van this past weekend I stopped off at a farmers field and bought some Russian Hardneck Garlic. It’s a very flavourful and usually expensive type of the garlic (not common in grocery stores). It grows all over British Columbia, and people love it. But most people don’t know that it was brought here in in the early 1900s by Doukhobor immigrants from Russia. The purchase seemed apropos – everything has a history that’s there to be discovered if you're curious.