Monday, 22 January 2018

HONEST - I ONCE HAD A 'NOBEL PRIZE'...



I've shown these photos before (on my other blog), but there's a reason for their re-appearance.  I'm unsure as to which of the photos was taken first (possibly the colour one), but both of them were snapped in 1965.  The colour picture was taken outside the house I recently regained entry to for the first time in 50 years, and the b&w pic was captured in Port Bannatyne when we holidayed there in May/ June of '65.  (That's #19 of TV CENTURY 21 I'm holding in my grubby paws.)


Look at the car though.  We had this car from 1964 to around 1969 or '70, and I remember reading early issues of TV21 right up to middle issues of FAN-TASTIC while being driven home from the shops after buying them.  The car is a NOBEL 200, the British version of the German FULDAMOBIL, and had a fibreglass chassis.  I only ever saw one other (at a distance), and though I've a strong impression that I was in our Nobel at the time, I now wonder if it might actually have been from our new vehicle (a RELIANT ROBIN) - which, if so, means it's entirely possible that what I saw was our own, former car.


However, let's not get bogged down with uncertainty at this stage. The point is that it was a rare car, and even without the photos, the licence number (77 JJO) was lodged in my brain from an early age.  That's mainly because, another house later, it matched our house number - 77 - and the JJO has a rhythm about it which is hard to forget. Looking back, it's the only number plate of the several cars my parents owned that I remember. I'd like to think it's still out there some-where, owned by a collector, and wasn't consigned to oblivion many years ago.


I tend to regard it as a long-absent family member with whom I'd like to get reacquainted.  If, by some slim chance, any of you happen to know of its where-abouts, or how I could find out its fate, then let me know, eh?  It'd be nice to hear that it still exists.

******

Update: Managed to find and buy a limited edition, white metal model (1.43 scale) of the car on ebay. It was manufactured by a German company called BUDIG in around 2008.






13 comments:

  1. I have no wish to be unkind, but the number plate with a low number looks as though it would be worth more than the car to a John James Osborne who was born in 1977.

    Peter Pedant

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    1. Oh, you're so cwuel, PP (yes, I meant to type 'w') and I'm cut to the quick. Stuff John James Osborne - the car and its number plate are beyond price to me. Just for that, I'm going to come around to your house and jump on your Lego set.

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  2. Never ever seen a car like it before let alone a model..Can remember the BMW Isetta known as the bubble car.

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    1. There's never been a 'proper' model of the Nobel as far as I know, LH. The Budig one is white metal and was made in very limited numbers. As for the Isetta, there are a few toy versions of them on a post over on Crivens! If you type 'Bubble Car' into its search box, up it should come.

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  3. I lived in wNorwich and owned this very car before you. I had it for two years and have many hair raising stories about driving it. Loved your blog.
    Regards
    Dave Cusworth

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    1. Wow! That's amazing! Do you mean you actually had 77 JJO? You must've owned it as a very young man. Would you remember exactly when you sold it? And would you know how I could find out how long my father owned it for (it was around 5 years, but I'm looking for specific dates) and whether it still survives these days? Great to hear from you.

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  4. Meant to say, DC, I reproduced the number plate in the Port Bannatyne photo, reduced it to the appropriate size, and made facsimile plates for the Budig model. I had to make it two-tier for the back plate, as that's how I remember it. I can't recall whether the back number plate was a solid plate, or a transfer or label like the front one was. Can you remember?

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  5. Bought the car in 1964 when I was 17 and kept it for 2 years. It was always impossible to get parts and that led to several hair raisers. Firstly I spent more time driving it with a piece of string over my shoulder to operate the throttle while I waited weeks for a replacement to arrive. The rack and pinion steering would periodically override it's retaining bracket so the car would suddenly decide not to turn left. Many times, in the middle of Norwich I would have to get out of the car and physically turn the front wheels left to be able to go around a corner. I once won a race against Triumph TR around part of the Norwich ring road. We raced in reverse and, of course, JOJO hd the same four gears in reverse.
    My wife and I did our courting in this car (bench seats and loads of leg room), we have now been married over seventy two years!!!!
    Like you I would like to know if the car is still alive.
    I found your blog whilst looking for a model... Still havent found one.
    Regards
    Dave

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  6. Sorry - typo - fifty two years married

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  7. Could you have bought it in 1963 perhaps? See, the photo atop the post was taken in 1965 outside the house we lived in from July '64 to November '65, before we moved to another house. We still had the car to, I'd say, around 1969 or '70 at least, before my father bought a Reliant Robin. I don't remember him ever having any particular problems with it though. Also, it must have had a spell with someone else in between you owning it and my dad buying it, because I don't think he was ever in Norwich in the '60s - if ever. I see you refer to the car as 'JOJO', which may be artistic license when it comes to pronunciation, but is it possible you had a car with the number 77 J0J0, or is that impossible? (I don't know much about cars.)

    Anyway, regarding the model, I've only ever seen two others on sale on ebay, one the same colour as 'ours', and one in orange and white. As you'll have noticed, the small front lights on the real car are absent on the model one, as they're on the sides at the top of the doors instead (which is where they were on the Fuldamobil).

    Congratulations on 72 years of marriage - that's some achievement. What was it like to see a photo of your actual car so many years after the fact (and after its time with you), and do you have any photos of it yourself?

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  8. Yeah, it just hit me that 72 must've been a typo and was about to write a response when your other comment came in. We definitely had the car in 1965 though, so if you bought it in '64 and had it for two years, that doesn't quite add up. So it either must've just felt like a 'couple of years' or you bought it in '63.

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  9. JOJO was our name for it, although it was definitely reg JJO. My dates are good as I had a motor scooter when I was 16 and changed to the bubble car when I was 17, so being born in 1947 that would be in 1964. The only possibility is that I am mistaken about the 77 part of the reg. I am now off to seek out old photos to check it out. Whatever I find I will let you know know and thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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  10. It must be a different car then, because the two photos of it here were definitely taken in 1965. Also, the Nobel wasn't a 'Bubble Car' as it had a door on each side, not just one at the front. However, it's certainly been an interesting trip down whatever type of lane it turns out to be. Cheers.

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