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Eye man reunited with uncle's 1939 Morris Minor Post Office van after 30 years



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A landscape gardener from Thorndon has finally been reunited with his uncle’s classic Morris Minor – more than 30 years after it was sold at auction.

The 1939 Morris Minor Post Office van had belonged to Robert Fiebelkorn’s uncle, Francis Newtimer, who lived in Braiseworth Lodge, Eye, for decades.

Following Mr Newtimer’s death in 1990, his selection of classic cars went under the hammer at TW Gaze auction house in Diss, with a man in Eye buying the Post Office van for around £6,000.

Mr Fiebelkorn has finally managed to retrieve his uncle's van, which was sold at auction more than 30 years ago. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.
Mr Fiebelkorn has finally managed to retrieve his uncle's van, which was sold at auction more than 30 years ago. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.

“The van was my uncle’s everyday car,” remembered Mr Fiebelkorn.

“It was a regular feature in Diss in those days – he would always be there at Gazes on a Friday with it.

“I would skip school and go to Diss Market with him in it.

“Because my uncle didn’t have any children, after he died, his belongings were divided up between family, but his collection of motor vehicles went to TW Gaze.”

Francis Newtimer pictured with the van, was sold at auction decades later. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.
Francis Newtimer pictured with the van, was sold at auction decades later. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.

As the years went by, Mr Fiebelkorn began to dream of one day getting his hands on the classic motor.

What looked like a distant dream became a reality following a chance encounter earlier this year.

“One day, I was cutting grass where the owner just happened to be with the van,” said Mr Fiebelkorn.

“I said to him, ‘If you’re thinking about parting with it, let me know’.

“It had been in the same home in Eye for the last 30 years.”

To Mr Fiebelkorn’s delight, the owner was happy to part ways with the vehicle, for an undisclosed sum.

Mr Fiebelkorn, who lives in Stanwell Green, was finally reunited with the family heirloom last month.

“Every time I see it, I smile and every time I drive it, I smile even more,” said the 50-year-old.

“Everybody that comes on a ride with me has a permanent smile on their face, and everybody on the road gives you a wave. It’s like stepping back in time.”

Despite its vintage, the car can still get Mr Fiebelkorn from A to B, albeit at somewhat of a leisurely pace.

“I can’t hurry it,” he added. “It’s only got three speeds and is quite slow.

“But I want to drive it as much as I can and enjoy it.”