This Gazelle Series lllA used to belong to Alyson Cheetham, but she reluctantly sold it and thinks it now lives in Ireland. And yes, this is the original colour which is called ‘Cloud Rose’ – Rootes Paint Code 049, with a Foam White flash. (Although the words “Shocking” and “Pink” come to mind!)
The car was in superb condition and was a joint winner of the Gazelle Trophy at the 2002 ASCO National Rally (SNCR) held at Newby Hall, Ripon, where this picture was taken.
1089 HP is also the original number, but since 1977 it has had 3 others – AUB 3 (1981), AOA 242A (1984) and 855 CKL (1989), which was someone’s personal plate. Fortunately, when this was taken off to sell the car, DVLA reissued the original “age-related” number, albeit, on a non-transferable basis.
The colour raises so many comments that Alyson had a pink sheet which she put in the car window. This politely (?) points out that it is the original colour, states the colours and codes, and finishes on the lines that if they still don’t believe it, they are welcome to crawl underneath and inspect her bottom, which is exactly the same shade of pink.
When Alyson got the car, the plush trim around the doors was in a terrible state, and of course, it was impossible to match it as the pink was obviously done just for the paint colour. Anyway, Alyson had been a lab technician in her father’s dyeworks, so they raided Dad’s dye stock, picked out the appropriate colours and set to work in the laundry room at home to make a dye recipe to match. They were very lucky and hit on the right combination fairly quickly using little sample pieces cut off the yards of beige plush trim they had started off with. However, the trim is pretty springy and trying to force yards of it into a bucket of boiling water and keep it there was a job and a half, but they eventually managed it and were really pleased with the result. Alyson wasn’t so pleased with the nicely pink-dyed floor, washing machine, tumble drier and freezer, and the black, white and pink Cocker spaniel she ended up with, but it wore off eventually!
One of the funniest comments on the colour came on the way home after buying the car, when it ran out of petrol on the M6. Of course, before long, having nothing better to do on a quiet Sunday, she was treated to the presence of the local Trafpol, who approached along the hard shoulder with blue lights a-flashing. She explained she had sent for fuel and would be away shortly, but they were quite excited by the sight of this pink car and had to get out and have a quick look. They were most intrigued and kept pointing out exciting features of the car to each other but she could hardly contain herself when one said in the broadest Brummy accent you could imagine: “It’s even got dongling doice (dangling dice – furry variety) in the window and bloimy, lewk at it’s number. Yow could sell it tew the Sauce Factoray” !!