I found my long lost Street Machine in Morecambe

Ian Etheridge and Steve Hodgson with 'Street Machine'.
Ian Etheridge and Steve Hodgson with 'Street Machine'.

Thirty years ago, Ian Etheridge lovingly built a custom car called ‘Street Machine’ which became legendary in the car world.

The award-winning Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am (Celestial) was his pride and joy, until he was forced to sell it five years later.

Ian had long resigned himself to the fact his beloved creation had been scrapped.

But he was stunned when a friend of his managed to track it down in Morecambe.

The car is now owned by resort motor enthusiast Steve Hodgson who bought it from Holker Hall vehicle museum in Cumbria and spent time restoring it to its best.

Several months ago Steve was contacted by a friend of Ian’s from the car world, who had traced ‘Street Machine’ back to Steve through the internet.

They went over to Steve’s house with a collection of magazines and photos and some of the flakes for the vehicle exterior which were from America and Ian had kept for more than 40 years.

Steve was displaying the vehicle at the Hod Rod show at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, where the car had won a cup 30 years earlier.

Ian, who lives in Stockport, went along with his niece and was reunited with the old car.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it looking very much as it did all those years back.

“I thought it had long been on the scrapheap as I hadn’t seen it since the day it was sold some 25 years ago.

“The idea for the car’s design came to me in a dream and I built it completely from scratch. The painting alone took me a full year.”

Ian, who has suffered five strokes and is now suffering with prostate cancer, said seeing the car again in all its glory had given him a new “lease of life”. Steve said he was thrilled to meet the creator once again.

Ian has now agreed to help Steve restore it to its former glory.