Man Reveals Why His Grandad's Iconic Car Sat on a Driveway for Thirty Years

A man in England has revealed the true story behind a local mystery: why his grandfather left an iconic car in his driveway for more than 30 years.

The rusting Ford Capri has been a topic of curiosity among locals, who often wondered why the rusty car has been left untouched since the 1990s.

A stir arose in June after the famous local landmark was finally removed from the Swindon driveway it sat on for 32 years.

Noel Jones Capri in Swindon old pic
Noel Jones bought the Ford Capri in 1972 and drove it for 18 years. The car sat, rusting and weathered, in his driveway in Swindon, England, for 32 years before it was removed this weekend. Courtesy of Jordan Davis via Zenger

Jordan Davis, 22, was surprised by the mounting interest in his grandfather's motor and decided to finally reveal the truth behind the mystery.

His late grandfather, Noel Jones, was well-known in Swindon and died earlier this year at the age of 81. The grandfather of three bought the Capri in 1972 and traveled in style for 18 years, until he was forced to stop driving because of a slipped disc.

The car was then left parked and untouched on Deacon Stree, for three decades.

Nick Jones was well-known in Swindon
Noel Jones was well-known in Swindon, England, and died earlier this year at the age of 81. Simon Galloway, SWNS/Zenger

Davis, who works as a civil servant in Swindon, said: "Grandad paid more for the car than he did his own house and he got it brand new out of a showroom.

"It was his pride and joy and he didn't want to get rid of it.

"The reason it was left for wear and tear for such a long time was for a completely different reason than what everyone thinks.

"Everyone had come up with a million stories, from saying it was grandad's late wife's car who died to his missing son's—but none were true.

"The main reason was because he didn't want anyone reversing on his drive because there's no parking in the town center—as funny as it sounds.

"It was literally that simple; quite amusing really."

Noel Jones' Ford Capri removed this weekend
Noel Jones bought the Ford Capri in 1972 and drove it for 18 years. The car sat, rusting and weathered, in his driveway in Swindon, England, for 32 years before it was removed this weekend. Simon Galloway, SWNS/Zenger

Jones worked as a builder on the Oasis and the Gorse Hill Community Center and was a well-known figure in Swindon, often found in The Savoy, The Sir Daniel Arms or out gambling.

He was an avid traveler and drove his MK1 Capri sports edition Ford around Europe.

The father of two also enjoyed taking his daughters Sarah and Lisa and his grandchildren to Florida every year.

"I'm sad that the car is gone but it's been really nice seeing the output from the entire community. Everyone has been saying such lovely things," Davis said.

"I am very proud to call him my grandad as he was an amazing man and a legend.

"I inspire to have a mindset like his and love life as much as he did. He was a very friendly person and would always quote nice comments like 'happiness is the best medicine' and he would always wish people good luck."

Sadly, Davis said the long-standing car has fallen into disrepair and was unable to be restored, so the renowned Capri was sold for "spares and repairs."

Davis said: "It will not only be missed by his family because it has been there so long, but also by all the people of Swindon."

The husband of Sarah Jones, one of Noel's daughters, said: "If you asked people who knew Noel what it was that he loved, some could say it must be his car.

"A local tourist attraction, the famous Swindon Capri, last taxed in 1994, parked on his drive for the last 28 years, I would never see it drive, although Sarah has fond memories of days in it.

"He would never get rid of it, he would have regular visitors outside his house taking photos, and would always check it after returning home."

Back in the 70s, Ford marketed the Capri as "The Car You Always Promised Yourself." British magazine Car called it a "Cortina in drag."

Produced in association with SWNS.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.