A KIND-HEARTED neighbour has used his motoring expertise to honour the wishes of an old friend, bringing an Austin Maxi car back to life in spectacular fashion.

Tony Stanley, managing director at Stanley Cars on Canal Road, set up his Bradford business in 1980, but a request from a dying neighbour proved to be one of his toughest challenges in 39 years at the dealership.

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, Mr Stanley said: “My neighbour, Richard “Dick” Goode, was 92, I think, when he passed away in 2017 and we’d been friends for a long time.

“My wife and I always looked out for him and we knew he had had the Austin Maxi in his garage for about 25 years.

“He bought it brand new in 1979 and he drove it around until the early 1990s.

“But then something went wrong with the gearbox so it stayed inside after that.

“Before he died, Dick asked me to have it. I didn’t really want it but he was such a lovely guy that I decided I’d try and sort it out for him.

“He’d always wanted to do it up himself but he just never got round to it.

“I thought it probably wouldn’t be worth anything and it would need to be scrapped but I wanted to salvage something.”

To Mr Stanley’s surprise, the car was in much better condition than he could have imagined.

He said: “Dick had bought the car as new and he’d given it an oil treatment so underneath it was completely solid.

“The front wings were rotten though and at about £270 each, it didn’t seem worth it to replace them.

“But when I opened the boot there were two brand new ones in there, complete with British Leyland stickers on them.

“The engine had seized up so I freed that, I put a new clutch in and then had the top and bottom repaired and rebuilt.

“It’s got about 60,000 miles on it and it’s just sat in my forecourt, but if you wanted to take it for a spin, it works just fine. It might even make it to London.”

Mr Stanley admitted that he did it for love not money saying: “I wouldn’t have done it for anyone other than Dick.

“It cost me about £4,000 to put it together and it’s probably only worth about five or six thousand anyway.”

Despite the margins not being particularly spectacular, Mr Stanley is keen to sell the classic car.

He said: “If someone comes to the garage and asks to buy it, I would definitely sell it.

“The main thing for me is making sure it goes to a good home.”