A kind-hearted stranger wanting to show the other side of humanity to a grandfather whose classic car was torched has set up a fundraiser to ‘make this gent’s life better’.
Bill England’s 1965 Magnette was taken from outside his home in Harcourt Way, Wantage, sometime after 11pm on February 21.
Following wide spread appeals for information about the missing car, it was found two days later by police torched in Bradfield near Reading.
Alex Singleton, a fellow enthusiast, responded by launching a JustGiving page to raise £10,000 for Mr England to either repair or replace his ‘pride and joy’. Around £2,000 has been raised so far.
The 33-year-old mechanical engineer described what happened as “abhorrent”.
“It’s a senseless act of destruction by someone with no regard or understanding of the impact of their actions,” the Northamptonshire man, who has not even met Mr England, told the Guardian.
“When they stole and burnt that car it was not just a possession, but a hobby, interest, family way of life and a barrage of unique life-long memories for Bill and his family.”
Mr England, 87, owned the car, which still had the original paintwork, for 40 years. He has seen the pictures and is ‘devastated’ by the damage.
The extent of the destruction includes serious damage to the interior and floor pan, roof and engine bay.
It is an ‘exceptionally rare’ vehicle and few BMC Farina cars survive – the MG variety is among the rarest.
Mr Singleton said that, as a classic car owner himself, he knows only too well how much time, care, money and work goes into looking after it.
“They truly become a part of the family,” he said.
“No amount of money can honestly replace the irreplaceable, but it can help towards the cost of repairing or buying another classic, or even just to give Bill a holiday following on from this horrible experience.
“Bill has sadly seen the cruelty of others first hand, let’s show him the kindness of others and give towards making this gent’s life better.”
Mr England also has a stripped back A60 Cambridge which he has owned for more than 30 years.
Nearly 140 supporters have so far raised around £2,000 towards the £10,000 target.
One of them to lend a hand is Mark Jones, who said: “I hope a replacement car can bring you some comfort and enjoyment, even if it cannot replace your loss.”
Contact police on 101 quoting reference number 43180054944 if you have any information on the incident.
Visit tinyurl.com/y7dueqja to donate.