"My Grandad Painted This East London Car Art 60 Years Ago"

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 19 months ago
"My Grandad Painted This East London Car Art 60 Years Ago"

At Londonist, we go cuckoo for a good ghost sign. Occasionally though, the vintage images you see slapped across London's brickwork, never faded into obscurity in the first instance.

We recently received an email from Londonist reader, Claire Camplisson, who tracked down this marvellous image of a Ford Zodiac Mark II, painted onto the side of garage on the corner of Forest Road and King Edward Road, Walthamstow.

The first remarkable thing about this painting is that it dates back to 1957 — just one year after the Zodiac Mark II was launched.

The second remarkable thing? Camplisson knows that this is when the car was painted, because her grandad was the artist who painted it.

"My dad grew up in East Ham and his dad was a local sign painter," says Camplisson, "He usually just painted shop signs and wording etc. But there is one piece of his 'art work' that still remains.

"My dad remembers driving him there and watching him paint it. I never met my grandad, he died in 1977, so wandering the streets of the very different E17 on Saturday and finally locating this was a really emotional moment."

"I spoke with the guy inside the tyre shop and he said the owner of the building has strict instructions about preserving it. I have his number and am trying to call him to say thank you."

Indeed, judging by Google Street View, the facade of the building has changed a number of times in recent years — the only real constant being the Zodiac. This is one car, it seems, they will never shift.

Images © Claire Camplisson.

Last Updated 13 June 2017