Enthusiast ‘gutted’ as van is torched

David Webster looks over the burnt out remains of his 1960's Austin A35 van which was stolen and set alight
David Webster looks over the burnt out remains of his 1960's Austin A35 van which was stolen and set alight

A SHEFFIELD classic car enthusiast spent ten years and thousands of pounds restoring a van, only for it to be stolen and left burned out in a field.

David Webster, who paid £100 for the blue 1960s Austin A35 van, showed off his “pride and joy” at classic car shows and allowed other enthusiasts to take photographs of the vehicle on his drive in Normanton Spring Court, Woodhouse.

He was devastated when he woke up to find the van had disappeared. Then police told him it was on fire near Bramley Lane allotments in Handsworth. The bodywork had been severely damaged and the leather interior reduced to ashes.

“It’s like I’ve lost someone,” said David, aged 50, a window fitter. “It looked horrendous. All the work I’d put into it had gone in a second because of some scumbag. I can’t get my head around why it’s happened.”

After buying the car from a pensioner who had left it rusting in his garden, David bought parts and had some made and it got it through its MOT earlier this year. “It was definitely a bargain. I would have paid a lot more for it. I swore that I would never, ever buy it to sell on.

“I could have sold it a thousand times for a profit but I promised this little old chap that I would keep it myself.”

Now he is “gutted. I felt I’d been at someone’s funeral. People might think it’s sad to think that about a car but at the end of the day it was my pride and joy”.