COLLECTING their new car proved to be a golden moment for Pat and Brian Williams as they celebrated a 50-year love affair with the Griffin badge.

Staff at Sherwoods’ Northallerton branch celebrated with a special cake, flowers and the keys to a ‘golden’ Mokka X 1.4 Turbo 4×4 Elite.

The SUV is the Williams’ 15th Vauxhall in a history that stretches back to 1967 and their first purchase, a Victor 101 and 620,000 miles.

Pat, of Pickering, said: “We don’t think of Sherwoods’ Andrew Forster as a salesman, he is more like a friend to us.”

Sherwoods general manager Simon MacConachie added: “Pat and Brian are absolute legends and I can remember them from my own days as the manager and previously a salesman in Northallerton going back many years.”

Brian’s proud collection over the years includes:

Vauxhall 101, 2.0, dark blue, 1967-69, 105,000 miles; Vauxhall Viva 1.6, gold, 1969-73, 58,345 miles; Vauxhall Viva 1.8, gold, 1973-76, 44,362 miles; Vauxhall VX2.3, green, 1976-85, 87,144 miles; Vauxhall Cavalier 1.6, grey, 1985-90, 42,353 miles; Vauxhall Cavalier 1.8, red, 1990-95, 48,718 miles; Vauxhall Cavalier 2.0, red 1995-96, 19,361; Vauxhall Vectra 2.0, red, 1996-99, 41,637; Vauxhall Vectra 2.0, green, 1999-03, 69,229; Vauxhall Vectra 2.2, green, 2003-06, 55,704; Vauxhall Astra 1.8, blue, 2006-09, 34,126 miles; Vauxhall Astra Twintop 1.8, panacotta, 2009-11, 24,745 miles; Vauxhall Astra Twintop 1.8, black, 2011-13, 25,656 miles; Vauxhall Mokka SE 1.4 Turbo, brown, 2013-17, 31,000.

Each time the retired quantity surveyor and former head of property with North Yorkshire County Council meticulously recorded the mileage, fuel quantities and servicing and repair costs.

“I started doing this as a student because money was tight and I had to stick to a strict budget – then I just kept doing it,” he said.

“Looking back it is interesting to see in the 1970s that four premium tyres and a wheel balance cost me £13.90.”

Pat said: “I’m really looking forward to the new Mokka and the extra comfort it will provide. Our rescue collie cross Murphy loves going in the car so the first thing will be setting out her seat with her blanket in the boot.”