When Derek Nickson bought his KR200 Messerschmitt in 1969 it was a way of getting from A to B.
But over the years, Derek, now 82, made the three- wheeled bubble car his labour of love – giving it several make-overs along the way.
Car enthusiast Derek had the vehicle, which opens up like the cockpit of an old fighter plane, for more than 30 years before selling it a few years ago.
Derek, of Lostock Hall, bought the car when he was working at British Aerospace in Preston as a maintenance electrician. “A friend of mine – another guy called Derek – had one which he used to get to work,” he said.
“I told him I’d be interested in getting one too and we found one in Lytham.
“It had been used as a beach buggy on Blackpool sands. It only cost me £25 at that time!
“I really loved it – it was so small and handy, perfect for nipping about in.
“It was purple when I got it, but it changed to blue, and then red just before I sold it.”
In the process Derek accumulated many spare parts for the rare model, which had been gathering dust in his garage since he sold his beloved car six years ago.
Son Tony decided they could be of use to the official Messerschmitt Owners Club (MOC), and made contact with north west-based member Alan Town.
Derek didn’t want any money for the haul but when Alan suggested a charity donation instead, he put forward St Catherine’s Hospice.
He said: “I’m very pleased the spare parts I collected over the years will be of use, and I wanted to help St Catherine’s because it’s such a local charity, which does great work.”
Tony, of Bamber Bridge, a fire and rescue watch manager at BAE Systems, added: “I remember my dad working for hours on his Messerschmitt when I was growing up, it really was a labour of love.
“We’re really pleased the spare parts have helped raise some funds for St Catherine’s, palliative care towards the end of life is so important.”
Derek, Tony and Alan, along with David Garner, chairman of the MOC, and his brother Ryalwyn, visited the hospice in their quirky cars to personally deliver the £250 donation.
Emma Jacovelli, fundraiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, thanked Derek and the MOC for the wonderful donation, which will be used to help fund the specialised care the charity provides to those affected by life-shortening conditions in Central Lancashire.
She added: “It was great fun having a go in these wonderfully quirky cars, and amazing to see and hear about how much enjoyment they have brought and continue to bring to Derek and the other guys.
“We’re so grateful for the contribution to St Catherine’s – it’s certainly one of the more unusual donations we’ve received!
“The money will be a great boost to our work providing specialised care and support for patients and their families when it really matters most.”