Gumdrop's real-life owner was the author, illustrator and motoring enthusiast Val Biro.
Val rescued Gumdrop from a Buckinghamshire garage in 1961 and restored the car for use as a family runabout. But Gumdrop didn't get into print himself until Val's publisher asked why he hadn't written any stories about his car.
The first in what became a long series of adventures (37 stories, and translations in 17 languages) appeared in 1966, and many Gumdrop books are still in print today.
Val liked nothing better than drawing, painting and telling stories. Driven by this passion he would work late into the night. Always with multiple projects on the go, he could be relied on to turn a job around quickly enough for weekly commissions in magazines. Over a busy and exciting career he created thousands of illustrations, used in his own stories and to help bring other people's stories to life.
Val died in 2014, but at the age of 92 was still working for the sheer pleasure of it on his next publishing project, and his latest Treasury of Fairy Tales was published last Christmas. As Trustees of his Estate, his daughter Melissa and stepson Phil are committed to keeping his books in print, and Phil's son Chris, is the proud keeper of Gumdrop today, so expect to see them at future motoring events.
Val and members of his family often appeared in caricature, alongside his fictional owner - the responsible and rather traditional Mr Oldcastle. See if you can spot Val and his wife Mimi behind the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
Val in his studio, with a proof of a Gumdrop page.