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  • Nana Ofori-Atta Oguntola

The Doctor and His Cars: An Enduring Love Affair

Updated: May 10, 2020

It is well known that Dr Titus Odedun is a collector of classic cars, but the question is why and how did this love affair with cars begin.

At age 11, he was supposed to be in boarding school, however, his step brother, trying to avoid costly boarding school fees, sent him to become an apprentice car mechanic, completely unbeknown to his parents who lived in Odeomu, forty miles further south.

This was the start of a love with cars which Dr Titus Odedun has carried with him throughout his life.

One day as he worked on a car at the garage, a friend of his mother happened to pass by and saw him going underneath a car. She went back and told his mother, Rachel she had seen Titus working in a car garage.

His mother denied that Titus was working in a garage as he was supposed to be in school. The friend, however insisted that she had indeed seen Titus working on a car in a garage in Ibadan.

Dr Odedun’s mother immediately travelled to Ibadan to look for her son and when she found him as her friend had said she took her son home with her and proceeded to raise the money she needed to send him to boarding school to get a good education. An opportunity Titus made use of by excelling at his studies.

The car bug, however, had already taken hold.

Initially, while doing his Foundation medicine course at the then Royal University of Malta (before transferring to St Bartholomew’s via Cambridge), he drove a Hillman, which belonged to a lady he lovingly calls "Auntie Mary", a surrogate motherly figure in his early years.

After qualifying as a Doctor, he bought his first car, a Ford Escort, soon after followed by an MG midget, with rubber bumpers, a car he lovingly remembers driving across Europe, having to queue some four hours to enter Hungary, then part of Soviet Block and going as far as Lake Ballaton, before driving it all the way back to London, picking up a student hitch hiker on the way back.

His car collection include a Jaguar XK150 dhc auto (one of only 67 produced over 60 years ago) in ‘glorious British racing green’. He proudly remembers racing this car at the Medina grand prix, having qualified for and exhibited it at the Concours D'Elegance.

He also owns two Morgan 4+4s, a 1948 MG TC, 1966 MG Roadster, Morgan Cowley bull nose, an Austin Ten Ripley (one of only three survivals of the 250 originally produced in 1934), a rare 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 DHC mark1, a beautiful Aston Martin DB7 volante in British racing green that came out of the collection of The Sultan of Brunei, a further Aston Martin DB7 that once belonged to HRH Prince Andrew, a 1932 Morris 8 drop head, a Bentley Brooklands, A 1926 Rolls Royce drop head that used to be the official car of The Lord Mayor of the city of London (first purchased after Barker partnered with Stanley Ritson of Sunderland to produce them), a very rare 1951 three position Rolls Royce silver wraith.

Perhaps one of the most interesting is the Ferrari 550 Maranello Steptonic, the only one made to the specification of HRH, the Sultan of Brunei; a car that comes with a certificate from Ferrari that NO other version will ever be produced. Needless to say, the car is in Red as is his other Ferarri 430 spider F1, which he appropriately named "the Beast".

1948 MG TC

Over the last 40 years, he has purchased a stable of some forty cars. He maintains that Classic cars are worthwhile investments as the right ones appreciate better than Bricks and mortar and they are exempt from road tax and MOT and if you sell, there is no capital gains tax or inheritance tax to worry about. as the government seeks to encourage the preservation of classic cars

He drives each of his cars, enjoys raising the bonnet occasionally and working on them, goes to car shows and even enters competitions. He has given names to some of his cars. For Dr Odedun, each car has a personality and an interesting history.

Dr Odedun in his 1958 Jaguar XK 150 DHC auto.(one of only 67 produced) at the Mdina Grand Prix

Asked why he has such a big car collection, Dr Titus Odedun stated that he’d always loved cars and he enjoys having them.

He suggested people looking to investment might want to look at classic cars as an investment option.

I wonder what his life would have been like if his mother had not taken him from the mechanic’s garage and sent him to school. I also wonder at how this encounter at age 11 has permeated and influenced his adult life so greatly.

What happens to us as children has a large impact on our futures and so we must guide these paths carefully.

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