A CLASSIC car owner was left devastated when a taxi smashed into his car in the early hours of the morning.

Ben Locker’s 1975 Triumph Toledo, nicknamed Maggie, was parked in Bergholt Road beside another car when the cab smashed into them.

Mr Locker said an initial survey of the damage showed it would cost more to repair the car than to buy a new one.

He said: “It’s definitely hard to take.

“I’ve done a lot of work on it myself, so I know the scale of the damage and what it means.”

Mr Locker bought the car in November 2012 after the previous owner knocked back a number of people who wanted to modify it.

He eventually bought it for £950.

Mr Locker added: “To me, the cash value is immaterial - it's the love and work I've put into her engine and in keeping her on the road.

“I learned how to repair and look after engines as a result of owning her.

“I've taken her to Dorset, over the Pennines to Cheshire and many other places.

“She was part of the family really.”

Police were called to the incident at about 2.45am on Saturday morning when a cab veered off the road and crashed into the Triumph and a Renault Clio.

Fire crews were also called because petrol was leaking over the road.