I’m glad I knew the “good old days” and I mean by this the late forties and the fifties’ about 1948 when I joined that unique institution the Vintage Sports Car Club. One could then buy (or sell), via the medium of the Classified Ads in MOTOR SPORT a fascinating selection of pretty potent vintage or PVT cars for a couple of hundred pounds or so, and what is more with a bit of careful dealing you could have a machine which would comfortably outperform most of its contemporaries on the road at that time. I remember doing an exchange on the Hogs Back and trading a Mk.II Aston Martin saloon I was running at the time for a low chassis 4½-litre Invicta, and after the briefest runs in each others cars swapping log books, (no money involved), and departing our separate ways. Later, again with the help of MOTOR SPORT ads, in a similar deal I exchanged the Invicta for a 2.3 Alfa Castagna DHC, and again there was no money involved.
Compare with today, one could own and drive a really superb example of a vintage car worth, literally, a small fortune and yet on the road something like a Volkswagen Golf GTI or a Peugeot GTI could run rings around it. Of course we know that performance is not by any means the whole story and there’s very much more to a really good vintage machine and that it’s not so much what it will do as the way that it does it, but still, I miss those “good old days”.
F Hugh Goodacre (Flt.Lt., RAF Ret’d)