The real absurdity of the vintage movement is becoming more and more apparent now that the surviving examples of the truly great motor cars tend to get fewer every year, due to both natural causes and post-war exports.
The vintage cult now embraces the more obscure and dreary family tourers which any keen driver would have been ashamed to own pre-war.
The antique Humber, Belsize, Clyno, Swift and similar motorised bedsteads, incapable of really motoring even when they were new, have become desirable since the war, rather than the Bentleys, Bugattis, 30/98s, chain-gang Frazer-Nashes, Rileys, etc-, which at least were real motor cars in their hey-day.
I can see some point in owning and making a cult of real motor cars from the past, cars with a history, cars of interesting and/or outstanding design, but what sense is there in owning and rebuilding family tourers of pathetic performance even when new, and which date from a period of extreme mediocrit y in design, a sort of motoring doldrums? The place for such vehicles is on farms as hen-houses, back where they were in ‘39.
“Modern tin-ware” is here to stay, and I extend that term to include anything from the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud to a Ford Consul, from an Aurelia to a VW. How long will it take before the gentlemen with the Clynos and the quaint headgear suddenly catch on to the fact that, in the motoring sense, they have missed the bus? Or do they know it already, but have not yet found a suitably dignified way of dismounting from their hobby-horse
I am, Yours, etc.,
A. E. Hardman,