ALAVISHLY produced German automobile and aviation journal which came into our possession recently contains a lengthy description of a motor exhibition held in Germany apparently towards the end a last year. This show was one of private cars, motor-cycles and commercial vehicles. It seems possible that no entirely new models were displayed, but a fine coloured plate reminds one of the advanced outline and design of the latest streamlined B.M.W. At first sight the discovery of such a report and the realisation that Germany has held quite an imposing show under conditions of war can easily give rise to a feeling of misgiving. In this country our manufacturers have no time to devote to the preparation of cars for exhibition to the public. It is deemed inadvisable for people to congregate together in very large numbers when air raids are liable to happen. The motoring journals have been cut down in size and cannot conveniently carry stand-to-stand reports and colour plates. Even if cars were so shown, they could not be purchased for pleasure purposes. The thought must inevitably arise : ” What has Germany that we have not ? ” That very thought, however, merits a consideration of the case and
a development of perspective. fairly Motoring goes on
nicely in Great Britain, on both the basic and supplementary fuel allowances. In Germany, private motoring has virtually ceased. It is inconceivable that the serious consequences of gathering together a multitude of persons where they are liable to suffer from loads jettisoned from our ” Stir. lings,” ” Halifaxes ” and ” Manchesters ” have not occurred to the German military authorities. It seems unlikely that Germany at war has any greater facilities for manufacturing private cars than has Great Britain at war. Why, then, stage a motor show ? For reasons of propaganda, undoubtedly.
But such propaganda obviously is not addressed to the people of Germany, so many of whom must regard their empty highways and antobahnen and the deserted byways with as much distaste as we should regard the roads and lanes of this country were they devoid of motor traffic. Such propaganda has not been directed at us. For whom, then, was it intended ? It was intended simply for neutral countries, for this war-time motor show was, in fact, an ” exports exhibition.” Germany feels the strain of maintaining a major war and badly needs financial assistance by way of her exports. That can he a comforting thought, and a significant lesson for those of the British population who seek to suppress the activities of our own Motor Industry. But this does not mean that we should place any unnecessary obstacle in the way of the technical development of motor-cars during the war, nor is it intended to encourage indifference to the efforts of those who arc continually expending time, money and energy on research and experiment. And this is where motor-racing supporters are making a valuable contribution to post-war motoring development. The
constant search for more power, controllability, and all the other ideals which enthusiasts are endeavouring to attain provide useful data which will exert a great influence on the development of the motor-car when we can once again turn our attention to such matters.
So go to it, MOTOR SPORT readers, even though some of your fellows do not recognise the value of your efforts. Your show will materialise after the forces of Freedom have conquered the exponents of gangsterdom ; until then, what little spare time you may have can be conscientiously devoted to developing and improving motors in general and your own ” Special ” in particular.
Don Pither This Gloucestershire-based enthusiast, known for his love of the Reliant marque and for his work with the Sabre and Scimitar Owners Club, was also one of the founding…
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