Vintage Postbag, February 1973





Some years ago I acquired in Austria a copy—note my avoidance of the word “Replica”—of a garment used by the German soldiery in the early forties to keep their heads warm whilst they fought the Russians.

This helmet has advantages over the flying variety in that being made of a sheep’s exterior turned inside out it is warmer, and in addition to woolly car covers it has a flap on the forehead which can be let down to cover the nose and eyes. Thus not only are the noises from elderly engines muffled from those ears which do not wish to hear them, but the eyes can be protected from the sight of the results of the unheard noises, while the mouth remains free to comment upon any topic which may seem relevant.

Unfortunately the hat becomes soggy and loses its shape in heavy rain.

T. J. Threlfall.
[I think I will stick to the original type of flying hat.—ED.].

Vintage-size tyre prices


If one compares the Vintage Tyre Supplies adverts in the Spring and Winter, they show noticeable price increases. For example 350/ 400 x 19 is up £1.33, 32 x 41 up over £5, and the largest BE up nearly £7. All within a year, I know that costs (of production) are rising, but that much? Can VTS Ltd. comment at all? Perhaps tyre sales are falling because so many vehicles are not being used or are being “displayed”. It is always pleasing to view other peoples machinery but I am a little concerned at the growth of motor museums, both municiple and private. Collectively they remove from the market many machines which would otherwise find active use, perhaps even daily, with enthusiastic owners. I suggest that they also create an apparent scarcity of vehicles, which may explain some of the current high prices asked and realised.

Obviously the cost of replacements—in this case tyres—has a bearing on how many owners will use their vehicles regularly. The more rubber we use, the more are made; the cheaper they are, and vice versa. At least that’s how it should be! What concerns me is that tyre cost may rise to a point where some owners just can’t afford to replace them, or they will cease to be made. Will not the museums be responsible in part for this? We know that the policy of the National Motor Museum is to me as many of its vehicles as possible each year (fetes, steam-fairs, Concours etc.) but I wonder is their use sufficient to consume tyres regularly? Are attempts made to persuade other museums to get their (own) exhibits on the road? Perhaps Lord Montagu can comment on this?

Chris Lansdell.