Matters of moment, July 1991

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Complications)

Compared to motoring in vintage times, we drive in a complicated age. And as 1992 approaches we are going to be faced with many additional complications. As if there were not sufficient already, especially in party politics! In terms of car ownership, there are so many changes and additions on the legislation front, particularly where the running of the older vehicles is involved, that it is indeed fortunate that we have the FHVC keeping a careful watch on developments and trying to enforce a sane view of what motoring should be about.

Then motor racing is no longer the simple sport it once was. Complications inevitably came into it quite soon and have since multiplied into bewilderment. Scores of championships, with their complex points awards, fuel consumption limits, grave bickerings at official levels, weight handicaps added on a sliding-scale after each round of saloon car contests, “stop-go” penalties, spot checks on Fl weights and wings, unusual Fl finishing orders, driver fines and penalties, and so on; necessary maybe, but complicated.

Ordinary drivers do not escape either. They are required to obey ever more signals, speed limits, white lines, yellow lines, no parking notices, danger signs, etc, with a complex system of points totting-up if they are caught disobeying. Even in rural Wales new speed limit signs are mushrooming, along with more kerbs and roundabouts, regardless of the cost of erecting and maintaining such “developments”. At a time, too, when local Council spending is said to affect the levels of Community Tax we shall all have to pay. There is added complication at Council meetings when it becomes essential to decide where a “Give Way” globe should be placed on a crossroad at which all roads have equal status — and where, in less complicated days, horn-tooting usually ensured a safe crossing. So we are being ever more regimented, rather like train drivers, with a view to setting us safely on our respective ways. Yet, highly desirable as it is to eliminate where possible every accident, let us not overlook the fact that for every careless or criminal driving act, hundreds of thousands of drivers of vehicles of all kinds manipulate their machines with sufficient skill and consideration not to have accidents. Yet along with the reckless and the inexperienced, they can fall victim to radar traps, unmarked police cars and the like, while speed remains the scapegoat in the minds of most bureaucrats, contrary to the thinking of experienced police Chief Constables. It is like the mad dog syndrome, where a small percentage of pit bull-terriers trained to fight and kill are such a serious danger that they need to be dealt with, but hundreds of thousands of other dogs are harmless pets for the young, the middle-aged, and the old, and very often almost essential companions to lonely old-age persons.

Cars themselves have become vastly more complicated, too, and thus difficult and expensive to maintain. While Motor Sport is all in favour of the highperformance Supercars capable of 150 to 170 mph or so, costing astronomical sums, which can be wonderful fun and fast transport in the hands of experienced drivers, these cars in themselves must surely bring complications — in the matter of consulting with the bank manager, perhaps, although in the case of those who can afford to actually purchase such road-burners it may well be a case of the bank managers consulting them! These supercars may be abnormally fast but speed in itself is not necessarily the killer. In which respect we wonder whether reducing the legal speed of large trucks from 70 mph to 60 mph on Motorways will have much effect, except to keep them longer in the middle lanes while overtaking “mimsers” who clog the inner lanes of our important Motorway system.

If you can afford it, and want it, by all means have a car representing the peak of high-performance achievement. But in this age of recession, with the high cost of petrol and the need to reduce exhaust pollution, is it too much to hope for that our clever designers and technicians will continue to improve the now very excellent smaller and less expensive cars? Sales are reported as falling seriously. Perhaps what is wanted to stimulate them are even more economical cars, say of Sierra or Cavalier size, and a new family of much smaller cars with similar built-in refinements, leaving the half million pound road-burners to the Very Rich. — WB

You may also like

Related products