Vintage Cars and the EEC

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Sir,

We have now witnessed the humiliating spectacle which surpasses all seen before: a Peer of the Realm, cap in hand, pleading for those of us who prefer to drive older cars and praying that we be allowed freedom to use good vehicles for the purpose for which they were bought. His Lordship was accompanied on his ill-starred peregrination by some who should, I feel, have given the exercise more mature consideration.

Gentlemen: YOU WERE TOO LATE. (Many of you always have been!) Let us delude ourselves no longer—consider the facts:

Germany: Double-dipped P or R 100 lamps verboten if left otherwise as manufactured, or entirely disconnected. Substitute: “Standard” sized sealed beams.

Switzerland: Vehicles with rear-wheel brakes only may never be used on the highway.

France: Vehicles over a certain age are not permitted use of specified Routes.

I could go on—but research further into this matter, and publication for our information, we must all agree, may better be left for the indefatigable Mr. Jenkinson. He is, after all, on the spot most of the time.

Our apathetic, negative attitude to creeping and discriminatory legislation has undoubtedly brought this situation on ourselves. Further, I do not feel we have been well served by those appointed to represent our interests to the (then) Ministry of Transport. Consider the fatuous Vintage date-demarcation for dip-and-switch headlight arrangements. Dare one assume that ALL on the Joint Clubs Committee were of the view that nothing worth driving was made after December 30, 1930? Perhaps, to be charitable, these Worthies were concerned to save some of us from being mistaken for nocturnally-used Motor Cycle Combinations?

Thus does one ill-considered agreement with Authority lead to further repression, inconvenience and expense which many can ill afford. Not to mention despoliation of a handsome car’s designed appearance. Doubtless the gentlemen concerned have never tried to match an existing auxiliary light on, say, a 3 1/2-litre Bentley. They have never, obviously, tried to make satisfactory a double-dip system for a Talbot 105. I wonder—aren’t we all?—whether we shall be compelled to scrap our internally-illuminated glazed rear number plates. Especially should this be of interest to Rolls-Royce owners, both of the Establishment and outside it, of whom I am one . . . .

Bill Boddy, Sir: you have my handshake. You were not alarmist. Or pessimistic. Merely correct, as so often is the case. And now you are free to look us all squarely in the eye and say: “I told you so!”

Romford.
Michael Doland.