HAVE you noticed how the vintage and near-vintage small ears came out on our roads in strength this summer? This is not surprising considering the high prices of cars and exorbitant cost of running them. With even early examples of the famous Austin Seven fetching much gold and spares being ever scarcer for these cars in view of the thousands in use; other makes are returning to favour. Morris Minors, in both oh.e. and side-valve form, cheeky little Singer Juniors with titer chain-driven o.h. camshafts and inclined valves, Triumph Super Sevens with three.bearing crankshafts and Lockheed hydraulic brakes, the worm-drive Standard Nines designed in a hustle to save the old Coventry firm from bankruptcy and based largely on the brisk little French. Mathis of that day, Clyno Nines, and de luxe A.J.S.s, together with later derivatives of these typical English economy cars are now to be seen frequently on the roads that lead from our cities to the country and the coast. The true baby cars amongst them have the advantage that they are rated at 8 li.p. and so taxed at £10 a year and thus their owners have no grouses about the iniquity of the h.p. tax on old cars! Even the ” Nines ” are decidedly sparing of the precious unbranded paraffin-like fuel which they have to burn in this year of enlightenment, 1951.
Such cars are vintage in age more than in character perhaps, and not in quite the same quality class as a very well-preserved yellow ” 9/20 ” Humber tourer spotted recently beside the Thames at Henley, for example, or as pleasingly primitive as the square, box-like early 7-11.p. Jovvett saloon in which a certain Army officer transports himself daily between Aldershot and London.
But do not despise these old economy ears. Like the vintage Americans referred to last month they seem to serve well those who own and have restored them. They lend variety to our roads, too, and no one will deny that, whatever else they are, English highways and byways constitute a panorama of considerable interest to students of the less spectacular sort of motoring history. *
The Sunday Express has been publishing letters about pre-war bargains in motor cars. Amongst those thus referred to were a 1927 Morris Oxford bought for 80s., which “had not a single breakdown in 24,000 miles,” a ” 7.5 ” Citroen cloverleaf in good running condition offered, with a trial run, for “£5 or near offer,” a Triumph Super Seven purchased in 1939 for £30, which did 6,096 miles in 79 weeks at a total Cost of under £46, and a 1925 Lagonda (” 11.9″ or early 2-litre, we wonder ‘?) which L. Joseph of Cardiff acquired in 1932 for £7 10s., “with large rug and a set of tools.” This strengthens your Editor’s faith in
had serious trouble in the first 3,000 Miles vintage ears, particularly as he has twice with a 1951 car costing £795. Perhaps, too, these letters will have made certain traders who ask fantastically high prices for very used vehicles feel more than a bit guilty ? * * *
Vintage three-wheelers are More rare than surviving examples of fourwheeled cyclecars, although Motor Cycling attempted to revive interest in them some time ago. So we were interested to see a water-cooled three-speed V-twin New Hudson advertised for sale in Lincoln recently. Incidentally, it would scent appropriate for the Vintage Motor Cycle Club to look after pre-1931 three-wheelers, as the V.S.C.C. Light Car Section eaters for pre-1931 light ears and cyclecars, these two Clubs too perhaps permit an interchange of three and four-wheelers in appropriate events.