A new emergency service

The Motor Agents Associaton held one of its rare press conferences recently to announce a new emergency service for motorists with the accent on service. Called the MAA Gold Star Emergency Service it will give the motorist extremly valuable help and financial assistance in just about any kind of motoring disaster taking place more than a mile from home.

The cost is £30 for the first year, which includes a £2.50 enrolement fee, and owners of cars, motorised caravans, light commercial vehicles and mini-buses up to five years old are eligible to join. They may renew their membership annually until the vehicle is nine years old regardless of the mileage covered. The sceme covers the vehicle and not the driver (our only criticism) , but once the service is underway, it is possible that cover may be extended to include the owner when driving another car less than nine years old.

Those who have been rescued from the road-side and taken home complete with family, dog, caravan and pre-war car by one of the existing services may be upset that the new sceme has no place for them, but when the range of assistance offered by Gold Star is considered the MAA can be forgiven for limiting eligibility to recent models. The philosophy behind Gold Star has been to provide the motorist with help whenever he might need it, for whatever reason, when he is travelling anywhere in the UK or Western Europe, and, it is claimed, that includes turning off the gas for the absent-minded holiday maker.

In addition to helping the motorist (and all his passengers) whenever he might be stranded, up to the level shown on the table below, the scene provides for substatial legal-aid, up to £5000 on each occasion, in the event of having to defend a motoring prosecution , or having to make claim for personal injury or uninsured loss following an accident.

The first priority will be to help the motorist back onto the road after a breakdown or accident, although repairs will not be carried out at the roadside, unless of a very minor nature. Gold Star will operate around the clock, and the service is being run by Mondial Assistance and the National Breakdown Club, with back-up being provided by the 16,000 strong MAA. The legal side will also operate round the clock providing advice as and when needed, and will be run by IRPC. The sceme has been put together by Lumley Insurance Consultants (who alredy run the MAA Motorist Protection Plan of mechanical breakdown insurance) and will be administered by the Excess Insurance Group in Worthing. Motorsts with eligible cars (ie those under five years old) will be able to join at MAA and SMTA garages.  PHJW

The side valve small Fords

Just as the 750 MC has come up with a comprehensive book all about the Austin 7, so the Ford Side-Valve Club has brought out its nice little book about those indestructible sv. Fords, from Model-Y to the 100E, to celebrate its 10th Anniversary. Thus are the one-make clubs challenging the established book publishers, The “Ford History” was designed by Bill Cooper, written by Dave Turner and illustrated by Bruce Palmer from Ford and National Motor Museum archives. It is very nicely done, on glossy art-paper, with lots of good illustrations, from Edsel Ford cutting the first sod at the Dagenham site in 1928, through the many model alternatives in the small-car sv range, including Ford vans, to the last production Ford Popular of 1962, with several now-amusing publicity shots of these modest cars and the then-modest model-girls. European and special-bodied Fords feature. Although a skilled writer or photographer can make even mediocre, not necessarily nice-to-drive cars seem alluring, this little publication should be useful in sorting out the smaller Fords for historians and those seeking them out, and it will interest those still using such Fords, whether Club members or not.

The book is available for £3.50 inclusive of packing and postage, from John Skinner, 58, Willow Crescent, Worthing, BN13 2SX, who can also enrol members in the Ford SVOC, which incorporates the Ford 100E DC. — WB.

The Shuttleworth Collection of aircraft will host a spectacular display at Old Warden Aerodrome on Sunday, September 28th, with many exhibits which have not been seen there before, including Sepecat Jaguar, Edgeley Optica, Fairey Flycatcher, Gloster Meteor and de Havilland Vampire. Many of the Collection’s resident aircraft will be flying, and the admission charges are the same as for a normal “Flying Day” — £5 per car and all occupants, or £1 each for those arriving by other means.