Classic Reading

I picked up a weekly classic car publication from the newsagents today. I was on my way to an appointment and looking for something more interesting than “Horse and Hound” to read in the waiting room.  It occurs to me that the people who write about old cars these days are changing:  I read a road test of an Alvis Speed 20 SC (the writer didn’t seem to know that it was an SC but I could see that it was.) Although the Alvis independent front suspension and Marles steering box was amongst the best of the day, the writer considered vague steering to be a feature of the design rather than a fault with the car.  Another reviewer of a car for sale considered it worthy of comment that a Daimler V8 saloon with a type 35 Borg Warner box was “slow to change down”, and earlier in the publication another 1960s Daimler was referred to as “Vintage”.

I’m sure that there was a time when the minimum qualification for becoming editor of a respected motoring publication was a degree in engineering, but I’d settle for a basic knowledge of the subject and a genuine love of  the cars.  I must be becoming a grumpy old man and should have stuck with Horse and Hound.

There seems to be much discussion in letters sections as ever, about what constitutes a classic car.  This is a debate which has been continuing for a long while now and will probably never reach a universally agreed conclusion.  I’d taken the Eunos Roadster with me in order to enjoy the little bit of summer sun and it occurs to me that although this car is over 20 years old, there is a reason why show organisers don’t yet seem overly enthusiastic about them: I saw three others in the course of my 4 mile journey. Perhaps there are just too many of them on the road for people to perceive them as classics?

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