I needed to pick up a new bandsaw blade on Friday afternoon and it seemed the perfect excuse to take out the MK2. Although I ordered the blade when I was getting ready to manufacture the Scimitar adapter plate, the old one has somehow managed to get the job done anyway: Never throw anything away until it is well and truly worn out!
I spotted a late model TR7 in Evesham and also a TR2 restoration project being trailered somewhere near Upton Upon Severn, but apart from this the Jag seemed to be the only classic car on the road. I’m quite convinced that there has never (in theory) been a better time to use a vintage or classic car as regular transport: Even in the current hard times, people seem to have more disposable income than they did decades ago, parts availability for the cars has never been so good, and the average condition of these sorts of cars has (even in my lifetime) improved beyond measure. Despite this there seem to be fewer classics in frequent use than ever.
I had originally intended to further support my case by proving how even the cost of fuel is more easily afforded than in years past, however that which stands intuitively to reason isn’t always the case! I managed to find some statistics online for the average UK income in 1965, and the AA helpfully publish fuel prices by year from the 1920s onwards. After a few quick calculations – and a somewhat less quick trawl of google – I came up with the following figures: In 1965 the average salary would have purchased around 80 gallons of petrol per week. Today the average salary will purchase around 60 gallons per week.
Being an optimist (or should that be opportunist) I am prepared to turn this initial setback of my argument to my advantage: Modern cars use so much less fuel than those made prior to 1965 that their owners can drive much further on the average salary than would have been possible in the 60s or 70s. This does seem to prove that fueling a vintage or classic car is now less affordable than ever – particularly if you drive a Jaguar at around 22 mpg. The enjoyment of the drive of course is priceless, and how many modern car users receive all that for their money? Nevertheless I’m glad that I accepted that fuel loyalty card from the local filling station….