Friday, 27 February 2009

The basic car of the fifties

Photograph taken by myself on 16 Oct 2005 at t...Image via Wikipedia

My first memories of cars was one belonging to my grandfather (on my mothers side) as being from quite a poor family we could not afford one of our own.
I would be around four to five years of age so the design and make did not register to well at that time but other things did.
The body was sort of rounded and looking at vintage cars now it could have been an Austin of some sort. I remember the inside of the roof being covered in canvass compared to the padded plastic coverings they have progressed to. The seats were hard, uncomfortable and unadjustable so if you were short legged you would carry a cushion to place at your back to let your feet work the clutch and brake pedals and the accelerator of course. The lights were dim and the indicators were little arms that popped out between the doors which also had a dim light inside them for night use. Brake lights were nonexistent so the driver had to keep his wits about him at all times. The dashboard was hard metal with few dials making it look very bare and the thin gear stick was in-between the two bucket front seats. A small rear window made vision very poor and the front windows had wipers but no washers so if the windscreen got muddy the driver had to stop and wash them with water and a cloth that was carried with them. Reliability was a cause for concern even in new models if you were traveling any distance, so everything from water to oil etc had to be checked regularly to avoid overheating of the engine as there were no gauges and warning lights then and the underpowered engines tended to struggle at the best of times.Grease nipples were placed at certain places around the moving parts and they had to be attended to also. These are just a few things that made motoring more difficult, maybe more interesting to some in days gone by so when you jump into your car the next time just pause for a moment and appreciate the progress the manufacturers have achieved to make motoring a more pleasant and less hazardous experience for us. Now I wonder what can we do about the new problems, like traffic jams and the like????

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