We weren’t really sure what to call this page, which will be full of ‘snippets and snappets’ and ‘tippets and tappets’ and ‘stuff and things and bits and bobs’. They will include images of old advertisements, brochures, some amusing quotes, tips and hints from miscellaneous motor car publications, including handbooks and magazines of ‘the day’. There might even be other things we haven’t thought of yet ….. A bit like Facebook but much nicer …?!!
How many people does it take to drive a motor vehicle?
You are probably aware that the Automotive Act of 1865 stated that at least three persons had to be employed to drive or conduct each vehicle, one of whom had to precede it on foot, at a distance of not less than 60 yards, and carrying a red flag. It also stated that it was not permissible to ‘blow off steam’.
What you probably don’t know, is that the Locomotives Act of 1898 changed all this. and stated that two persons were required to drive the vehicle and for a third person to be present to ‘quieten restless horses’. !!
A Good Body Polish – as recommended by Arthur W Judge, author of The Modern Motor Engineer, 1920s.
‘A satisfactory polish for applying to automobiles can be made by mixing together, in the order named, the following ingredients: wood alcohol, 12oz; raw linseed oil, 24oz; white vinegar, 20oz; aqua ammonia, 1.5oz; spirits of camphor, 1.5oz; butter antimony, 3oz (all by weight). After mixing thoroughly the above ingredients, add a mixture consisting of 2oz beeswax chippings and 3oz turpentine. Allow to dissolve for forty-eight hours. Shake well before applying.’ (So nice and easy then!!!!)
Q: Who is your real friend?
A: Put your dog and your wife in the boot of a car at the same time for an hour. When you open it, which one is really happy to see you?
We just thought that this lovely photograph from the 1937 Showroom brochure for the Morris 8 says it all about 1930s motoring.
Taken from the same brochure, here is an extract from their hire purchase information page:
‘As an example, supposing that you have chosen a model at £128. You pay a first deposit of, say, £32. The outstanding balance is now £96. If you are paying this off over 12 monthly instalments the sum payable each month would be exactly £8 10s 5d. This is inclusive of all interest charges.’ Fancy!
Just came across this old War time poster from 1916 …. we can walk …. we can wear old clothes (we usually do!) … but can we really do without the servants …?!
20th Century Headlights – (hmm … which do you think would look best on the front of my MGTA?)
Below is a photograph showing the extent of the Morris Motors Ltd factory in Cowley in 1937. It’s bigger than you would imagine?
The Most Up-to-Date Car (well, at least it was at the 1903 Crystal Palace Automobile Show!)
Maudslay Cars were made in Coventry between 1902 and 1923.
Taken from a reprint of an early Austin Seven brochure:
From ‘The Autocar’ April 1932 (proving that there’s nothing new about driverless cars!)
As if electric cars would ever catch on …!!!
(and what’s a Wartburg anyway?)
‘I can’t drink any more of this, it’s hurting my throat ….’
Roger Baker, June 2015
From Pitman’s ‘The Book of The Austin Ten’ (first edition 1937)
… The first desire of the owner of an Austin Ten upon taking delivery is almost always to gaze on it with admiration, to show it to all those interested friends, and to compare its performance with that of the car it supersedes, particularly so if its predecessor was also a Ten. This desire, or combination of desires, should be curbed, and the owner’s first responsibilities undertaken in a systematic and organized manner…
From the ‘Handbook of the Austin Seven’ (1936)
… The Austin Seven is particularly suitable for the woman driver. It requires little physical effort to drive and control, and for that reason, its use enables her to do shopping calls without fatigue, visit her friends, attend social and other functions, or make excursions or trips in any direction in any weather.
For the same reasons business men find it an excellent vehicle, and commercial travellers and others whose occupations compels frequent calls over an extended area have in the little car an embodiment of all they require ……
From ‘The Morris Owner’ May 1935
Uses for Discarded Inner Tubes
(Amongst others we found were):
A pair of emergency leggings for snow or heavy rain is quickly made by cutting pieces of tyre tubing long enough to reach from the instep to the knee. Cut out a piece for the heel. This allows them to slip freely over the instep and leave the heel free. As such leggings would only be worn in an emergency(really?!!) they can be tied on with string.
An arm-chair ash-tray is made both cheaply and easily by cutting a strip of car-tubing twelve inches long and one and a half inches wide. Wash and dry this strip and polish with good cream. Fringe each end of the strip with scissors and in the middle glue the lid of a face cream jar or similar sized lid which you have previously enamelled. (What?!!)
And this is our favourite:
Try tacking pieces of old tubing to the stump of an old broom and you will have a useful brush for swilling out the garage. (I bet you’re off to make one now!)
And from the Jokes Page:
“Did you enjoy your motor tour?”
“The wife did the driving all the way.”
“And what did you do?”
“Just held on to the steering wheel”
From a marvellous advertisement in ‘The Autocar’ for the Litesome Body Belt (!)
Do you really enjoy long runs in your car? Do they leave you limp and exhausted with all the pleasure gone? The fatigue which attacks you is due to unnoticed strain of delicate muscles, increasing as the miles add up. There is in it danger as well as discomfort. Fatigue takes the edge off your alertness, paves the way to accidents. You can keep fresh and alert throughout a long day’s motoring. The ‘Litesome’ Body Belt gives gentle bracing support to delicate muscles and so keeps fatigue at bay. Every man should wear the ‘Litesome’ Body Belt constantly. (These were even for sale in Boots and Harrods!! – and for just 4/6!!!)
From Pitman’s ‘The Book of The Morris Eight and The Morris Minor’
… in to third gear and press the accelerator pedal. You are now travelling somewhere in the region of 25 miles per hour and you will be well advised not to exceed this speed until you feel perfectly confident to make the next and last change into top …. You are now in top and doing famously, but don’t take any liberties. (!) All you have to do now is to watch your steering and use the accelerator pedal …. Remember to keep to the left side on the road and to slow down when approaching cross roads and corners…
From ‘Practical Motorist’ July 1954
… The RAC in all seriousness now asks car drivers and passengers to wear safety belts so that in the event of a sudden emergency stop they will not bang their noses against the windscreen….