Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow, ice, and the automobile.

It's the age old problem, snow and ice are not conducive to the long life of an Automobile!

Different strategies are employed by the many local authorities to keep the roads ice free, but by far the worst in terms of the harm caused to old cars is the policy of laying down road salt! How many wonderful old vehicles have been reduced to scrap in a few short years by the rust bug largely cause by road salt corrosion!

I suppose the argument goes that if the roads weren't salted then there would be more accidents and possible loss of life, I accept that point but surely a less corrosive ice inhibitor could have been developed?

In the mid 20th Century, the Ford Anglia/Popular range (subject of the painting above) were sold as 'The cheapest car that money can buy'.
The pre-war design was simple, rugged, and reliable - no creature comforts here, even a sun visor was an optional extra!

Needless to say that in the post war austerity of Britain they sold in their thousands. I can remember a time when there seemed to be quite literally, one in every street. Motoring in those days must have been a much hardier experience to that of today, with no standard equipment such as heater, windscreen washers, or indicators, and a mere 6v electrical system to light the way, our fathers and grandfathers battled the freezing winters and 'pea soup-er' fogs of the day.

In the 1970's these old cars became a favourite of the Hot Rod crowd, with many being customised almost beyond recognition.
Such was the simplicity, and ruggedness of manufacture there are still surviving examples around, some of the most amazing survivors are those that have lain abandoned for many years and come to light needing little more than re commissioning to drive again!

In the painting above I have shown a typical 1950's Ford Anglia or Popular parked by the roadside. In Britain, the 1950's seemed to be the demarcation of the old world and the new, Victorian buildings and pre-war motor cars still served purposefully in the '50's, all that was to change in the brash new 1960's.

No comments: