As the Goodwood Revival approaches, it is vital to consider the image that your choice of transport might convey. Here is a useful guide to the impression that ten of Britain’s finest cars could well make in Sussex next month –
- Sunbeam-Talbot 90
Role Model: Nigel Patrick
That crate in the boot? Oh, one has one’s contacts in the bonded warehouse business old darling. Yes, of course, the car is paid for…well, bar the odd guinea here and there but a chap has so much on his mind…income tax, the cost of living, the little lady… Smoke? Yes, they are a new blend – mock Virginian blended with imitation Turkish; fellow I know in Valletta Harbour sorts them for me. Yes, as I was saying, you cannot beat this old bus for speed and confidentially old darling, being able to out-run our wonderful police is a slight advantage.
- Jaguar Mk. X
Role Model: Laurence Harvey
Check the mirror – the look is suave, soigné and generally smooth, the cigarette holder perfectly angled and my pompadour immaculately shaped. The evening is cool, there are six lovely cylinders under the bonnet and if there is any more room at the top then I will be there. To think that only three years ago I considered a Humber Hawk to be the height of ambition but not more. There are bomb sites to be turned into office blocks and from now on, nothing but the best is good enough.
- AC Cobra
Role Model: Mike Hawthorn
Speed limits on the M1? It will never happen, and for one very good reason – no-one wants it. There are those fellows who blow up the engines on their Mini Minors with their dreams of being the next Graham Hill and then there are, in all modesty, drivers like yours truly. We know how to handle speed and at five o’clock on the summer’s morning with an empty motorway stretching before you, there are few better feelings. And as for these so-called “Ton-Up Boys”, they would not understand real performance if it bit them on their backsides.
- Standard Vanguard Phase III
Role Model: Raymond Huntley
Take a letter Miss Jones. To – the Editor of The Daily Express. Sir. In order to revive this once-great country of ours, I suggest the immediate exile to St Helena of the following parties: Lonnie Donegan, the entire casts of Look Back in Anger, The Goon Show and Hancock’s Half Hour, anyone found using a washboard for immoral skiffle purposes, anyone who does not raise his hat when the name “Edgar Lustgarten” is mentioned. Furthermore, the penalty of life imprisonment should be introduced for teenagers who blatantly watch The 6-5 Special, people who prefer Espresso coffee to a nice cup of Earl Grey, cinema patrons who do not stand for the National Anthem…
- Ford Zodiac Mk. II Convertible
Role Model: Any late 1950s/early 1960s singer who wants to be ‘an all-round entertainer’
With Joe Meek producing and Larry Parnes looking after me best interests, I am going to the top of the Hit Parade. And once the royalties from Rock with Oedipus come in, I might be able to have another car! ‘Course I don’t actually own this one as Mr. Parnes tells me it belongs to the dealer – something to do with business tax. But, as he told me, I’m not to worry my head about money as it distracts from me genius and it will make me quiff might fall out through stress. ‘Sides, I do need to learn a fourth chord.
- Vauxhall Victor F-Type Super
Role Model: Ian Hendry
Another order of baked beans (as advertised on ITA) sold and that new Velox will be mine. Still, company cars go, it might have been worse; I’ve seen other travellers in Oxfords, Cambridges and other cars for old men. With me, the tailfins sort of complement the suit and the look – supermarket managers instantly know that they are dealing with a go-ahead kind of a bloke. The windscreen pillar can prove a bit painful if you get behind the wheel sharpish but all the secretaries love a boy with a smart set of wheels who knows his way around the Golden Egg dinner menu, take it from me.
- Jaguar XK150
Role Model: Terry Thomas
I say this is a really bang-on motor car. An utter magnet for the popsies and enough speed to keep outraged husbands at bay after taking my leave with a cheery ‘hard cheese old boy” arf arf. It drinks the juice by the basin full but you cannot put mere £sd on style. Now, there are some who might say that I am a cad, a few think I am a rotter, and some go so far to insinuate that I am a bounder. But I would never be cowed by the opinions of such an absolute shower.
- Austin FX3
Role Model: Sid James
Cor blimey, guvnor and no mistake. Dear oh dear, how did that geezer ever gain his licence – oi, you’re supposed to keep death off of the roads. Where is a friendly bottle and stopper when you really need one? I reckon he must be scotch mist, and at this time of the morning too – what is the world coming to? Right, soon have you in Charing Cross Road and then it will be time for home to the dustbin lids and the little lady. Let me get your crowded space from the luggage platform and that will be 4/6d to you guv. And sixpence for myself – sure you can afford it, sir?
- Triumph Mayflower.
Role Model: Margaret Rutherford
Young man, I paid five shillings for my driving licence and it is as valid today as it ever was! When I was a gel, manners were more important than one of these new-fangled driving tests. How is any motorist supposed to realise that those vulgar amber lights denote a left or right-hand turn – is the current generation so ill-bred that they do not appreciate the art of a clear hand signal. And all this rushing! 15 mph is quite sufficient, in my opinion, regardless of whether the Queen’s highway is one of these “A-roads” or how many impatient and impertinent drivers are behind me…
- Wolseley 6/80
Role Model: Russell Napier
“MP to Charlie 3-4. MP to Charlie 3-4. In purist of Sunbeam-Talbot 90 saloon, number plates obscured, believed to involved with Hatton Garden gem raid half an hour ago. Am travelling westwards along the A4 through Kensington. Suspect vehicle contains one occupant in – driver believed to be ‘The Major’. Have all available area cars Intercept at Earls Court. Switch to car-to-car. Message ends.” Well, Sergeant, chummy may think he can outrun us but nothing gets past the Met’s finest. In your own time driver and use the gong. Time for our friend to see he has company…
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