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Motoring: Vintage Joy

Pursuits | By Alan Judd

A look afresh at the differences between old cars and modern

Viewing the past through rose-tinted spectacles is, on the whole, a good rather than a bad thing. Quite apart from enabling gratifyingly grumpy comparisons with the untinted present, it means one can look back with pleasure. And, since the longer you live, there’s more to look back on, the sum of pleasure increases with age. This applies as much to early motoring experiences as to others. And it’s partly why many mature motorists suddenly feel they need a classic car to cosset for a few hundred miles a year, often choosing vehicles that were commonplace in their youth. Thus, I find myself lingering over adverts for early 1950s Ford Populars, my first car and the plainest fare of their day. Recently, I was beginning to wax lyrical about the attractive simplicity of these old girls – just three instruments, three forward gears, no door locks – when a reader, Lawrence...

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