Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Age of Motoring

Earlier this year our neighbour was having a clear-out and came across a few motoring related items that once belonged to her Uncle Joe who also used to live next door. Knowing my love of classic cars, she kindly gave me these and told me a little about him. He served in WWII and loved anything mechanical; being a big fan of both cars and motorbikes. Unfortunately he died the year before we moved in, so we never got to meet him, but I'm sure we would have got on well, what with my love of old cars and Husband's for motorbikes.

I was given an amazing pair of unworn leather motorcycling gauntlets, with a cosy sheepskin lining. I reckon these date from the 1950s, but alas, are too big for my hands. However, once Husband buys his dream bike of a classic Norton, Triton or similar, they'll be perfect for him. 

But the gauntlets weren't the only thing, as she also gave me some car brochures from the 1930s. She thought I'd particularly love Morris one, as it contains Archie's predecessors!

These are absolute gems for a car nut like me. Their illustrations are outstanding, especially the ones in the Morris brochure. They show examples of all the social situations a Morris is suitable for...

Running the morning's shopping errands 

Visiting one's friends for a good gossip and afternoon tea

Cutting a dash in the capital for a night at the opera

Smuggling back contraband after one's trip to the South of France

Impressing the young chaps at the Masquerade Ball with the new car that Daddy's brought

These brochures are written in the language of the time that reminds me of the Mr Cholmondley-Warner character on Harry Enfield & Chums TV show. See what I mean:

Because these brochures haven't seen the light of day for decades, they're in absolutely pristine condition. I bet today's automotive literature isn't a patch on these beauties.

Leather gauntlets: Uncle Joe
Flying goggles: Husband
Scarf: Jacqmar, 1953 Coronation headscarf

And finally, here's a Mr Cholmondley-Warner classic to end on...


  1. how nice of your neighbor giving you those fabulous gauntlets and the brochures! i enjoyed those pictures a lot!

  2. Staggering illustrations, beautiful works of art compared to today's boring car manuals. Wonderful gauntlets too, how serendipitous that your neighbour had all this motoring stuff.

  3. A very entertaining post - what!

  4. Lovely post. Grandad owned a Baby Austin, and when he bought a new car a Morris Minor, he passed the Baby Austin to my dad. Dad kept the car going right through to the seventies, when grandad bought a new car he passed the Morris Minor to us. After that dad started buying more modern cars
    Julie xxxxxxxxx

  5. I love those pictures so much because of course that is me stepping from my car to visit friends for tea *cough*

  6. Lovely gifts from your neighbour, aren't those illustrations fabulous? And the extracts are so funny! xxx

  7. What a great gifts! You're the only person in the world who looks gorgeous in googles, I swear! Love the illustrations.

  8. What a magnificent abundance of history to be handed as a gift. It's awesome that your thoughtful neighbour passed these treasures along to you and that you in turn shared them with us (thank you!). Every last one of those art deco illustrations is beyond frame worthy (though I would never of course advocate cutting up the original books to do so - photocopying or scanning all the way there!).

    ♥ Jessica

  9. What lovely things to receive! The husband's aunt and uncle own a midcentury Morris and a 1930s Austin 7, which is very cute. Do you ever do things like the London to Brighton in Archie?


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