SUM­MER 1959

When Max Miller was still unof­fi­cial King of the town and whelks were three shillings a pint

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - 6-page Nostalgia Special - An­drew Roberts

Brighton – a sea­side re­sort with at­trac­tions for all ages. Younger vis­i­tors might buy a ticket to see Craig Dou­glas at the Es­soldo Cin­ema and hol­i­day makers with a DA hair­style might opt for an espresso at the Whisky a Go Go Cof­fee Bar in Queen’s Square with Marty Wilde’s Sea of Love blar­ing from the juke­box. The more ma­ture fre­quently opted for tea at the Lyon’s Corner House be­fore a gen­tle stroll along the Palace Pier and the jour­ney home aboard one of those new Bris­tol Lodekkas. And for any­one ar­riv­ing by car, the park­ing seems al­most sur­re­ally easy from a 2017 per­spec­tive.

On the left of the frame is the nose of a Mor­ris Ox­ford Se­ries II while the Fiat 600 would have been an un­com­mon sight; in 1959, more than 90 per cent of cars were lo­cally made. At least the Ford 100E Pre­fect was fa­mil­iar and the uni­tary body and in­de­pen­dent front sus­pen­sion were ma­jor sales fea­tures when it was launched in 1953. Its Austin A30 rival ahead was one of the best-han­dling small cars of the early 1950s.

Fi­nally, we have an Austin A55 Cam­bridge MkII, the sec­ond of BMC’s 1.5-litre Pin­in­fari­nastyled line-up and a car that was only a few months old when this pic­ture was taken. The Pre­fect and A30 al­ready seem evoca­tive of the re­cent past but the ‘Fa­rina’s sharp lines both en­cap­su­late the ‘Never Had It So Good’ ethos and an­tic­i­pates the com­ing decade…

Pho­to­graph: Fran­cis Frith

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