WHO HAD THAT CAR?
‘What does a big company buy to chauffeur its chairman today?’
My friend Martin and I were talking over a pint about how there seem to be no real upmarket cars any more. What does a multinational company buy to chauffeur its chairman around in today? An Audi A8 or S-Class ‘Benz, probably.
But in the late 1950s it could have been an Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire or a Daimler Majestic Major. Slightly down the social scale, from the 1940s to the late 1960s Rovers and Humbers were the choice of the professional classes. But what would they buy now? There’s no equivalent of those types of cars these days.
Such thoughts often go through my mind at classic sales, and it’s easy to wonder who bought a particular car when it was new. I’m especially likely to do that with Jaguar and Daimler saloons from the 1950s to the late 1970s.
A visit to any classic auction shows how car makers have changed, and how those changes reflect the country’s social makeup – something in which we as enthusiasts for history should perhaps be more interested.