Car Mechanics (UK) - - Your Letters - Ge­off Ren­shaw

As a reader of CM since 1960, I greatly en­joyed your 60th an­niver­sary is­sue. I feel that Rob

Mar­shall’s piece on the Top 20 Au­to­mo­tive De­vel­op­ments Over the

Decades over­looked two that were im­por­tant from a safety an­gle.

First, ve­hi­cle test­ing, which be­gan in 1960 for cars more than 10 years old. In the late 1950s, I owned two cars – a 1935 Austin 10 and 1938 Austin 7 – and nei­ther had any brakes to speak of. Nor­mal driv­ing re­quired great an­tic­i­pa­tion – which prob­a­bly made me a bet­ter driver! Even nor­mal brak­ing needed all the strength I could muster. Ev­ery stop was an emer­gency stop!

Sec­ond, wind­screen wash­ers. I well re­mem­ber driv­ing in the 1960s on a road with a slightly damp and muddy sur­face. Even­tu­ally light rain be­gan to fall and I switched on the wipers, which sim­ply smeared damp mud across the wind­screen un­til I could lit­er­ally see noth­ing and had to make an emer­gency stop. The very next day I went to Hal­fords and bought a DIY kit to in­stall wash­ers, which in­volved drilling holes in the bon­net, etc. There was no elec­tric pump, the wa­ter be­ing pumped by a plunger in­stalled on the dash­board.

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