ON THE ROAD
ONE of the best Christmas presents I ever received was a secondhand copy of After many years passing through many hands its cover had been left battered and bruised and it smelled of damp, dust and dead skin. Simply wonderful!
Of course, I could have been given a brand new imprint or even, heaven forbid, a digital version, but it wouldn’t have been the same.
Classic car fans will appreciate this tangible feeling of having history in our hands, of entering a world where the air is an aromatic melange of warped wood, chafed leather and leaking engine oil.
Sadly, my own MGB, having been passed around the extended family through the years, was somehow misplaced and all attempts to discover its last known whereabouts have proven fruitless.
It may well have been cannibalised and sold off as organ transplants for refurb projects – or, even worse, scrapped altogether.
Thankfully, not all cars deemed to be past their prime will now share such an ignominious fate. Ford has just changed the terms and conditions of its scrappage scheme to offer a kind of purgatory for historic vehicles.
Up until now all vehicles registered before January 1, 2010, were eligible for trade-in but faced being scrapped.
When a 1959 Standard Ten was traded in under the scheme for a new Ford Transit, this was too much for a band of classic car fans to thole.
Such was their level of wailing, teeth gnashing and waving of oily rags, Ford agreed not to scrap the car, so long as it was not put back on the road. Its revised terms now state from next year any vehicle