Monday, 19 May 2014

Time Travellers



In my last post you will have seen the front cover for the new Shires Library book 'British Family Cars of the 1950s & 60s'. The photograph was a last minute choice after I'd seen an immaculate 1959 Morris Oxford Traveller at the 38th Nottinghamshire Classic Car, Motorcycle & Mini Show at Thoresby Hall. I fell in love with it, and on returning home quickly found myself looking for the original brochure. On receipt I was very pleased to see on the inside two gentleman loading cut flowers into the back of a model in the same colours, which I now know to be Dark Green and Island Green. What was it that appealed so much? Partly I think it was because this was the All Steel Traveller, rare I would imagine against the once numerous ash framed version that looked like an enlarged elder sister of the ubiquitous Morris Minor Traveller. But mainly I think it stirred my imagination into picturing it drawn up outside a Southern Region railway station on the Sussex / Kent borders. Early evening light reflecting off the chrome as the signal arm elevates to welcome the 5.15 from Victoria, a red setter getting excited in the back as a lady in a pink gingham blouse drums red painted nails against the steering wheel... [alright, enough of that. Ed.]

Back in the real world at Thoresby Hall my pleasure was further enhanced by my seeing a perfect contemporary picnic basket open on the back seat, cream crockery neatly strapped in against the wicker lid. As the brochure says: This new Oxford All-Steel Traveller is not only robust, colourful, and handsome, but also has line and design to make it the most accommodating and versatile multi-purpose car ever. I love that blatant and confident 'ever'.

7 comments:

Philip Wilkinson said...

Nice brochure. I was interested, and rather impressed, that even in the late 1950s the two chaps loading flowers into the car have their heads properly shod.

Peter Ashley said...

Indeed. But I'm still worried by what looks like a wicker eel trap lying at the side of the car. What can it be readers?

Sue said...

Hmm... possibly some kind of contraband. Amazing what you could get away with in those days! I do like the top pic with the white cliffs - you can smell the sea air.

Stephen Barker said...

The styling of the car is a bit iffy, were they hoping they could sell it in America?

Stephen Barker said...

Have you seen that production of the Ambassador car in India is to cease. Amazing that a design based on the old Morris Oxford has lasted so long.

Jon Dudley said...

Ooh lovely! Where are the artists of yore who so skilfully and subtley rearranged the proportions of those cars to enhance their lines? The choice of subject, tone and setting is the stuff of which my 1950s memories are made. Your vignette of the lady in the gingham blouse set my pulse racing...a parallel career in fiction beckons. More please!

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