Keeping Up Appearances

Whiteman 2015 175

Did goe to the Whiteman Park Vintage Car Show today and was greatley amused. I have seen new things, and they have seen me.

I could not pass this Mayflower without a respectful bow. It is a wonderful small car and immediately reminded me of Hyacinth Bouquet from the British television comedy show. It would have been perfect for her.

Whiteman 2015 171

The owner very wisely erected a shade tent over it – there was a prediction of rain today – lately justified – and indeed there was a brief sprinkle at 11:00 in the morning, Considering the blue velvet seats on the Mayflower, rain would have been most unwelcome. I hope the car got home safely and is in a warm garage.

Whiteman 2015 174

The external lines of the Mayflower are immediately recognisable as British…a would-be Daimler, Rolls, or Bentley but drawn on a tiny scale. I should like to know the mindset of the designers – or rather the brief that they received from the directors of the firm regarding this style choice. I cannot decide whether it was a decision to try and make a British small sedan that would let the aspiring masses ape their betters or whether it was an out-and-out attempt to con the North American public into buying what they thought might be a sophisticated or noble automobile from Britain.

If the first scenario was playing out in their minds they would have had to be blind and deaf – to the precise class consciousness and mental stratification structure that the Brits operate within. The oiks might have been allowed to aspire to an Austin or an Reliant or that sort of humble pie, but there would be no way that their betters would allow them to feel comfortable running around in a mini-Rolls.

If they were trying for the US market, they were competing against either good cars or big cars – and occasionally good big cars. Putting the Mayflower out as a flash luxury import would be like trying to sell British Railways ham sandwiches at the Waldorf Astoria grille.

Still, here it is. And it is quite a nice looking little car. I should be inclined to put the chauffeur in a peaked cap and the passenger in a tiara but then I’m just that sort of trouble maker.

Whiteman 2015 173

Note on style – the dash and interior appointments are rather well done – tasteful and not over the top with teakwood or veneers. I would definitely ban the eating of ice lollies or Flake chocolate bars by people sitting on those gorgeous blue seats.

And yes – I would buy a 1:18 scale model of a Mayflower if anyone made one. Pip Pip.


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