Two Wheel 2018 – Part Two – To Hell In A Handbasket

Well, once I had seen the first lot of motor scooters, it sensitized me to the sight…and I found more as I went along. These were back in the yellow entry hall. I can recognise the genre – the English visitor to the show would have had a ball with these.

If you are going to be deliberately foolish in a particularly British sort of way, why not burn the back of your legs as you do it?

Or become terrifically fashionable while you do. Stripped of my sarcastic remarks, this is actually a very nice looking scooter.

And then there’s the full on Tommy/Quadrophenia version. No snippy captions with this one as the total picture says more than I could write. The only thing I have to note is the depiction of the Union Jack with the scooter parked on top. Poms scorn Americans for taking pride in the Stars and Stripes, and then they do this…

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Will We See British Cars Again?

British 56

Great Britain is set to consider their trade and political ties with the European Economic Community in a referendum or plebiscite in a short while. We have been tossing the question back and forth in our house about what they might get or give, grab or grieve over once the voting is done.

No great political wisdom here and no idea whether the British imagine that they can crank-start the Commonwealth/Empire again. I privately doubt it – the UK ended the thing as an economic cartel in 1973 and they have been out of the political empire game since 1964. The former members use the Commonwealth as an excuse to have their own Olympics in the interim of the real Olympics with the added advantage that they don’t have to try to beat the Russians or Americans at anything. But they all stopped trading in a cosy fashion as soon as China got enough economic power and the Arabs started to blackmail the rest of the world with oil and madmen.

We sat here gloomily trying to think of something that Britain could make and export that would put them on the top of an empire again and the only things we came out with were Eccles cakes and Changing the Guard. Or they could rent out the Royal Navy and RAF as regional thugs to various crucial states or small rulers. ” A Gunboat In Every Harbour ” seems a good slogan. The BAOR probably isn’t O the R any more these days and doesn’t really want to be, but they could still infest Africa or South America for a fee.

One thing I do hope for if the British decide to keep calm and carry on, is the revival of the large British car industry for small cars. Disregarding the current Mini, which is nice but really a BMW design, and the splendid excesses of Jaguar, Rolls, and Daimler, I really want to see the return of the workaday small sedan, hatch, shooting brake, or van. Particularly the van. Or the little two-seater sports car. And I want them to return in simple form – not bedizened with all the plastic must-haves of the Asian car. I’m a flat cap and rubber floor mat driver.

British cars still appeal to people who remember the older days. We would still buy them if offered. Look at what the British motorcycle industry can do with their classic marques – they sell all they can make. Time to try it with four wheels.