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* Packed with around 150 wonderfully evocative photos of motoring in immediate postwar Britain.
* Chronicles the era of pool petrol, cars of the period and the inventiveness of motorists starved of new cars.
The fourth book in Veloces new Those were the days ... series, which takes a nostalgic look at times past.
Following the Armistice the motor industry was rebuilt providing cars for export. New vehicles were largely unavailable for the home market, and fortunate were those people having pre-war cars. Motorists were determined to continue driving despite petrol rationing and raw material shortages, thus leading them to adopt some unique innovations.
Review from The Flying Lady magazine, December 2005
“Austerity” is not normally a word associated with Rolls-Royce and Bentley but in this context it refers to the time after the end of WW II when Great Britain was struggling to rebuild its industry. Raising foreign currency by stepping up exports became a priority for the motor industry and on that score Rolls-Royce Motors was a considerable factor, embarking in 1947 on a 16-week, 20,000-mile coast-to coast export drive in the US. In fact, a look in the index shows that the entries under RR and B are among the most numerous. The book’s coverage actually begins already in 1939, describing in text and photos the wartime restrictions on private domestic motoring. Excellent period photos and advertisements, some in color, show the many makes of cars and brands of automotive products (many now extinct), the shadow factories, and scenes of city and rural life in relation to motorization. This is a complex subject but Bobbitt manages in these few pages to give a well written, concise and engaging impression of the postwar scarcity of raw materials and fuel, and the paucity of cars available for the home market. At the end of that era comes a crowning achievement: the world’s most expensive car, the 1952 R Type Continental – and another calamity: the Suez Crisis.