Anoraktic Relapse

1959 Mk 2 Zodiac: We dared to dream and dream we did. 

I really cannot help this but I do feel I left out a very important portion of my blog yesterday. There were no pictures of the Mk 2 Zodiac. My cousin Jeff had a mark 2 Automatic. Zodiac Executive in a maroon colour called “imperial red”. Oh yes – the Empire had not struck back in those days. The mark 2 Ford Consul and Zephyr range were distinguished by having a three speed gearbox when everyone else was moving to four. They also retained the vacuum operated windscreen wipers. These devices used the inlet manifold vacuum to “suck” the wiper first one way, then the other. This was great when the engine was cruising, but with a wide throttle position, the vacuum “inlet suck” was drawn into the engine leaving the wipers stranded like a Tea clipper in the Doldrums. Going downhill with the throttle closed would have the wipers oscillating like a Euro politico in a money crisis.

And before I do actually hang up my anorak, I do feel we ought to mention the Vauxhall Cresta PA.. This car was the vehicle as icon, an object of worship. It had more to do with possession and style than it did with transport. The guys who developed these cars understood the lure of bling long before the term existed. This was the high point of common taste becoming classic beauty – a bit like the American film musical.

A 1958 Cresta: Nothing exceeds like excess. 

The cars we drive hold up a mirror to the way we are. A glance at a 2010 car park in the UK would have shown nothing but grey and silver. I am beginning to note a slight move back to fun colours of red and yellow. If the two tone comes back it’ll be time to invest my friends. If I were world dictator I would be seeding the economies with two tone finned cars. In two years we’d be dancing in the aisles.  I would go on about the Vauxhall Victor but if you really care you can check out “Fashion Footwear” in my collection “I Threw A Stone”

If any of you guys out there are struggling with the term Anorak, here is a link. In a minute I’m going to take it off and go out wandering as a sensitive poet. I won’t even look at a car I promise. I’ll probably keep a piece of oily rag to sniff if things get tough.




5 thoughts on “Anoraktic Relapse

  1. I learned to drive on a 1958 English Ford Anglia. No frills there. It was fun taking the driving test in it, especially when it came to parking a 12 foot car in a 25 foot space (normal for Americans in those days). The examiner stopped me when I had only begun to back in. Funny, I would love to drive one again.

  2. I love this post, it brings out the petrol head in me. A friend of mine, back in the early 80’s had a Zephyr- big black and very cool. we called it the jazz mobile and drove about playing Trane and Bird- what saddo’s!

  3. Thanks guys for you fellow anoraksia. The Ford Anglia 105E was another of my young grease monkey staples. I guess You are talking about the 105E Jack – that’s the one with the cut back raked rear window. and 4 speed box.The first “sit up and beg” Anglias came in as a poorer sister to the Ford Prefect – made famous by Hitchhiker’s Guide. The Ford Popular was the cheapest variant on the same chassis and all had a plywood floor. At least there was less rust. They all had an 1172 side valve engine producing almost no power. But do you remember the Ford V8 Pilot? Until they introduced the ohv engines, Ford used white metal big end and crankshaft bearings. This meant real engineering on engine rebuilds. Do you guys recall when a petrol engine would be really loose and smoking at 100,000 miles?

    Paul, yes Trane and Bird – yo I can feel that big black shark flickin’ its tail through those sharp seedy wet night bloosy streets. Not sad my man – just respectin’ the echo of the shadow; that unseen con-rod push for the summit, the mystery of the corner,

    How did I get into all this? Where’s my oily rag?

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