Introduction of Chairman Michael Edwards
Dec 23 2020
The arrival of a new acquisition at my parents’ home was always heralded by an unfamiliar noise; sometimes a holed silencer, a hissing radiator, creaking suspension or more ominous noises from the engine bay. My father would always welcome the challenge of combat with recalcitrant vehicles (always bought cheaply), and so Austin’s, Lanchester’s, Wolseley’s and Daimler’s, usually from the 1920s and ‘30s arrived and departed with great regularity. The struggles to coax life into exhausted machinery were rarely pursued for too long. My own battles, some years later, were initially focused on 1960’s Reliant Sabre 6’s and Scimitars, with the benefits of their bullet proof Ford engines and rust free fibre glass bodies and downsides of handling like a lorry loaded with porridge.
Veteran motoring has survived over the decades, in part because it is a family affair; in my own case the first veteran car that I ever encountered was a 1902 De Dion Bouton, then owned by a relation, that made an appearance at a family wedding some forty years ago. That car, Fifi as she is known, now shares her accommodation with an 1899 Benz, a 1913 Talbot, and an assortment of De Dion Bouton tricycles, bicycles and engines.
There are always more questions about veteran motor vehicles than readily available answers, which is the scenario that ultimately led me to produce a book on some of the earliest cars produced at the Puteaux factory. Having published the first book, there seemed little reason not to continue with a second book that would cover the immediate pre-war years; and then the Tricycle books called, followed by the De Dion Bouton bibliography – The Essential Library. Every time a new book is produced, a torrent of new information arrives from readers and DDBUK Club members, paving the way for the next creation. And that general enthusiasm and appetite for sharing knowledge, as well as the social eventing aspect of course, in a nutshell, is what ensures that motoring clubs continue to exist – long may it do so.