From the Past - 3

This is a series in five parts of articles recalling the years
when our 'Sevens' were on the roads.

Complimentary Magazines:  Specific motoring advertisements;
  Insurance;   Motoring accessories;
'Sunday afternoon' accessories.


Complimentary MagazinesBroch Dominion

One of the many companies who produced a complimentary magazines of general interest to the motorist was The Dominion Motor Spirit Co. Ltd. whose monthly 30 page publication for the owner-driver covered travel with articles on places of interest; a little technical material and even a Children's Page with teasers more appropriate to sitting comfortably rather than whilst travelling in the car.



Specific motoring advertisements

lodge plugsAll the magazines carried advertisements extolling the benefits of the extra additive giving better performance from the many fuels available from National Benzole, Esso, Shell and BP.  The tyre manufacturers, like Dunlop, and Firestone, plied their latest tread pattern and offered improved handling and wear.

KLG and Lodge were just two manufacturers of the time recommending their plugs for particular makes of performance cars; also Exide batteries, whilst the oil companies, Castrol and Mobiloil, placed adverts recommending the summer and winter grades mentioned in the manufacturer's handbooks.  Many of those names remain today but others, whilst like tyre manufacturers India, Pathfinder and Oldfield, have long gone in mergers etc.




Soon after the first cars appeared on the roads legislation was introduced to make insurance compulsory.  The major insurance companies soon provided policies to suit the motorist's requirements.  Typical of these was the Eagle Star Insurance Co. Ltd..

 Poster 4

Whilst an annual insurance premium looks quite cheap by our standards, most men in those days were paid £3 or so for a 5½ day week so the premium was for many equivalent to a month's wage.


Premier Insure

Premier Motor Policies Ltd. was another company regularly advertising in the Austin Magazine.  This policy was sold through the Austin Dealerships who acted as agent.

Motor Union Insurance Co. Ltd. was another big company in the market, as was Eagle Star.










Motoring accessories
Even in the early years of motoring accessory items soon appeared and every magazine had pages of advertisements extolling their worth.  Some of them seem to be of merit and probably well worth their price. Poster 3



A leaf spring greaser looks to be a good tool, but was it as easy to use as the diagrams suggest?


One very useful, and much needed, accessory was the wing mirror.  It was not easily fitted to some models of the 'Seven' but these fitting onto the door hinge of the later models look the part.  A reproduction of the Eversure Hinge-Fitting Mirror is available.

Mirrors 2Mirrors 1

Hy-power 2

The makers of the 'Hi-Power' plug adaptor offered a saving of 10% of petrol consumption; more rapid acceleration and greater speed; the engine would run smoother and quieter and need decarbonising less frequently.  Surely the 1930's must have accessory!

Hy-power 1








Nobby springs

Perhaps you required a smoother ride and so these anti-bump springs might have been the solution.






'Sunday afternoon' accessories.
This was the era when many families enjoyed their Sunday lunch and then went for the 'Sunday afternoon drive' into the countryside.  It was accepted etiquette in those days that whenever anyone left home they dressed in their better, or best, clothes.  Some magazines promoted 'clothing for the car', especially the 'hood-down' drivers needing a little extra protection from the windy effects of speed.

The outing was either to drive around a favoured area to admire the scenery and, perhaps, to enjoy afternoon tea at a suitable rural restaurant.  Motorists were also encouraged to purchase purpose-made picnic sets in a leather case or a wicker basket, to fit the rear luggage carrier frame, and to enjoy a picnic in the idyllic countryside.

Many would have visited their family or friends, for the car now gave them freedom to travel without the limited timings of the Sunday services offered by public transport. 

They returned home to clean, and garage, the car ready for the next Sunday outing.  Motoring for many was very much the Sunday afternoon event - hence the term 'Sunday afternoon drivers' to describe the hesitant driver, unsure of where he/she was going, talking and proceeding at a very leisurely speed, to the irritation of other motorists.

The car was, for most families who could afford one, for enjoyment; it was not yet the everyday transport for many who only used the car at the weekend and travelled by public transport during the working week.


And many more . . . . . .
It is not beneficial to try and reproduce everything that appeared in the car magazines but there were advertisements for almost every possible accessory from loose fitting seat covers to protect the leather upholstery; quality pile mats, carpets and travel rugs; clip-on sun visors; polishes and fuel additives; spot and fog lights and many more, all designed to make your motoring a greater pleasure whilst protecting the car for many owners expected their car to last for several years; those were the days when products were built to last.


Continued on in 'From the Past - 4'

Classified Advertisement;  The Thirties Era - Cars in Context;
A Matter of Worth;  Notes about motoring in 1947