I love cars and I love driving. I also like to work on cars but prefer to be in the workshop with a cuppa, rather than under pressure on the drive. My daughter’s Ford Galaxy MPV is so useful but does like to leak coolant from random points at inopportune moments i.e. just before long and important journeys.

My Dad (and his dad) loved cars. He did all his own servicing, which included ‘routine’ jobs like decokes and gearbox swaps. I was there with him. A great apprenticeship. His first car was a Bond Minicar, just like the one in the picture. We took my parents to the fabulous bubble car museum for their 90th birthdays.

A grand day out for a trip down memory lane (see www.bubblecarmuseum.co.uk ).

I can just remember my Dad’s 3rd Bond, a Mk G estate suitable for a family of five (!). The sound of the two-stroke 250cc ‘twin’ engine and the homemade picnic table across the back seat used for tea on days out to the (always wet and cold) Yorkshire coast. Happy days.

Why three wheels? Thank the UK Government of the time for the tax reductions that made it worthwhile. Lawrence Bond created these interesting machines and made use of aircraft materials and construction techniques. It was so light; the rear wheel could be changed by simply lifting the back corner of the car and resting it on one’s knee! Check out the magnesium power unit and front suspension carrier. It allowed 90 degrees of steering angle to give a London Taxi shaming turning circle.

How did it handle? I have no recollections, but Dad enjoyed it, often competing in rallies and time trials along the Morecombe seafront with the Bond Owners Club. He did mention that the front wheel would hop on the rare occasion that traction was lost going uphill (and that Mum had needed to get out and push on a particularly steep road).

When my younger sister arrived, Dad bought a Vauxhall Victor 101 Estate. It was massive (but check one out today; it is so …. dainty?). He also bought a caravan and a 4-speed gearbox from the VX4/90 to replace the standard 3-speed box. He loved to tell the story of the MOT tester trying to find a gear using the column shifter, before Dad pointed to the ‘four on the floor’ stick shift.

It is great to reminisce and poke fun at these little cars from the past. I dread to think what would have happened in a crash. But they came about to satisfy a real need. The alternative for some was a motorbike and sidecar, with others at the mercy of public transport. I think that the world today is a better place with cars like the current Morgan 3-wheeler to make us smile. I also like to applaud the creativity and engineering genius of people like Lawrence Bond. Perhaps this creativity and ability to achieve something worthwhile could help our politicians in these troubled (conflict and climate) times.

Season’s Greetings to all and peace in 2024.