Web Page No 2336
14th January 2017
Top Picture: 1950s Demister
Second Picture: 1960s parking lights
Third Picture: Fluffy dice
Bottom Picture: Put a Tiger in your tank
Do you remember your first car? I do, it was a blue Standard 10 registration number 9295 BP. But the cars we bought in the 1960s were a very basic bunch and the new owner had to dig into their pockets to buy what we class as standard fittings today.
One of the things that I had to buy and fit was a windscreen washer, this involved drilling two holes in the bonnet, fitting a plastic bottle behind the bulkhead and running the tubing through into the cab of the car to the mechanical plunger which was attached to the dashboard. No electric pumps in those days, everything was hand operated.
Unless you could afford a prestige car a fitted radio was a luxury. Many of us either hung a transistor radio on the dashboard but here the reception was marred by the noise and interference picked up from the electrical system of the car. This problem was normally cured by placing the radio as far away from the engine as possible which meant placing the radio on the rear parcel shelf. But wherever the radio was sited it still required an aerial and this meant hooking one onto the window and winding it up to keep it stable.
Wing mirrors were also an optional extra and I must have drilled dozens of holes in wings to fit Wipac wing mirrors. This also involved a fair amount of time lining them up so the views in them were correct.
Extra lights were unheard of. Spotlights had to be fitted yourself as did fog lights and reversing lights, none of which went on automatically so not only did the owner had to fit the lights but also flick switches on the dashboard.
When was the last time you saw a Badge Bar on the front of a car. Come to that when was the last time you saw a club badge on a modern car?
The heaters, if fitted were so bad that to keep the windscreen clear of mist the keen motorist would have to fit an electric unit. These attached to the glass with two rubber suckers and as there were no such things as cigarette lighters fitted in cars, they had to be wired into the system or directly onto the battery.
Padded or furry steering wheel gloves were popular as were driving gloves and car coats.
For several years any car parked on the road during the hours of darkness had to show a light. To comply we all had to buy parking lights that hooked onto the car windows and were attached by crocodile clips to the cars battery. These lights were white one side and red the other and it was an offence to set these with the white showing to the rear etc.
Added fittings for inside the car became popular in the mid 1960’s. Several firms sold a consul that had fake walnut surfacing that could be fitted over the transmission tunnel to provide extra storage. I even remember a friend having most of his driver’s door covered with a rack to take his cassettes and cartridges (remember them?)
If you wanted a Burglar Alarm you had to buy one and fit it yourself, if you wanted to cut down glare from the sun you could buy and attach a see through blue plastic strip that could be attached to the top of your windscreen. Other products were a plastic stick on compass, a battery operated car vacuum cleaner or de-icer and soft or fluffy seat covers and I am not even going to mention the fluffy dice and smart replacement gear knob!
These were also the days when Gun Gum sold exhaust items such as silencer bandages to repair the hole that had appeared in your silencer. Most garages offered a shot of Reddex, the upper cylinder lubricant when you bought petrol, I must have sold hundreds of these in my youth when I worked in Farlington Garage.
Before I finish I must just call to mind the furry tie on tail that went around your petrol filler cap to let everyone know that you had ‘A tiger in your tank!’
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On this Day 14th January 1960-1965
On 14/01/1960 the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed and the box office smash was North by Northwest. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was price of large eggs cut to 3/- a dozen.
On 14/01/1961 the number one single was Poetry in Motion - Johnny Tillotson and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 14/01/1962 the number one single was The Young Ones - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was The Young Ones - Cliff Richard. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Van Doren guilty in US quiz show fix.
On 14/01/1963 the number one single was The Next Time/Bachelor Boy - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was West Side Story Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 14/01/1964 the number one single was Glad All Over - Dave Clark Five and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Steptoe & Son (BBC) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 14/01/1965 the number one single was Yeh Yeh - Georgie Fame and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.