Many of our readers will recall that the Ministry of Transport introduced the obligatory road worthiness test for all vehicles over ten years old in 1960.
The opening of the MI and the prospect of new motorways to follow caused Ernest Marples, the then Transport Minister, to take this sensible if unpopular step. The items checked initially, were chassis, brakes and lights, yet many cars failed to meet what is by today’s standards a very simple basic requirement. Poor maintenance of the many 1940s vehicles still on the roads back then coupled with over enthusiastic driving on the new roads quickly reduced the stock of potential classics for the future. By 1961 the seven year MOT had been introduced and in 1967 the qualifying vehicle age for the test had been reduced to three years.
Today we enjoy the benefit of vehicles over forty years of age no longer requiring an MOT test. However many owners of these older vehicles still see the wisdom of having their car checked over by an independent mechanic before returning the vehicle to the pleasures of Spring and Summer motoring.
The two gentlemen in the picture above are studying the paper confirming that the 1904 Siddeley has successfully passed the test.