The Arrival of Middle-class Motoring

  • Kenneth Richardson


Perhaps nothing more clearly illustrates the social transformation which the volume production of the motor car was to bring about than the ‘London Season’ number of the Motor, published on 11 May 1909. Though first published in 1903 to advocate the claims and help with the problems of the popular motor industry, the Motor in its early days had to reckon with the fact that other kinds of motorist existed, endowed with an impregnable social status and with plenty of money to spend. The ‘London Season’ number, an impressive 100 pages with a multi-coloured glossy cover, which sold for 1d. was probably read far more by those who liked to hear about the quality than it was by the quality themselves as they trod their way through a complicated ritual of presentations, charity balls, race meetings, houseparties, and the Henley Regatta. Nevertheless, it gives a clear and fascinating picture of London at a time when the motor-car had definitely arrived and people were at last turning to cope with some of the problems which it was bringing.


Road Traffic Speed Limit Finance House Motoring Organisation Motor Industry 
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Copyright information

© Kenneth Richardson 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Richardson
    • 1
  1. 1.Lanchester PolytechnicCoventryUK

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