Conclusion Why Recovery?
The recovery of the British motoring movement from the effects of the artificial boom of 1895–6, its struggle with its enemies, and the first stages in the formation of the modern motoring scene are no part of this story. The tale has already been most ably picked up and recounted by others.1 Nevertheless, the fact of recovery, after so unpromising a start, is interesting in itself. It provides one obvious question that remains to be asked: why did the motor car as defined in the opening words of this study take root after 1896, when it had failed to do so at two other junctures when the auguries seemed equally favourable — in 1831–2, and especially in 1861, when the first and second generations of vehicles had their best chance of establishing themselves? The explanations customarily offered beg this question. Certainly the ground was made ready by the gradual replacement of fraudulent promoters by businessmen who truly wanted to make motor cars; by the establishment of a single, disinterested, fully representative motoring organisation; and by the revival of confidence among investors that such developments as these encouraged.
KeywordsSteam Expense Petrol Toll Stake
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