How to be a Good Motorist

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The 1920s were the age of the automobile, with the availability for the first time of relatively affordable cars and the rise of Ford Motor Company in America and Morris Motors in the UK. However, the laws governing driving were for the most part yet to be written and the rules of the road were rudimentary to say the least. With a growing number of motorists in need of guidelines, How to be a Good Motorist provided all the information one needed to enjoy—safely—the open road, offering advice on how to handle such hazards as skidding, headlight glare, and livestock on the road.

Among the practical and unusual guidelines offered are what precautions one should take when another car approaches and which parts of a car’s engine can be fixed in a pinch with emery paper, copper wire, and insulating tape. Some of the observations, like the cautionary note that, when driving, one ought to “look on all other drivers as fools” are sure to strike a chord with many motorists today. Others, like the suggestion that “a good chauffeur will save his employer a great deal of expense” evoke the style of a glamorous bygone era. The book covers such topics as unscrupulous secondhand car dealers, simple maintenance, women drivers, and “dashboard delights.” (Spoiler: For a well-equipped dashboard, don’t forget the speedometer.) For those planning a longer journey, the book also advises on how to choose the most pleasant picnic site when on the road.

How to be a Good Motorist is the perfect gift for the new driver or anyone who longs for a simpler time before rush-hour traffic reports and roundabouts.
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