In the forty years before the Second World War Britain was changed for ever by the automobile. This rich, evocative and entertaining book charts that transformation. At first motoring was a sport, the car a plaything of the rich - think King Edward and Mr Toad. Soon motor transport - its value confirmed many times over in the war - became central to the economy. The automobile became an instrument of civilization and rejuvenated countryside, towns and villages left derelict by agricultural depression. The car was a symbol of individual liberty for men - and women; it was glamorous and stylish and sexy too.

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