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Homepage. This page: A pocket-size leaflet from the 1950s, advocating regular car maintenance at this Southampton garage.

"Get Regular Service" at Carey & Lambert.

Just like this 1950s motoring leaflet, which dealt with preparing a car for winter driving, the handy leaflet shown below was produced by Esso, and tailored for one of their approved outlets, in this case Carey & Lambert. They were situated at Austin House, The Avenue, Southampton, and were Austin motor-car distributors and repairers for the area.
Regular car servicing information
The cover of the leaflet shows a hapless motorist, grovelling under the bonnet of his '50s motor-car, his wife watching on and looking very unimpressed with the proceedings. Open the leaflet, and the garage's services are spelt out, outlining the benefits that you'd receive if you entrusted the maintenance of your car to this particular specialist.
  • Sparkling coachwork
  • Better performance
  • Lower depreciation costs
  • Safe and trouble-free motoring
  • Smaller repair bills
  • Best possible petrol consumption
  • Smoother riding
  • More spare time for yourself
Naturally, being an Esso initiative, this and other similar leaflets made a point of referring to this oil company's products: "If necessary, we'll drain hard-worked oil from sump, gearbox and back axle and re-fill with the correct grade of Esso Lubricant". As well as offering to give the car a thorough clean and waxing, they'd give it a once-over, checking brakes, battery and sparking plugs, and even try to ".. coax some extra miles per gallon from your carburettor too".
Cars of the 1950s needed a lot more maintenance than those of today, and they were designed with this in mind. Whereas maintenance today often involves replacing a failed sub-assembly en-bloc, and the services of a trained fitter, 50-60 years ago most of the oily bits under a car's bonnet could be stripped, and just the failed component would be replaced, before re-assembly and fitment back to the car. A dynamo for instance could be dismantled, the commutator cleaned up and the brushes cheaply replaced, returning a state of charge to the electrical system once more. Most garages today though, on detecting a failed alternator, would simply chuck the unit and replace with a new one. Re-furbish the part, or just replace with new - which is the 'greener' way of doing things I wonder???
A mechanic working on an A40 Devon
Older cars needed their oil changing every few thousand miles, and the grease nipples attended to on a much more frequent basis. De-cokes every year or two were commonplace, and a full engine rebuild at 40,000 miles was a fairly routine job also. Despite needing a lot of care and tlc, at least they could be worked on quite easily, with a simple toolkit and a suitable workshop manual to hand on the workbench. Modern car engines by comparison manage huge mileages with apparent ease, yet need the services of Mr Spock and a myriad of electronic gadgetry to fix them when they do conk out at the roadside. As a result of their needless complexity, the repair bills on modern cars can be astronomical, often rendering the cars worthless and sending them on a premature, one-way, trip to the nearest scrapyard.
Give me simple old motor-cars every day of the week! An unusual pop-up leaflet (well almost pop-up) issued by this Esso garage can be seen over here, again within this motoring collectables section at oldclassiccar.
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