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ISSUE 252: It was a bit of surprise to read an online report about how some manufacturers are currently squeezing extra dosh out of customers choosing any other colour than white on a new car due to the high cost of modern water-based paints. Metallic paint has always been high up on the options list, but there has always been a selection of solid colours available at no extra charge. Not so now, and choosing any other body colour can add anywhere between £500 and £850 to the price of a new car, depending on the model. At least it’s not as bad as in the ‘Fifties when many light commercials left the factory with just a coat of primer, leaving the final purchaser to paint the visible bits of bodywork with a quick waft of cellulous. Leaving a vehicle’s nether regions with nothing but a coat of lead-based primer to cover bare steel was one of the reasons so many car-based commercials from that period quickly rusted away. In a roundabout way, this brings us back to this week’s Hot Topic in which Ian Seabrook discusses whether it’s right to use a classic throughout the winter or store it away safely in the garage until the sun comes out again next year. As usual, we’re asking for your opinion on this hotly contested issue and look forward to hearing what your side of the argument is.

Iain Wakefield, Deputy editor