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ISSUE 269: We were recently discussing in the office how supercars, sports cars and all cars based around driving pleasure will, almost inevitably, be rendered obsolete by driverless cars at some point. That’s where classic cars came into the discussion. Older cars are already being chivvied out of urban centres on emissions grounds (witness the recent events in Paris) and to get the full benefits of driverless cars they cannot share the roads with cars being controlled by mere humans. So it seems that at some point in the distant but foreseeable future we won’t have anywhere to drive our classics and there probably won’t be much fuel to run them on. Is this a bleak future? I don’t think so. When day-to-day transport is carried out by functional automated pod cars gliding around (and between) cities on segregated roads, the car ceases to be a general consumer item. Just as the rise of the car meant that the horse became the preserve of enthusiasts (to our equine friends’ infinite benefit) so the car will become a pure instrument of fun. Just as we have stables, schools, race courses, cross-country arenas and swathes of paddocks for horses, so we can look forward to having dedicated places to store, keep and enjoy proper fossil-fuelled, driver-controlled cars. And not just circuits as we have now – with sufficient demand there could be recreated Alpine roads or maybe even reproductions of ‘Seventies high streets to drive your Hillman Hunter along in a period setting, just for fun. Such a thing already exists at the Goodwood Revival and with places like Brooklands and Bicester Heritage we’re seeing the start of ‘livery stables for cars’. The future need not be bleak, it just requires a bit of creativity.

Jack Grover, Deputy Editor