Letter: Lockless car

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Lockless car

Sir: John Humbach's memories of his lockless 1957 Triumph 500 motorcycle and a crimeless 1950s Golden Age reminded me of my acquisition in 1968 of a 1963 left-hand drive Simca 1000 car imported from France by an acquaintance who sold it to me when he left England.

This splendid little car was a source of amazement among friends when they realised it had no ignition key, let alone steering lock, but a simple rotary bakelite ignition/starter switch. Apparently in rural France such unthinking civic trust was the norm as late as 1963.

Not surprisingly the car was soon stolen from my driveway, on the very night it was being loaded up for a holiday journey to its native France. It was recovered, minus the luggage, by the local gendarmerie, who were not amused by its drive-away/take-away facility.