A new car in the 1950s

Back in May 2015 we looked at an Austin 7 car which had belonged to Betty Gye of Homestead Farm. When Betty was ready to take her driving test, her dad decided she couldn’t take it in the old Austin which, with poor brakes wasn’t really roadworthy. A new car was bought – a Ford Popular and here it is.


Betty Gye’s Ford Popular in about 1954

The design was still very much pre-war. We are no experts but we believe this was little more than a revamped Ford Anglia of the 1930s. It was built on the cheap – you might note only the driver has a windscreen wiper – and they were, as a result, very popular. This car would have had semaphore indicators which emerged from the bodywork just behind the door but this one also has an extra – a fog lamp has been added.

Betty was proud of it and a photo was taken.

But look at the background. Behind the car is a lovely loose hay stack which looks to be a bit crudely thatched to keep the rain out. That would have been a real labour to build that stack by hand.

The item between car and stack may be some kind of hay tedder – something that puffed up the hay to get air to it to speed drying.

The old car – it would now be over 60 – is a real reminder of times past but so too is the chance agriculture captured in this shot.

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2 Responses to “A new car in the 1950s”

  1. Norman merritt Says:

    A very basic car but did you know it could come with lots of extras
    Classed then as (accessories)
    For extra cash you could get a list of items shown below
    A fog light….dual wipers…..vacuum reserve tank ..wipers ran on a
    Vacuum the faster you went the faster they worked if you were going slow so would they the reserve tank cured this problem
    Sun visor..or visors two types tinted or fabric covered….a windscreen washer system….indicators……..wing mirror.s and
    Last but not least. A heating system all extra
    So the basic car was four wheels a seat and a steering wheel almost
    I have the ford popular handbook all models from 1953to1959
    Printed in 1958 if the museum would like it you can have it

  2. A car handbook | Market Lavington Museum Says:

    […] in January we published a blog about a new car – a Ford Popular. You can click here to see […]

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