Having just been asked to assist a gentleman who had recently lost a leg, but was determined to carry on using his Austin 7 Chummy, which he had built and owned for some 28 years, Our Man James considers the plight of the disabled Classic Vehicle enthusiast, who is keen to continue his/her enjoyment of Classic Vehicles, but due to accident, injury or a medical problem, is in difficulties with not only driving a treasured vehicle, but in attending to even simple maintenance.
One hears of great schemes to help disabled folk to enjoy sailing and no doubt the forthcoming paralympics will raise awareness of just how much can be achieved through great courage and determination. However, in the Classic Vehicle Movement, are we looking after our fellow enthusiasts who deserve to enjoy their Classics as much as the rest of us, but are sadly handicapped?
In the case of the gentleman with the Austin Seven, a simple extension of the hand throttle, solved much of the actual driving problem, but it was clear that the simple tasks of checking oil, water and doing a battery charge, required outside help.
Our Man James can see the advantage of a simple exchange of information and advice through this site, perhaps building up to some form of registry, wherein someone needing help could find an enthusiast close at hand who may be willing to spare a little time to either help with maintenance or to accompany them on a drive out. Certain Car Clubs have such a registry, so that when a member suffers a breakdown in a strange area, he/she can look up the nearest source of help and hopefully find assistance.