If you are interested in classic or vintage transport there are a variety of ways in which to indulge your curiosity or passion. Classic car shows give us the chance to appreciate all manor of makes and models of vehicles ranging from cars to motorcycles and sometimes even the less obvious modes of transport such as fire engines and buses. What about the wonderful VW campervan. The pre-1967 model with split screen is the enthusiasts choice and even has its own Members Club, The Split Screen Van Club, founded in 1983 and committed to preserving the split screen van. The Brighton Breeze held annually on Madeira Drive in October celebrates the VW campervan in all its glory. For a truly retro day out why not try a days biking around the New Forest? Bugad Classic Bike Hire have a variety of motorbikes available for hire, such as a 1941 750cc Harley Davidson WL45.
Owning a modern retro or classic car is a whole different experience. Owning the former is great if you want the style but not the potential pitfalls of having to maintain the real thing. The Mini and VW Beetle are two good examples, technologically up to date but with the classic style and modelling of bygone eras. My favourite of the bunch though has to be the classic, MGB. It was manufactured for 18 years undergoing several makeovers though remaining essentially the same car until 1980 when production ceased.
Consider an item such as the slinky toy which was discovered accidentally in 1943 by Richard James, a Naval mechanical engineer. You can still buy one today as it was 67 years ago or there are now modern versions made out of coloured plastic. The design however, hasn't changed in the slightest. How could it? It's design is fundamental to how it behaves. So does that preclude it from being a retro object in todays modern setting? It isn't imitating the original, it is still available exactly as it was 67 years ago. The updated version, that made of plastic, is not necessarily an improvement in this case but it does render the original a retro object and the original reminds us of periods in history, the social history in fact of Britain. In this respect it can be regarded as having retro associations also.
The social history of Britain is complex and the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's offer us a fascinating glimpse into how retro objects such as the early television sets changed peoples lifestyles forever. In less than twenty years almost 95% of the population had at least one television. Technological advances in communication took a huge leap with the invention of the telephone. Bakelite telephones are truly retro and highly desirable objects in retro interior design. There are many everyday objects which we often take for granted which have retro roots.
So we see that retro is an imitation of the classic, a visual representation of the past or a resurgence of an idea, lifestyle or style which has since been updated.