Scooperman – February 2022

The sunny side of the classic world, with the VJMC’s Steve Cooper

How secure is the future of classic vehicles? Anyone? Just how long will it be before some numpty, numb nuts politico decides we are, collectively, worth little more than a cursory consideration?

It really is just a matter of time before someone, somewhere, concludes that the best way to further their career is to slap us down, and slap us hard, with some eco-tosh. If you don’t believe it’s a credible scenario just consider the bare facts.

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Old vehicles, by their very nature, are apparently gross polluters. None of them are even within spitting distance of any Euro emissions standards – fact. Now add in those vile and unpleasant two-strokes – visible hydrocarbons hurtling out of tail pipes without an ounce of consideration for Joe Public’s lungs. And, of course, and by default, motorcycles are unstable devices with a very real danger of injury or death to those who use and passenger upon them. Still skeptical? Remember Martin Bangemann and his totally unfounded ‘speed kills therefore limit horsepower’ machinations within Brussels’ legislature in the early 1990s? An unelected, ill-informed, non-motorcycling politico out to make a name for himself regardless of the evidence… and you think it won’t happen again?

We were, are and always will be, an easy target along with anyone else who uses an older vehicle. The current slavish obsession with electric vehicles and their ‘green credentials’ is another stick with which to hit us. Please don’t question the validity of the new technology, its rapacious consumption of rare earth metals or the curiously poorly documented path to recycle all those expended batteries – you’ll only be ridiculed and possibly vilified! The very fact that anything the wrong side of a Euro emission grading can only pollute when it’s actually being used will be studiously ignored by anyone involved in policy making. You could be rightly forgiven for cynically assuming we’ve all teed ourselves up rather nicely for a collective kick in the crutch by signing up to the ‘historic vehicle’ tax classification. No compulsory road worthiness test, no road tax – we all went after that particular carrot didn’t we? From a governmental perspective isn’t it marvellous how all those strange people obsessed with old vehicles voluntarily opted to potentially limit the use of their own cars and bikes? Dubious? How many times that the powers that be used apparently innocent data to their own devious ends?

If we collectively just sit back and roll over, arguably, we deserve exactly what we get. Before it all starts to gain momentum get your bike club or group involved with the likes of the FHBVC. These guys have the ear of policy makers. Likewise consider MAG and/or the BMF. Writing to your MP once the rot sets is probably too late. Forewarned is forearmed as the saying goes.

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