Ms. Cellophane

You know that song Mr Cellophane from Chicago? I felt a bit like that today.

It’s the apparently curious event of a female (being part of the) restoring of a classic car.

I wrote something briefly a few weeks back about my beloved Herald 1200. Well, today was the first day of the PC Restoration show at the NEC in Birmingham. Now, granted that my knowledge and ability to talk of the mechanical details is limited, but that was actually my car I was standing next to. I wasn’t lurking there for no reason. I could talk about the stripping process. And the body-work restoration.

Actually, I wasn’t the only person finding herself a bit invisible. My sister-in-law had the same experience, in that people talked to my brother rather than her.

Now, I’m not going to claim sexism or discrimination. I understand that the numbers of women restoring classics are probably few,  and the numbers of female car-obsessives not much higher, especially when classics are usually from a different generation. I mean, my Herald is a good few decades older than I am. And yes, I left the mechanical restoration in my father’s capable, experienced hands, but I was still the person who dismantled the car in the first place. We had a good division of labour, I thought: I took it to pieces and he put it back together again. That’s fair, right?

All I ask of you men is that you remember that some of us women do like and appreciate classic cars. And some of us are happy and willing to get our hands dirty! So please don’t ignore us. We may not talk technicalities (I didn’t like my Haynes manual much because it wasn’t translated into non-technical jargon), but we can still talk cars.


Also – goodness there were some pretty cars there! So many plans for my fleet when I have more money than sense!

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