Automobility in the United Kingdom in the period before the First World War moved from irrelevance and ridicule to a normalized leisure activity. With particular reference to the magazines Punch and Motor, this article argues that this process was hastened by middle- and lower-middle-class consumers' receptivity to the automobile and motorcycle, particularly in the period after 1905 when a tolerable mechanical reliability had been achieved. By buying second-hand, and taking short trips and camping weekends, the self-driving, car-owning “modest motorist“ undermined the formal, club-based network of elite motorists and created their own distinct cultural model.

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Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies

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