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Wide load

11 months ago

Writer:

Andrew English | Journalist

Date:

27 October 2021

Driving off a Cornish beach this summer we encountered a hold up – half an hour of hold up, in fact. Not unexpected in a country still largely holidaying at home, but this one was special. How so? It was caused by one driver, being required to thread his big SUV coupé down an empty road between a row of fuming traffic in the opposite lane and a tamarisk hedge, and failing at the task.

At a rough guess, the resulting snarl up involved over 50 vehicles and was only solved when the driver of the much wider motor caravan behind offered to drive this man’s car down the narrow lane, which after some negotiation, he did.

Cars are getting wider. Don’t take my word for it, either. In 1974 the Mk1 Volkswagen Golf was 1610mm wide, the latest Mk8 1789mm; 179mm wider. In 1963 the first Porsche 911 was 1610mm wide, the latest version 1852mm; 242mm wider. My 1966 Triumph GT6 is 1450mm wide, its modern six-cylinder equivalent, say Toyota’s GR Supra, at 1854mm, some 404mm wider.

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