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Much has now been written about life in lockdown.
At times over the past 20 months or so, you could be forgiven for thinking there was little else happening outside of coronavirus, whether in your local community, the country or across the world.
We’ve been inundated with legislation change, official advice, recommendations, rumour and misinformation.
Difficult as it has been at times to cut through the dominance of the pandemic, it has been heart-warming to witness acts of kindness both big and small, and equally how people have reconnected with old-fashioned values, such as time with family at home and an uptake in natural pursuits and exercise.
Who else has discovered previously unknown local walking routes or areas for natural play?
Like for so many across the UK, our family life changed suddenly in March 2020.
With the closure of workplaces and shops, my wife and I switched to full-time home working, our children swapped classrooms for bedroom desks and we all shared the same space for our daily routines.
Those first few days were a mix of excitement, apprehension and distraction as we watched our local community retreat indoors and the outside world fell silent.
In the weeks and months that followed, we were thankful for life’s simple pleasures and privileges, such as our small garden, the countryside and woodland we’re lucky enough to live next to, and turning to new ways to entertain ourselves at home and within our periods of exercise.
One thing I certainly missed, as did many petrolheads I’m sure, was not being able to take to the open road for a drive, especially because we had such glorious weather: the roads themselves had never been so empty and inviting.
Despite that temptation I held fast and abided by the rules, but did elect to always choose our Land-Rover Series III for the few essential journeys that we did have to make.
Those short, infrequent trips to run errands for neighbours, or do a ‘big shop’, were moments of true driving pleasure.
With many restrictions well and truly behind us, it almost seems silly to say that now, but as someone who lives and breathes classic cars in their daily life as a photographer (see @theclassicseries on Instagram), those stolen moments of motoring freedom were truly cherished.
Under normal circumstances our Landie serves family life in all manner of ways, whether that’s for school runs, shopping trips, collecting my wife’s latest upcycling project, weekend micro-adventures to the forest or joining like-minded owners at classic car shows.
It is a daily driver and a workhorse.
On reflection, despite the car having been largely confined to barracks during lockdown, our old Land-Rover played another small but anchoring role in the family: the kids quickly swapped outings in the Landie for driveway adventures.
But as a parked-up playground, it found a new purpose as a versatile object of role play.
The canvas hood continually came on and off, depending on the need to evade baddies. Clambering over bonnet, wings and wheels was done with deft footwork as they avoided a horrific, bloodthirsty death owing to the imaginary cliff face that lingered inches from their getaway vehicle.
Removing the door-tops afforded The Dukes of Hazzard-style entry and exit, while the exposed hood sticks made for a dramatic, feet-in-the-air launch over the tailgate.
I’m sure some might wince at their classic being used in such a way, but I’m very much in the camp that says historic vehicles should be enjoyed and ultimately used to make memories.
Whether that’s an epic journey, a ground-up restoration or a driveway drama, they should bring joy and lasting experiences to treasure.
Without belittling the tough times people have had and continue to endure, there was certainly space and time in lockdown that was uplifting and fun for all the family.
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- Owned by Nick Chivers
- First classic 1985 Austin Mini
- Dream classic Pre-1969 (SWB) Porsche 911