'Invacar' invalid carriage, England, 1950-1959
Invacars were specially designed motor vehicles used by disabled people from the 1950s. They were developed after the Second World War which had left large numbers of people with permanent disabilities and a high demand for adapted vehicles. Invacars were small, three-wheeled and intended for a single person. Some later models could travel over 80mph. This early example shows its motorcycle roots. The petrol engine is mounted beside the seat, and the chassis is an unenclosed metal frame. The driver is also open to the elements and the padded seat would have offered the support people with more severe disabilities needed. Later Invacars were enclosed within a fibre-glass shell. These were the famous ‘little blue cars’ that were made in their thousands and became familiar across Britain. The Invacar is now banned from British roads for safety reasons. However, models are still held by museums and collectors.
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Glossary: invalid carriage