Back in 1930 Harold Baggott got his first taste of driving at the wheel of the local milkman’s van on the family farm.

He was 10 years old at the time and if you do the maths that makes Harold 101 years old, and believe it or not — he’s still driving errands.

In fact, Harold quite likes the idea of new-fangled electric cars, for one reason because they’re the kind of cars his grandchildren and great grandchildren will be driving in future.

He got a taste of what to expect this week behind the wheel of Ford’s new Mustang Mach-E — a fully electric SUV that bears the famous name.

Born in 1920, Harold, from Portsmouth, in Hampshire, got his license way back in 1936, the first year that licences were introduced.

He purchased his first car, a Ford 8 Popular in 1937 for £100, followed by another Ford — an Anglia — the next year.

You could say he’s a bit of a Ford man.

The family has owned 20 Fords, as well as Ford commercials converted into coaches for the fleet of 140 buses run by their bus and travel company.

They include a Mk1 Consul, a Corsair GT, two Mk1 Granadas and three Mk2 Granadas.

Together with his sons, the family has owned more than 20 Fords, including his late wife’s Popular 100E; an Anglia 105E and Cortina GXL Mk3; his son David’s Escort Mk1; Capri 3.0-litre and Capri 2.0-litre litre and Fiesta XR2i and son Jonathan’s two Escort Mk2s; Cortina 1.6 Mk4; Capri Mk2; Sierra 2 and Van Diemen FF 1600 and Van Diemen FF 1800 Zetec race cars.

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His love of cars is shared by sons David and Jonathan, both of whom went on to become racing drivers.

Harold found himself transported back to those early days of motoring at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, with a ride in a 1915 Ford Model T from Ford’s heritage collection.

“The foot pedals are so different and the throttles are on the hand and the steering is very direct,” he said.

Then he was invited to drive the Mach-E, with great grandsons Felix, 15, and his brother Charlie, 12.

Felix apparently also has ambitions to be a racing driver.

The trio drove the car five kilometres from Beaulieu to former shipbuilding village Bucklers Hard.

Harold was impressed by the quietness of electric motoring.

“Since the age of 10, I’ve retained my interest in motoring and today find myself interested in the switch to electrification following the government phasing out the traditional combustion engines I’m used to,” he said.

“I have reminisced about my driving history with the Model T and seen what the future has in store.

“It was exciting to get behind the wheel of what I expect to see my great grandchildren will be driving.”

Introduced late last year, Mach-E is Ford’s first all-electric SUV and has a range of up to 610km.

 

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Something old, something new . . . something electric?

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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