Thank The Chauffeurs

In the very earliest days of “motoring” only the wealthy could afford cars and in keeping with the social protocols of the still-present horse and buggy means of personal transportation, wealthy vehicles owners were driven around by chauffeurs.  Chauffeurs would drive their employers into the city for work and then, because most early cars were open, had to park the car in a parking garage and wait for their employer to come out of work 8 hours later so they could drive home.  By default, the chauffeurs became mechanics and body men, repairing their owner’s cars as needed. During the long 8 hour wait for their employers to get out of work, some chauffeurs chose to go joy riding and inevitably, ended up getting into accidents.  At the time, the vehicle owner was held liable for any damages to the other party’s vehicle.  Of course this caused a deep rift between the vehicle owners, and their chauffeurs – the guys who repaired their cars.  Eventually, the law was changed and the driver became responsible for damages in an accident.  And people other than chauffeurs became adept at auto repair.  But the damage was done and those who made auto repairs were seen on a lower social strata than those who owned the cars.  For an expanded version of this story, and other interesting historical tidbits, order YesterWreck by going to the “Order Here” tab above.

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