“Ooh, it’d be like going to bingo in a spaceship!” exclaimed one curiously happy old lady as she peered through the wing doors at the spartan, ascetic interior of the VW XL-1. “But there’s a problem…” she leaned in, patting my hand as if to reassure me, “it’s a bit low, and me ‘usband in’t as flexible as ‘e used to be!” The last accompanied by a throaty chuckle as she pottered off, running a craggy hand down the little white car’s flanks. It took a while. Firstly, she was moving at the pace of cold treacle, and secondly, she was having to shoulder her way through the crowd that this Volkwagen seems to tow in its wake like a boyband minibus. Mind you, I doubt that many out-of-season North Yorkshire seaside towns see many cars like the XL-1. But they might do, in the future.
Photography: Richard Pardon