I would have liked to have worked at Autocar under Maurice A Smith (DFC), who was editor in the late 1950s and 1960s. I suspect he was a man with a story or two to tell.

He served as a Wing Commander in World War Two and in 1941 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his achievements. He was also editor of Flight, Autocar’s sister publication when it was owned by the Iliffe and Sons publishing house.

When it came to predicting future trends in the automotive industry, Smith was remarkably prescient. In our archives I stumbled across an editor’s leader in a March 1959 issue of Autocar that proves as much.

In his words, Smith notes the development of anti-lock brakes and more grippy tyres, two trends that were progressing at the time.

Yet he also forecasts collision avoidance systems, adaptive cruise control and autonomous vehicles, as well as many of the aspects of cars we take for granted today, such as smooth transmissions and capable suspension systems.

Smith’s words make reference to the Simca Fulgar, a concept car shown at the 1959 Geneva motor show that previewed how cars might look in the year 2000: atomic powered, radar guided and voice controlled.