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Classics or rubbish ?

Right lets go... one mans classic another mans dross... Is there any common ground?...
For instance got chatting to a owner of Vauxhall Viva at a classic car show, it was concours condition, even the carb was highly polished, to me it was about as interesting as watching paint dry. To him was the bees knees (my 1st car was a viva)
Next to him a Triumph stag more interesting if only to chat about its mechanical frailties... I could go on... come on folks lets have some input
Another point of note there used to be a excellent car show (note not used the word classic) by me in Llanberis (Snowdonia) and it was more a celibration of motoring
It had every thing from Hillman Minxes rubbing shoulders with XJ220'S dodge vipers astons new and old
Rather than rows & rows of teadeous BMC's & the like

Comments

Adam {P}    on 21 January 2006

A classic to me would be any Ford Mustang built before 1971. Or a big fast Capri. (Nothing less than a two eight.)

Stuartli    on 21 January 2006

Classic rubbish in some instances....
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Adam {P}    on 21 January 2006

Stuart,

Please tell me you're not referring to my choices? I'd hate to have to fall out with you ;-)

Stuartli    on 21 January 2006

No Adam...:-))
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Stuartli    on 21 January 2006

You're dealing with someone who once owned a Polonez for 15 months...:-)

It never let me down though whilst being used as a stop gap before getting a wiser choice; the kids, both then quite young, thought it looked fantastic in pure white with red interior and insisted we got it.
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Round The Bend    on 21 January 2006

I must admit to enjoying seeing every day cars from 60s/70s which are now rare sights. Whether they are classics I don't know but I don't see why a car has to be worth 00000s to be termed a classic.
_______
IanS

Andrew-T    on 22 January 2006

"I don't see why a car has to be worth 00000s to be termed a classic".

I think most would agree that the Pug 205 was a classic, but you don't pay much for any but the very top examples.

mrmender    on 21 January 2006

Capri's?.... Remember they actual made a 1.3... Clsssic.. I don't think so

Altea Ego    on 21 January 2006

mustang pre 71 classic
capri ALL mk1s pre or post facelift (big and small) classic
capri mk2's and mk3's carp (except the 280 brooklands)
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >

Lud    on 21 January 2006

Good on you mm. A lot to be said for drinking tar-flavoured water from the goatskin draped over the front wing of your Hilux ('nature's fridge'), unless they come equipped with real ones these days.

Right now: the word 'classic' for cars is American but has now spread here. In the old snobbish days cars here were classified as Veteran, Edwardian, Vintage (post-Edwardian, pre 1931) and PVT or Post-Vintage Thoroughbred. This was confusing to some people and implied no value judgement (in other words an Austin Chummy was vintage in the same way as a Speed Six Bentley). So classic has become the word.

However it shouldn't just mean some banger you happen to have fancied when you were a round-eyed nipper. It can have been made in large numbers but should represent some sort of exemplary standard in construction, breakthrough design, performance, appearance or some combination of these things. Thus among relatively modest cars the pre-war Lancia Aprilia is a classic as is Light 15 Citroen as is DS as is VW Beetle. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of the things, especially if more upmarket Lea-Francis/Daimler/Armstrong Siddeley type motors are included in all their models. The trouble with the term really is that it is too vague and general. Just as well some of us like all cars including the most unloved and derided... the Skoda Estelle is definitely a classic.

A new term is needed. How about 'proper car'?

mrmender    on 21 January 2006

Good on you mm. A lot to be said for drinking
tar-flavoured water from the goatskin draped over the front wing of
your Hilux ('nature's fridge'), unless they come equipped with real ones
these days.

lud i'm just about to have a bottled water from my fridge! I'll leave all you backroomer to ponder over this thread. I'm off for a shower will be back in my office 6AM (3am to you)look foward to some interesting reading

Altea Ego    on 21 January 2006

As the ultimate judge on what classic and whats carp.....


viva Ha & Hb carp (droop snoot vauxhalls classic)
stag classic
minx classic
xj220 classic
vipers classic
astons classic (even the ugly ones)

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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >

Adam {P}    on 21 January 2006

>>Capri's?.... Remember they actual made a 1.3... Clsssic.. I don't think so<<

Yes - which is why I said a 2.8 or 3.0. I once heard they were more powerful than the 1.3's.

Hamsafar    on 21 January 2006

I love to see any old vehicles you never see anymore, from a nice Sierra or an ex GPO Commar van.

frazerjp    on 21 January 2006

I love to see any old vehicles you never see anymore,
from a nice Sierra or an ex GPO Commar van.


Well there're a few Sierras going round in my area, i even spotted a B-reg Cavalier a green 1 which it looked a bit tatty but it was driven by a senior citizen of cause so he must of had it since new!
--
Its not what you drive, its how you drive it! :-)

Roly93    on 24 January 2006

>> I love to see any old vehicles you never see
anymore,
>> from a nice Sierra or an ex GPO Commar van.
>>

Seconded ! I like to see almost any car of a bygone age in pristine condition. Its not neccesarily about the quality or desirability of the car, its about someones dedication, in some cases keeping what was a very poor car in such nice condition.

I would just as soon see an immaculate 60's Austin 1100 as a classic Italian supercar !

cub leader    on 24 January 2006

I love to see any old vehicles you never see anymore,
from a nice Sierra or an ex GPO Commar van.


As my dad would tell you its a commer van, but i have to agree i love seein classic vehicles still on the road and there is something about the enthusiasm that is keeping them there.
--
Temporarily not a student, where did the time go???

Roberson    on 21 January 2006

What constitutes as a 'classic' car has and still is, well disputed in classic car mags. In the last few editions of Practical Classics (to which I have a subscription) there has been some heated debate about it, with quite a few letters to the editor. Mind you, IIRC, this was brought about by the magazine publishing an article about getting younger members involved in order to keep the classic car scene alive.

Personally, I think its something you can't define. 'Classic' will mean different things to different people. I don't mind looking at cars which were once everywhere like BMC 1100/1300/1800/Farinas etc or VX Vivas/Crestas/Victors. However, for me at least, I have no interest in things like sporty Triumphs and MGs because they have already been done to death in mags etc, and even though I would call them classics, it doesn't mean to say their interesting. Perhaps its because they are synonymous with the term which makes them dull.

I like PC because instead of still writing about cars which were considered classics 20 years ago, they've managed to move on a bit, writing about cars which in the passing 20 years have almost been forgotten about, like Allegros, SD1s, Mk1 Astras and Cavaliers etc. Naturally, the Triumph/MG people find this unthinkable, but for the younger people like me, that?s what I want to read about.

Stuartli    on 21 January 2006

I love to see any old vehicles you never see anymore, from a nice Sierra >>


Quite a few Sierras still running around my neck of the woods and some of them are in remarkably good condition.

It was a very well sorted car by the end of the 1980s and lasted to around 1993 when the first Mondeo was launched; the final models had the smoked rear lights.
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sierraman    on 22 January 2006

'Quite a few Sierras still running around '

I see them quite often too;)

Definite classic.

Cardew    on 21 January 2006

I would think the common ground would be relatively inexpensive cars(as opposed to exotica) that introduced a new dimension into motoring:

The original Mini, MK1 Golf GTi, BMW 2002, Audi Quattro

Lud    on 21 January 2006

I would think the common ground would be relatively inexpensive cars(as
opposed to exotica) that introduced a new dimension into motoring:
The original Mini, MK1 Golf GTi, BMW 2002, Audi Quattro


You may well have a useful point there. But does it mean all exotica just get shovelled into a sort of sub-dustbin labelled exotica?

THe Growler    on 21 January 2006

A classic (my definition) is not merely an old car in superb condition. If it were, we'd have concours Morris Minors floating around, Gawd help us.

I would rate the 64 1/2 Mustang, the world's fastest selling car of its time, a icon and the genesis of a whole new breed - the muscle car, as an example of a genuine classic, i.e. it in some way added to or changed the face of motoring. Or at the very least was something out of the ordinary when it came out.

That's my '66:

groups.msn.com/honestjohn/vehicles.msnw?action=Sho...9

Also I think the '67 Chevy Nova SS I have now, because of its outrageous engine and the fact it was (and still is) a very special car when it first appeared.

tr7v8    on 21 January 2006

Disagree with most on this point.
I have some fairly acidic comments on what is a good & bad old & new as regards cars.
However if someone is prepared to run any old car these days of any age then they have my respect. In a throw away society where its so easy to go out & buy something either new or up to 5 years old on the knock, then anyone who is prepared to run an older car instead needs applauding! Whether you or I call it a classic who cares.
But just think that thy ae saving the environment by doing so because the massive amount of energy needed to make a car far out weghs its fuel consumed.
Older cars are also hugely more repairable & that Morry Minor will still be going for many years hence because it can be. This won't be the case for aything mid-80s on because parts become to complex. & this is not just electronics but simple things like plastics in trims etc.
My TR7 is hugely more difficult as a 1980 car to keep on the road unlike sya a TR2 or 3, why because all of the plastic trim is becoming brittle & ageing, whereas the 2 has simple panels with cloth or vinyl covering.

Jim

mike hannon    on 21 January 2006

Accept no-one will ever agree a definition of 'classic'. I've been reading the same old for and against arguments for 20-odd years.
I've owned all sorts of old motors and enjoyed myself a lot - used to commute with a Rover P6 V8 even - but I've never had much time for the people who fall for the 'fast-appreciating investment' approach. Not much really appreciates in value and almost everything costs an arm and a leg to keep nice. Old cars can break down when they are standing still!
Buy what you like, rather than what you think will impress people and if others enjoy looking at it too, then that's a bonus.

T Lucas    on 21 January 2006

We all like different things,who cares what name we give it to put it into a compartement.
I really like Japanese cars from the 70's,Mazda RX2 and 3 coupes,Datsun SSS coupes,i dont suppose the Practical Classics are much into those.Great cars and streets ahead of the Marina TCs and the like we had back then.

Roberson    on 21 January 2006

We all like different things,who cares what name we give it
to put it into a compartement.


Agree
I really like Japanese cars from the 70's,Mazda RX2 and 3
coupes,Datsun SSS coupes, I dont suppose the Practical Classics are much into
those.


Getting more and more coverage. One of the contributors is currently running a 1979 Datsun Cherry, and i'm sure there was an old Toyota Corolla in a few months ago.

>>Great cars and streets ahead of the Marina TCs and the
like we had back then.


mmm, maybe. Definitely more reliable, but didn't they rust even quicker? :-p

RichardP    on 21 January 2006

It's horses for course I guess, I love going to the 'classic' car shows, and I must admit I love the 70's and 80's cars, as being 27, they are ones I remember well and there are some I always wanted well before I was old enough to drive! My faves are the SD1 (especially the Vitesse, as in Rita Sue and Bob 2!), the big MK2 Granadas, Mk 3 Capris, big Mercs etc.
I enjoy looking at older cars at shows in their original state i.e. ones that have been 'used' and still perfectly capable of everyday use. The fully restored/concourse cars are nice, but they don't get used!!! I now own a 1982 MK 2.8 Granada Ghia, as I loved the look of them from an early age. I particularly liked the TRX wheels (with the multitude of oblong holes round the outside edge of the rim) and the fog lamps AND driving lamps on some of the models, plus I love the sound of that 2.8 roaring away! So, my car has the lamps and the TRX rims! I use mine nearly every day and go to club shows in it, but there are some owners who bring their motors to shows on low-loaders, with bubble wrap around the entire car (I kid ye not!). These cars simply do not get used, which I think is a shame.
Whether this car is defined as a 'classic', that's subjective I guess, but I like it and I've not seen many about at all. Certainly more interesting than a Vectra or Mondeo however! I drove it into city centre Manchester on Friday just gone for it's MOT (which it flew through) and it was amazing how many people had a good look as I drove by/stopped at the lights. I'd say it got more attention that the yuppie's Porsches and Mercs, but I couldn't see them swapping them for a 24 year old Granny though!

Sofa Spud    on 21 January 2006

Maybe we should use the term 'preserved cars', as with preserved buses or lorries.

The term preserved car carries no judgement as to the merits of that car, just that it is an obsolete model that has been preserved, restored perhaps.

I think any type of car is worth preserving - not just the thoroughbreds or true classics. They acquire a curiosity value if nothing else. Cars like the Austin Somerset or Hillman Super Minx were never beautiful or exciting in their prime but they have acquired character just through being long obsolete.

I wonder if there are any Chrysler 180's left. They were a kind of bigger Hillman Avenger to take on Ford's Mark 3 Cortina. The car was a flop in its day and I haven's seen one for many years.

Cheers, SS

Tornadorot    on 21 January 2006

I wonder if there are any Chrysler 180's left. They were
a kind of bigger Hillman Avenger to take on Ford's Mark
3 Cortina. The car was a flop in its day and
I haven's seen one for many years.


ISTR one coming up on eBay UK around a year or so ago (eBay Classic Cars is worth the odd perusal just to see what weird and/or wonderful old motors are still around!)

Lud    on 21 January 2006

I think any type of car is worth preserving - not
just the thoroughbreds or true classics. They acquire a curiosity
value if nothing else. Cars like the Austin Somerset or
Hillman Super Minx were never beautiful or exciting in their prime
but they have acquired character just through being long obsolete.


Agree absolutely with the spirit of this but the undergeared jelly Austin Somerset was contemporary with Jowett Javelin, a far better car killed by the Austin's makers, while Super Minx with overdrive was quite a decent motor, drove one in my corporate days heh heh.

mike hannon    on 22 January 2006

I don't think BMC (Austin) had anything to do with the demise of Jowett. IIRC Briggs, the firm that made bodies for Jowett, either was or came under the control of Ford, who pulled the plug because they needed the body-building capacity for themselves.
The Jowett flat-four engine was technically elegant and went like the clappers but was fragile. Austin engines were boring but lived almost forever.
Survivors of either type are interesting today, if for different reasons...

Lud    on 22 January 2006

>> I don't think BMC (Austin) had anything to do with the
demise of Jowett. IIRC Briggs, the firm that made bodies for
Jowett, either was or came under the control of Ford, who
pulled the plug because they needed the body-building capacity for themselves.
The Jowett flat-four engine was technically elegant and went like the
clappers but was fragile. Austin engines were boring but lived almost
forever.
Survivors of either type are interesting today, if for different reasons...


I always thoughgt it was Carbodies, but stand corrected... Javelin had other elegant features including torsion bar front end. Went much better than its mainstream equivalents.

bedfordrl    on 21 January 2006

I agree with most of what has been said.
Just owning a car that you lusted for when young gives a huge buzz, but the biggest buzz comes when you drag the family out in the old lorry and you stop and someone (and this nearly always happens) will come over and tell you that they had one,learned to drive in one,have not seen one for ages etc and then they will walk round it with misty eyes pointing things out.
Once in Wales we stopped outside a pub and just by chance there was a chap in there who had tested RLs for the Army to destruction, all he did was stare out of the window at it, miles away.
As stated before the work to keep older vehicles on the road is time and money consuming but i enjoy it and so what if it breaks down?, another buzz is correctly diagnosing the problem and getting it going again.
I would hate to have a souless stop start car I want to share blood/oil with it .
But there are people who go to far, one of my Range Rover was used by Autocar and appeared in the magazine, so we used to be asked to take it to Range Rover bashes (its laid up at the moment), we had driven from Pembrokeshire to Solihull then to Gaydon and were parked up dripping cow muck all over the tarmac (had been using it to get cows in the day before),in front was a Charles Spencer King Rangie and every time after some one had a look at the engine the owners would quickly wipe the body clean,it was a Range Rover for gods sake.

henry k    on 21 January 2006

If you have got a "few hours", later this year, to wander round aircraft hangers full of wonderful machines of all types then visit
www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/wroughton/introduction.asp

It is a massive store with often just the name of the item by an "exibit".
No fancy displays and few tarted up items. Most awaiting restoration.
IMO well worth it if you are near Swindon at the right time.


Plus if you have the time /funds
www.mcarthurglen.com/centres/home.cfm?centre=swind...n

and / or for lovers of the GWR
www.steam-museum.org.uk/

Altea Ego    on 21 January 2006

Did the swindon site for the jan sales.........
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >

mare    on 22 January 2006

If you have got a "few hours", later this year, to
wander round aircraft hangers full of wonderful machines of all types
then visit
www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/wroughton/introduction.asp


While you're in the area, you could visit

www.atwellwilson.org.uk/map.htm

as well, nice unpretentious museum ran by two lovely old people in a shed at the back of a bungalow. Lots of relatively modern exhibits, and i rather like the idea that a couple examples of say a mk 2 cortina is preserved, so you can show your kids what your dad used to have.

If you have kids, they also have the old playground equipment - that might not sound much, but we're talking 20' high slides which no council in their right mind would have in a park these days. My kids loved them!

And if you go to the McArthur Glen outlet place, Steam next door is worth a visit.

Pugugly {P}    on 22 January 2006

Clasicification of Grey Porridge. Mind you Life on Mars would have been all the poorer without someone looking after Austin Allergos and the such like. Mrmender I am up in Llanberis this weekend, well
3 miles away !

Lud    on 22 January 2006

Buongiorno mm and a nice pale-blue-and-gold one with long shadows I hope it is. I am afraid nothing much resembling consensus is to be found here. But struggle and contradiction, the anthropologists tell us, are also present in all societies...

mrmender    on 22 January 2006

Buongiorno mm and a nice pale-blue-and-gold one with long shadows I
hope it is. I am afraid nothing much resembling consensus is
to be found here. But struggle and contradiction, the anthropologists tell
us, are also present in all societies...

Saba el ker Lud yes no consensus but a general theam that the word classic is over uesed. As somebody says preserved vehicle, a more easy term to used. Or as the DVLA calls pre 1972 motors, Historic vehicles
I've had loads in my time. ALL bar one cost me a fortune to run never made any money on any of them, except a personal favorite. VW type 2 camper. Bought it for a song ran it for 3 years had 3 family holidays attended various shows and sold it for a handsome profit all me and mrsmender did was t cut and polish it!
Classic car ownership is just a labour of love... Must say i've enjoyed everyone

SlidingPillar    on 22 January 2006

Actually it is pre 73 - and the date of manufacture, not registration before someone asks.

For me, the best event for a mix of cars of all ages, a few old trucks and buses is 'Classics on the Common' at Harpenden (date is not yet fixed for this year by the way). Loads of interesting machinery, all ages, from bikes to cars to buses and trucks. A nice picnic atmosphere and loads to look at.

Some of what people preserve interests me not a whit, but often they do gladden my heart to see them being cared for - and raise a smile when I see them being driven.

THe Growler    on 24 January 2006

Saba el ker Lud yes no consensus but a general theam
that the word classic is over uesed.


Sabah an noor! Keef halik?

Honestjohn    on 24 January 2006

Shame on you, Growler. I've seen concours Morris Minors with mirrors underneath to show how clean they are, and the insides of their exhaust pipes scrubbed clean with a toothbrush. (I am serious, I have actually seen this at a Morris Minor Owners Club Concours.)

HJ

JH    on 22 January 2006

mrmender,
they're both, and at the same time! I saw a Viva HC the other night. Haven't seen one for years. My Dad had one. Was it the car that was so slow or the driver?

It was nice to see it, but I don't want one. Nor an old E type, Aston, not even my favourite, a Lotus Elan S4. Why? reliability, crash worthiness, rust, performance, commfort.

It's nice to see them, but I'm happy to let other people own them.
John

redviper    on 22 January 2006

My MK1 Astra, will always be, to me a Classic.... When i mention this to my mates, i get laughed at, but i dont care, it was a brilliant car in every respect, i rebuilt the engine, to get it through a MOT (Worn piston rings and Valve seals) and a year later I sold it for £100 Part Ex at 160k miles ;-)

Pics
www.urbanshowcase.co.uk/astrav2.htm

Ste


--
1983 (A) Vauxhall Astra 1.3L
1993 (K) Vauxhall Cavalier 2.0i GLS
1999 (T) Renault Laguna 1.6

Roberson    on 22 January 2006

Nice Astra, can't say I?ve seen one of those, in that condition, since I was little. There is a brown one popping around town, but I haven't seen it for a while. Recently, PC did a 4 page buyers guide on the MK1 Astra, mainly about the GTE mind.

The Classics on the Common is under threat this year because the council has put restrictions on the parking, saying that one of the fields can't be used for spectator parking, due to concerns by residents that its being damaged (Practical Classigs Magazine March 2006)

Lud    on 22 January 2006

They were quick too those Mk I Astras, although aerodynamic claims were made for the jellymould successor model...

redviper    on 22 January 2006

Thanks

it was a shame, to see it go, but it got to a stage where it woulnt run properly, so i had to let it go. but it was great

Ste


--
1983 (A) Vauxhall Astra 1.3L
1993 (K) Vauxhall Cavalier 2.0i GLS
1999 (T) Renault Laguna 1.6

kingfisher    on 22 January 2006

Classic ? not in the strictist sense but my favourite was Golf gti 16v mk 3..quality

Morris Ox    on 22 January 2006

They might have been popular, but you can't call the Astra a classic. It's too recent and in my view it doesn't fit the bill because it although it is of its time (esepcially the GTE) it didn't break any new ground. It was a front-wheel drive replacement for the Chevette, based on the Golf's hatchback concept.

This is why I can't take cars like the Viva (or, indeed the model from which I take my name) seriously as classics. Again it is of its time but didn't set any new standards or feature any technological breakthroughs. The adventurous everyday cars of the 1960s were coming from the French and the Italians.

The Capri can just about get away with it, but partly on ironic grounds: it was the European version of the Mustang (i.e. a sporty looking car that was actually quite basic under the skin). The real classic in the Capri line up is the RS3100. The most amazing thing about last-gasp Capris like the 2.8i was that they managed to keep them going so long when the Japanese were bringing out standard-setting cars like the Celica and Prelude.

Dynamic Dave    on 22 January 2006

it was a shame, to see it go, but it got to a stage where it woulnt run properly, so i had to let it go. but it was great


I used to have a Y reg limited edition "EXP" model. It had the 2 tone black and gold paintwork.

The only reason I let mine go was because it ate 3 clutches in 14,000 miles. Car had done 85,000 before the thrust bearing went on the first clutch. The first replacement lasted 10,000 miles before giving up the ghost. The second lasted 2,000 miles. It was then that the garage decided the cause was a warped flywheel, so off for skimming it went. The third clutch was showing early signs of it happening again and the garage refused to do any more warranty work on it, so I sold it before it went pop once more.

redviper    on 22 January 2006

"I used to have a Y reg limited edition "EXP" model. It had the 2 tone black and gold paintwork."

i couldnt wash the passenger side wing for fear of putting my hand through the bubbels

...it only had 4 gears though, always could have done with a 5th becasue when you got to about 70, it always wanted more, and sounded like it was over reving (no rev counter)
--
1983 (A) Vauxhall Astra 1.3L
1993 (K) Vauxhall Cavalier 2.0i GLS
1999 (T) Renault Laguna 1.6

Dynamic Dave    on 22 January 2006

I used to have a Y reg limited edition "EXP" model. It had the 2 tone black and gold paintwork.


Just remembered I took an old polariod of it prior to selling. Not bad condition for an 8 yr old car. The only panels to be resprayed 3 yrs prior to this photo (due to an accident) were the 2 front wings (new panels), bonnet, and offside front door. The rest of the paintwork is original. Scanned and added to my pic file:-

www.picjar.com/pub/Dynamic-dave/My_old_Astra/Astra.../

Micky    on 22 January 2006

Smiths instruments, walnut dash and a bit of history is always interesting, but I wouldn't want to drive one on a daily basis. I think there is a difference between run-of-the-mill (eg Viva) and something interesting (eg TR6). But each to their own.

Any open top Brit classic brings a sense of occasion to any drive .... if only because it might not get there ;-)

Tedious BMCs? Mini Cooper perhaps?

R75    on 22 January 2006

I like the bog standard cars as classics - all too often it is the top spec special edition versions of a model that are kept in good nick by people. What about the Mk1 Fiesta, a good solid small car, I had a 1978 version not so many years ago as a run around while I used my bike as my main mode of transport, It had 78k one previous owner and fsh. I paid £300 for it and sold it for £300 14 months later - that was cheap motoring - wish I had had the room to keep it and do it back up. I am planning to keep the Honda Prelude we have for as long as possible - It has 180k on the clock and is 13 years old. Am just about to get £700 of body work (red worm has set in) done and that should keep it going for a couple more years - I think it is a modern classic and would love to keep it for another 20 years - but will have to see what happens!!

THe Growler    on 24 January 2006

How would you rate this then? Found one yesterday. 1954 Ford Popular 1172cc sidevalve. Cable brakes. No waterpump, thermosyphon cooling (fancy phrase for "heat rises").
Non-adjustable valves (you had to use a grinder on the end of the valve to reset the clearance), no con-rod shells, but white metal linings in the rods which had to be remetalled when they began to rumble (which was usually after about 25k miles). Oil consumption of 200mpp regarded as OK but anything more and we ought to look at it........ Castrol XXL (40 weight) helped reduce the smoke a bit.

Feeble 6v electrics which necessitated the use of the starting handle at any temperature below about 50F. If it was a damp morning (pre-WD40 days), then leave it and take the bus. 3 speed box with no synchro on 1st. Available mainly in black although I think there may have been a rather unpleasant beige and an even worse light green.

Performance best described as "wheezing".

Having said all of that, one of these things once carried 4 of us students plus full camping gear on a 4-week W. Country trip, scaled Porlock Hill and managed a good 50 mph in places without any trouble whatsoever.

Classic or rubbish?

Garethj    on 24 January 2006

1954 Ford Popular 1172cc sidevalve.
Performance best described as "wheezing".

Wow, must have been a good one! My dad had one in the 60s and he said it was only just faster than pushing a piano.

I think that a classic should have something distinctive or inventive on it when new, however childhood memories or how a car sounds or looks are more emotive, and classics are usually bought with the heart, not the head (and even less with the bank balance!)

madf    on 24 January 2006

I drove a number of so called classics as sdaily transport "1929 Riley 9,Ford E93A Prefect, Austin A30, Standard 8/10, Rover 16/75/110, MGB Allegro, Triumph 2.5PI, Mercedes 260E, Lotus Elan S3, Mini Estate x3 etc"

Any talk of them being easier to repair than modern cars: is true but more goes wrong and they rust and the driving experience is terrible.

I just would never consider any of them again: in most cases the driving was so unpleasant in town (steering, brakes, visibility) even in deserted streets I would NEVER consider them again.

Ever.

The work far outweighs the fun factor.. (like the Lotus carbs going out of tune every 500 miles.. after a carb rebuild (Webers) every 1500 miles...

Nope. Modern cars are great. If I want a classic and Mazda MX5 will do fine..
madf

machika    on 24 January 2006

The Alfetta and it's derivatives (the Alfa 75 being the last one), if you can find one that has not rusted away. Mind you, the 75s didn't suffer badly from rust.

Lud    on 24 January 2006

Friend of mine had several of these and terrible (if fairly tough) they were. Despite their tall appearance the suspension was normally of the bouncy variety. With a piano secured on the roof, however, the car rolled on corners and took a considerable time to regain the true vertical. However it didn't fall over.

Lud    on 24 January 2006

I meant 1172 Ford Populars and Anglias, not Alfettas.

Roly93    on 24 January 2006

What about the WW2 Willys Jeep ?
Once maufactured in 10's of 1000's and now rare and expensive if you want a reasonable example.
Someone nearby has got a pristine example of one from the war years (which are the only ones that count realy).
This Iconic vehicle is the grandfather of all 4x4's on the road today !

Lud    on 24 January 2006

Iconic indeed. See my post in 'Worst Bodge Ups'. But new ones were still being made a few years ago for the French Foreign Legion and perhaps other elite units, presumably with bought-in modern running gear. I don't know who made them, but they were brand new when I saw them (in Chad) in the early 80s.

mrmender    on 24 January 2006

Good afternoon lud, I'm almost certain, you and I are in agreement that the word classic is a over used word to cover a blanket of classifications which was my original thread. I'm in agreement with you a classic means a car that moved the game on in a certain way
Car magazine has been running a very small monthly section called, "sacred cow's" where a lot of the time it's playing a devils advocate roll by questioning so called classics & newer cars reputations
For instance it's rubbished the original Mustang, Peugeot 205, vw bettle original mini etc just to provoke reader reaction

Harmattan    on 24 January 2006

And I thought shifting a fridge and cooker inside my '54 Ford Popular was enough. I kept mine in the back of a shed for 20 years after it was retired but I still wouldn't regard it as a classic despite the risk of incurring the wrath of the Ford Sidevalve Owners Club. Growler didn't mention the bump steering and the vacuum-driven wipers that didn't wipe on going uphill. I sold mine a couple of years ago to an 'enthusiast' who promptly did what I didn't want to risk, i.e. he cloned it with another one that was running and sold the registration no., scrapping the rest! They are only rare now because of this type of activity and the efforts of the special builders and customisers. They did not in standard form do anything to move motoring on, as someone suggested in looking for a definition of classic.

Lud    on 24 January 2006

Salaam aleikum mm. Yes, a true classic should have broken new ground in some way, I think. But quite a large category might consist of models that for one reason or another just came more or less right, without anything especially radical in construction or design and without necessarily having exceptional performance. Quite a lot like that actually, often cars that were expensive when new but not always. And the trouble with this is that everyone has their own favourite candidate... Aprilia has said elsewhere that people always think cars they own or have owned are either perfect or rubbish, having in general very poor objective judgement. I agree with this too. And finally, there is hardly a car ever made that can't be criticised quite sharply by anyone with a mind to do it (certainly the whole list you give fron Car magazine, lots wrong with all of those of course). So we're back where we started I'm afraid... we don't know much about cars but we know what we like.

Greetings Harmattan Oga. The 1172 perpendicular might count as an anti-classic don't you think? Definitely took car design backwards for its day despite an engaging toughness. Didn't it have a beam front axle on a transverse leaf spring with friction dampers? I do recall that enterprising driving on roundabouts resulted in a curious corkscrew gambolling, reminiscent of a young red setter...

mike hannon    on 24 January 2006

I had a real fright the other day. A friend, who is professionally interested in agricultural machinery and knows my weakness for useable old motors, passed on a few 'classic tractor' magazines. I was gobsmacked, to say the least, when I saw what these fetishists will pay for an old Fordson or a Fergie. One misguided character reportedly handed over more than 60 thousand quid at auction for a rusty, clapped out twin-engined conversion of a 1960s Fordson. What can you do with a classic tractor except get it dirty letting it work or stand in a field looking at it? Words fail me...

madf    on 24 January 2006

The 1172cc Popular has iindeed a transverse front leaf spring and a torque tube feed to the rear axle. Sidevalve engine with a claimed 32bhp.. My brother and I lifted the engine out by hand and rebuilt it.

Asthmatic , thermosyphon water cooling , horrible seats and iirc rod operated brakes. Trafficators and those horrible vacuum wipers.

And a three speed gearbox which when worn jumped out of second gear. Originally designed in 1930s...Pity Dagenham was not properly bombed:-).


madf

Lud    on 24 January 2006

Yes the wipers, stopped altogether when you floored it to get through the wake of a truck... terrific downhill on a trailing throttle though.

mrmender    on 25 January 2006

Ali kum salam Lud I supopose we could start a thread as to cars that broke new ground & were inovative!
Go one someone!

Lud    on 25 January 2006

Ali kum salam Lud I supopose we could start a thread
as to cars that broke new ground & were inovative!
Go one someone!


I suppose it's my turn mm. I'll try if no one gets in first. Dark and cold here, almost envy you out there among the groaning swearing camels.

Avant    on 24 January 2006

The sad thing is that the 50's Austins (Devon and Cambridge, better cars than the overweight Somerset which came in between them) were way ahead of the Popular, Anglia and Prefect: four gears, OHV engine, 12-volt battery, and (I think independent front suspension). And they started first time too.

Sad becase look what happened to Austin. Escort, Cortina and Sierra versus Allegro, Maestro and Montego....I need say no more.

Yoby    on 24 January 2006

Most things can be a Classic really - there is a big following behind Plant machinery - www.cpmmag.co.uk/ - John Peel even made a programme about it (Classic Plant, Ch4). I do find it interesting - not that I am going to start looking for a 1975 Bomag roller (well, yet!). Seeing an old Allegro or Cortina does make me look though, remembering when they used to zoom past us on the M1 in their heyday as we went along at a stately pace in our trusty Rover P5B (which my Dad's still got).

Anyway, enough of this reminiscing ......

Civic8    on 24 January 2006

The sad thing is that the 50's Austins (Devon and Cambridge, better cars than the overweight Somerset which came in between them) were way ahead of the Popular, Anglia and Prefect: four gears, OHV engine, 12-volt battery, and (I think independent front suspension). And they started first time too.

I know of a couple of Devon and Cambridge that are actually rotting away in a farmyard,Chap who owns them will not sell,But none of them leak water,and are still startable, only problem is the rust which he will not pay to correct..dying shame I think.bearing in mind he`s 85 and loves em.He hires the old barn out of which the cars are next to..he`s had many an offer but refuses to sell
--
Steve

kevin babij    on 25 January 2006

There`s a few early 70`s motors cropping upon that BBC1 programme "Life on Mars" including the old blue & white Police Ford Anglia`s from the pre Jam Sandwich days.
Someboody must be hiding them all away in storage for retro TV programmes and films???

Group B    on 25 January 2006

On the subject of '70's cars, I was driving into Nottingham last night and saw a Citroen SM. I can't remember the last time I saw one of those. I've never been a fan of Citroens, but I'm surprised to say it did look pretty cool, amongst all the samey modern stuff. I've never been a fan of the "concealed rear wheels" look, but if its got a Maserati engine, it can't be that bad?!

Roberson    on 25 January 2006

Nice car, one of my all time favorites. It?s such a shame it was never made in right hand drive. A mix of the oil crisis and Peugeot takeover saw to that.

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