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Top 10: 1970s company cars

Although Britain’s company car market starting taking off in the ’60s, during the following decade it really established itself, accounting for an ever-increasing proportion of new-vehicle sales. It was a fascinating time, with the vast majority of fleets opting for British-badged models from the biggest manufacturers.

As the ’70s wore on, however, some fleet managers became slightly more adventurous, their employees suddenly finding themselves with extra choice. So which were the popular models for sales reps and junior management during the decade of flared trousers, platform shoes and the three-day week?

By Paul Guinness, Contributor

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BMW ‘E21’ 3-series

German manufacturers started making inroads into the company car market by the second half of the ’70s, leaving BMW well placed to take advantage. Nowadays, of course, the 3-series is a major fleet vehicle; but the first-generation two-door of 1975-81 was less commonplace, giving management a chance to enjoy a prestigious badge and a touch of exclusivity. For the price of a Cortina 2.0 Ghia in 1977 (around £4000) you could have had an entry-level BMW 316 – a car that was smaller, more basic and less powerful, yet with success written all over it.


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