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Top 10: Classic repmobiles

For as long as most of us can remember, sales reps have been thrashing their four-wheeled workhorses along the highways, byways and motorways of our little island. It’s as true now of the sharp-suited BMW 3-Series driver as it was of his Cortina-driving predecessor of 40 years ago.

Many fleets operated all-Ford or all-BL policies back then. It meant being allocated the Escort, Cortina or Marina that your fleet manager insisted on. And you’d be grateful, of course. You’d revel in its velour upholstery, its garish paintwork; and if yours happened to be a GL or HL rather than a measly L, you’d look sneeringly at your neighbour’s plainly inferior version.

Paul Guinness celebrates some of the best repmobiles of all time. These were the cars via which sales targets were chased. These were the cars that kept Britain’s army of sales representatives on the move.

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Ford Cortina

From the original Consul Cortina of 1962 through to the MkIV Cortina of 1976-82, this range of mass-market Fords epitomised the perfect company car: simple in spec, reliable by nature and – being a Ford – economical to run. No wonder it dominated the company car sales charts for two decades. The Cortina wasn’t exciting, and neither was it a class leader in later life; but it when it came to fulfilling its company car brief, nothing could touch it.

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rob thailand    on 11 October 2016

Company cars were so important to salesmen.
My first was a 1965 Hillman Imp - takeover equaled redundancy
Van sales took over with an Austin LD 30 cwt then an FG with the 45 degree doors
Then agricultural sales 1974 brand new Ford Consul Estate 2.5 V6 followed by a Peugeot 504 estate these were some sort of company cars as most were driving Vivas and Marinas and even Allegros.
Moved to Pharma Veterinary 1977 Cavalier 1300!! mk1 blew it up 3 times
Then Cortina 1600s times 4 - loved em
Then Sierras 1800s times 6 - great cars
Cavalier 1800 then a 2000
Vectra 2.5 and 2.6
Volvo S60 D5 Then retired
It was still magic picking up your new company car. (had various 2nd hand company cars when joining companies Marina 1.8 - really fast and faster than my next - a Mk3 Cortina 2.0 GT can you believe?)
Also ran my own cars and super bikes - a bit of a petrol head I must admit.

HJ Neeser    on 13 October 2016

I owned the predecessor Chrysler Alpine for some years, with the excellent Simca sub-1.5-litre engine - a lovely car, but its body shell was of really low-grade steel, prone to irreversible pitting.

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