Recently, Mr Alan Liddell gave us the lowdown on his Real World Dream Barn. Clearly inspired by the positivity surrounding his top ten list, he’s now written some words on one of his motoring pet hates. I’ll leave the waffling to Alan now, but will say that you can follow him on twitter @aldoliddell.
I have loved following the Shatchback story here on PetrolBlog. It has struck a chord with many petrolheads and has inspired me to write about a type of car that I have a problem with, and that is a car with no roof…
Now, I don’t really mean cars that have been designed to be a roadster/convertible, although i don’t like too many of them either. No, the ones that get me are the everyday family cars that have had a tin opener taken to them.
Before I start, if you think I hate convertibles because I’m up here in the frozen north, then you’re wrong! I admit that they are only useful for about 15 minutes a year in Scotland, but my dislike is to do with the fact they are too often a poorer car than the one they are based on. I suppose your worries will be more about damage from parking under coconut trees down there in the tropics?
Apologies for the rant, it must be the cold getting to me. So where was I?
Oh aye, lifestyle choices derived from family cars. You hear these cars called by a few names – convertible, drop top, soft top, or the worst…cabriolet. Urgh. What pretentious nonsense.
These feelings of dislike for the cabrio have been suppressed for a while now, but came to the fore the other day when I passed a very clean 205 CTI. In white. Very ’80s! These, I believe, are quite sought after, and, just as when they were new, I’ve no idea why you would choose one over a tin top 205 GTI. In my opinion it is compromised in almost every way, just to cater for weather we Brits hardly ever see! It is beaten by its tin top brother on looks, handling, performance, practicality, security… need I go on? The 205 is a drivers’ car ruined by the soft top version and, I think, explains my grievance perfectly. I’m not just picking on the 205 either – the Renault 19, Rover 200, Escort MK3/4/5, Astra MK2/3 all have similar issues.
The MK3 Astra is actually something of a double whammy, as the drop top version was based on the saloon, making it a Shatchback as well!
Another one that springs to mind is the 1993 Rover Mini Cabriolet. The styling just looks so awkward! You can hear the Rover directors in the boardroom, “Yes, we’ll get John Cooper to do the sporty models, and erm, Silver Cross to make the cabrio”. Remember as well that in 1993 this cost £11,995 against the Cooper’s £7,195. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Although it doesn’t technically fit in here, I must admit that a few years ago my wife and I had 18 months with an MGTF as our main car. I’ll also admit that it was good value to buy, good to drive and nice to look at. However no-one can convince me that it’s half as nice as the lovely coupé prototype they made. I’m sure this would have sold very well if it had been given a chance.
I appreciate this might get a few backs up. A lot of people love these cars and I would never slag off any car enthusiast or people that are keeping rare cars going. They’re just not for me.
I look forward to some comments and hopefully a few people agreeing with me!
Be interesting to see what people think of Alan’s view. Answers on a postcard to the usual address, or simply leave a comment below.