Right, PetrolBlog is going out on a limb here. This update is a bit random, so seriously, if you’ve got something better to do, now’s the time to make your excuses and leave. The exit is over there…
OK, if you haven’t disappeared to YouTube, we’re gathered here today to talk about the cars that make you go Mmmm.
No, this isn’t a reference to C+C Music Factory’s ‘classic’ dance tune of 1991 (that was focused on things that make you go Hmmm), rather the relatively normal cars that stop you in your tracks. There’s a small chance that James May might know what we’re rambling on about, because he was the chap who invented the idea of fizzy logic.
Put simply: there are certain cars on the road that result in an involuntary intake of breath and a dilation of the pupils. Being PetrolBlog, this isn’t about mega-million dollar supercars or exotic sports cars. We can leave them for the masses. No, these are the accessible and affordable cars that hold more appeal than a night out with the Pierces sisters or a dinner date with Alex Drake at Luigi’s Trattoria.
OK, so these are very personal choices (and fantasies), but if you’d like to agree or disagree with the cars mentioned here, write to us at the usual address.
Skoda Octavia vRS
It has still got it. Fifteen years on from its launch, the original Skoda Octavia vRS still has the potential to make me go weak at the knees. The cosmetic changes compared to the standard ‘Octy’ were relatively minor, to the extent that passing motorists might not give it a second glance, but that’s half the appeal. This was a proper (cliche alert) wolf in sheep’s clothing, especially in sombre silver or discreet black.
Back in 2001, the Skoda badge was about as cool as ironing in a crease in your brand new Wranglers, which meant the vRS was driven by the informed, the educated and the free-thinkers. In 2003, I contemplated chopping in a Racing Puma for a brand new Octavia vRS, but soon realised I was neither informed or educated, or indeed a free-thinker.
But when the pitter-patter of tiny feet started… er… pattering in 2005, I did take the plunge and never looked back. At least I didn’t until I sold it 12 months later, complete with a small profit. The Mk1 Skoda Octavia vRS remains an object of desire. I just love the way the styling pulls together, especially when viewing the car in profile. I’m also acutely aware that I’m probably alone in my appreciation of Skoda’s practical hot hatch.
Renault Laguna Coupe Monaco GP
Christ in a bucket, would you look at that. It’s hard to believe that what you’re looking at is a Renault Laguna, it being so far removed from the sales-rep special we all remember from the 1990s. Damp towels are available on request.
Of course, the Renault Laguna Coupe Monaco GP limited edition (catchy name, huh?) is helped by the rarity factor. You’d stand more chance of finding something funny in the trailer for the new series of Top Gear than you would seeing an Aston Martin Laguna Coupe on your commute to work. But then this only serves to fuel the flames of desire.
All that style for less than £10,000. Wonderful.
This one is a bit of a low-hanging fruit, because I’ve made no secret of my fondness for Volkswagen’s super coupe. I’ll readily admit, I’m just as happy looking at my Corrado as I am driving it. Does that make me weird? Probably, but then this is PetrolBlog.
But it’s amazing just how good the Volkswagen Corrado looks today. Two decades on from its departure and a full 28 years since it first appeared, the design still looks fresh and contemporary. Hats off to the designer, Herbert Schafer. PetrolBlog would raise a glass, but it seems more appropriate to raise the rear spoiler.
Citroën Xsara VTS
Forget something about Mary, for me there’s something about the Citroën Xsara VTS. Anyone who has had the misfortune of sharing a car with me will know how much I adore the Xsara Coupe, preferably in Claudia Schiffer Yellow. I may have been known to get a little over excited having caught sight of one in Switzerland. Sorry, Matt Robinson.
Quentin Willson will disagree with me, as will many others, but the pre-facelift Xsara VTS is a fine example of clean, uncluttered styling that seems to get better with every passing year. I’d choose one over a Peugeot 306 GTi-6, every day of the week. In the badly dubbed words of Ms Schiffer, why wear anything else?
So that’s that – four automotive cards on the table. Make of the choices what you will, but I’d be keen to hear about the cars that make you go Mmmm. Alternatively, simply let me know that I’m alone and send in the men in white coats.