THE Telegraph reported that some classic British cars are in danger of extinction and the numbers are worrying. Reading the piece one wonders if some an organised conservation programme should be initiated to prevent these rare metal industrial art pieces from disappearing.
According the article, of all the four million plus Ford Cortinas that left factories, less than four thousand are still belching smoke. Among the four thousand, some are suffering from “stage-four” tinworm that they are beyond salvation.
The Cortina needs to dance closer to the line of extinction to gain enough audience. Although it is bad to speak ill of the nearly extinct, they are skirting the edge of existence because not enough of us care.
Although 50 Shades of Grey is a popular book, it is not a compelling argument for collecting cars. If Ferrari raced painted all their cars in grey, only 10 per cent would survive and they would fetch a much lower price.
Although the quirky Austin Allegro came in all manner of strange 70s hue, like aubergine and burnt ochre, it is another endangered British classic and this time there are less than 300 left of the nearly 700,000 cars built. Actually they were mostly beige, blue, green and brown.
This car is interesting enough to deserve some sort of conservation effort, unlike the Austin Montego, which is basically grey that has been worshipped into the form of a boring family sedan. If 30 Montegos survive worldwide, we have enough.
The Austin Princess, Morris Marina and Vauxhall Viva are reminders of everything that was wrong with the British auto industry at the time and even if Mother Theresa came back from the other side she probably would not be able to rouse sufficient sympathy for their cause.
I am offended to learn that there are still Morris Ital and Austin Maxi running around. These should be extinct by now. I take comfort in the fact that there are less than 175 Itals left.
Although the Rover SD1 is a poster boy of sexy executive car from a time when Brittania was already satisfyingly taking water, the savage levels of quality lapses meant that these cars could not resist the ticking of time and, to make it worse, the tin oxidises so quickly, some evaporated on the way back from the showroom.
If you are interested, 310 are left of the register and it could your last chance for a properly frustrating British Leyland motoring experience.
If you think that the Ferrari Daytona needed an extra door and dour personality to make it perfect and you love grease under your nails and scraped knuckles are your thing and engine failure-induced roadside picnics shakes your Maracas, the SD1 was designed specifically for you.
Other cars on the list includes the Austin Metro, a car so soulless that it is Milli Vanilli to Perodua Kancil’s Miles Davis. The Triumph Acclaim is a bad copy of the Honda Civic. It is as if they moved the original before the photocopy machine had done its job and some parts simply did not fit together well enough.
This is the perfect candidate of an extinction-special crash-up derby.
Also on the list is the Ford Sierra. I want to feel sad about this but I cannot. So, there is a exciting Sierra Sapphire Cosworth that we all remember but it is nothing like the standard Sierra, just the same face mask.
Plus, it is not even really British is it? It is designed out of Ford Europe in Cologne and has that awkward European look to it, it is almost as if it was the first European Union-designed car, on paper it is designed for the 99th percentile man, but when you try it on, it feels like it was designed for the 99th percentile man and no one else.
So, what I am trying to say is this, all these cars deserve to be on this list. I welcome brickbats at [email protected]