Blog: Crap cars and why we love them so much

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

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Thanks to the popularity of last Christmas’s “Crap Towns” book, it was inevitable that someone would produce a petrolhead version to fit into the “Crap” book genre. Thankfully, it wasn’t written by some past-his-prime car bore, but by Mr Sniff Petrol himself, Richard Porter. And as anyone who visits his website will tell you, if you need half an hour’s entertainment, this is the place to be…

So we know he’s a funny writer, but are his car tastes of the top drawer? In a word, yes… to look at the fifty cars he has chosen, it is obvious that here is a man that knows what he is talking about. Take one car that makes it into the top ten: the MGB. In cold, hard, objective terms, the MGB was indeed a crap car – one that has been hyped so much during and after its (overlong) production run, anyone would think it was the motor industry’s answer to velcro. Truth is, it is a dynamic duffer, is crude, draughty and not that fast… yes, it can be fun in the right conditions, but in the same way that listening to the Birdie Song was that very first time you heard it…

So good on you, Mr Porter, for slaying one of the world’s greatest misconceptions.

Most of us that are into the
history of the company know
the cars’ weaknesses…

It comes as no surprise to see that there is a fair sprinkling of BMC>Rover cars in the book, two of which are in the top three. I won’t give too much away as to what they are, but they figured highly in austin-rover.co.uk’s voting for the worst BMC>Rover of all time so I guess you won’t be too surprised. There are many more than these, of course, but again, I’d hate to spoil the surprise for any buyer of the book.

Most of us that are into the history of the company know the cars’ weaknesses and we know that they played a big part in its downfall. Sometimes it is good not to get too depressed about our paradise lost, but to take a more lighthearted look at what it was – exactly – that make our cars such perennial losers. And I speak from personal experience… I currently own two of the cars featured in his book.

Having just looked on amazon.co.uk the book comes in at a not-unreasonable £5.99, so it’s cheap enough for anyone even slightly interested in cars to dip in and buy a copy. There’s no excuse not to buy it. Don’t expect a deep read – do expect a few laughs.

Of course, he’s VERY wrong about the sublime Lancia Montecarlo, but that’s a story for another website…

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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