‘Our’ cars seem to be having their 15 minutes of fame. The BBC News featured a Mr Steve Worsley, from the Maestro and Montego Owners’ Club standing next to his Montego, and some bloke called Keith, with a Cortina and Sierra. It was all a bit bizarre.
The Owners’ Clubs, Cortinas and Sierras are something which generally lurk in the dark recesses of my bookmarks bar, for when I need my fix of talking dashboards and two tone paint jobs. Yet here they were, being broadcast to thousands (maybe even millions) of TV sets across the UK. With the usual spiel about David Cameron, the Financial Crisis and new type of app which lets you track the migration of Arctic Penguins (or something) and other vital information – were our cars.
Of course, they were only on TV for a bad reason – their numbers are evaporating faster than a vat of beer at Stag Party. It’s sad, but inevitable.
The good thing is, there are Owners’ Clubs and devoted fans to keep these cars on the road. We can’t save them all (not all of them will be worth saving anyway) but we can try. The segment on the BBC News probably made a few people go and google these cars. And here’s the problem: somebody probably thought they were ‘cool’.
When things become ‘cool’ they become ‘expensive’.
True, Victoria Beckham isn’t going to be clambering for an Austin Montego anytime soon, but I wouldn’t mind betting there’s going to be a peak in interest soon, with people living in studio flats deciding old chod is cool. Maida Vale and Belgravia will be a carpet of Montego Turbo Ds and Sierra Sapphires by the end of the year, mark my words.
Okay, maybe I’m getting slightly carried away, but you see my thinking. Being sensible for a second though, once the ‘cool’ badge is applied to a car, the values go silly. Tidy Capris and rear wheel drive Escorts can go for crazy, crazy money, when frankly they’re not worth it. It’s not just our cars, it’s old Polos, 205 GTis, things that would have been Auto Trader fodder not so long ago, now command strong money.
And I don’t like it.
Why? Because I can’t bloody afford them!
The day when a Montego is out of my price range will be a truly sad one. I heard people call this phenomena ‘scene tax’. For my generation “scene” defines a sort of girl who wears too much make up and dies her hair like a parrot. I’m assuming the two are unrelated. This is why the image of AR and BL cars should stay in the doldrums in my opinion. Keeping them in reach of you and I. Many stay safe from destruction in the fraternity of Owners’ Clubs and forums these days anyway.
So what if low values means to odd stinker gets syphoned off to be turned into a bean can or an Astra Sport Tourer? And anyway, in 25 years’ time, we’ll see one of those on eBay and be all over it.
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.