It’s September 1993 and we’re overlooking the Sainsbury’s car park at Craigleith Road, Edinburgh. It’s a week day, and there are plenty of spaces left in the capital’s major supermarket on the run in from Queenferry, and looking at the mix of cars, this is a popular place with all walks of life.
There’s plenty going on in the news, with the formation of the United Kingdom Independence Party in the midst of an ongoing argument in the Conservative Party led by John Major. UKIP’s formation was a backlash against the UK’s involvement in the Maastricht Treaty, and proved to be an ongoing and destructive issue that would run and run…
But that was Westminster, and up here in Edinburgh, it’s not a factor in daily life. The number one song is Mr Vain by Culture Beat, and other notable songs doing the rounds are Right Here by SWV, The River of Dreams by Billy Joel, Living on My Own, by Freddie Mercury and Dreamlover by Mariah Carey. Sky Multichannels starts broadcasting, widening the appeal of satellite TV. In EastEnders, Arthur Fowler’s in the dog house after committing adultery on Pauline with Mrs Hewitt. Who knew?
So, tell us about the cars
For the family man, 1993 was an exciting time, with the recently-launched Ford Mondeo facing the Citroën Xantia and the brilliant new Rover 600. Today, Rover’s gone, Citroën has given up on that market sector and the Mondeo barely hangs on. In the car park, we’ll pick out some of the more interesting cars – from left to right.
The Fiat Tipo (lacking a wheeltrim) sits alongside a Ford Granada Scorpio, which is just ahead of a Bedford Midi van. In the next row, a Rover 820Si heads up the inevitable Volvo 345, Citroën CX and Ford Fiesta among others. In the next row, a Triumph Acclaim L heads a Volkswagen Golf Mk1, Vauxhall Astra Estate, and far away in the distance, a Toyota Previa trundles by.
In the next row, a Jaguar XJ40 leads the way with an Austin Metro (again, missing a wheeltrim), a pair of Volkswagen Golf Mk2s, Mercedes-Benz W123, and – further back – a lovely Tornado Red Audi 90 (B3). Other cars on that side of the car park include a lovely Rover 213S (with an R8 almost out of shot alongside it), a Daihatsu Charade (a fabulous three-cylinder supermini that was ahead of its time), and a 1990-1993 Ford Escort Ghia, with the obligatory boot spoiler.
Aside from the Mk2 Golfs and Mercedes-Benz W123, I’d be surprised if any other cars in this picture are still on the roads – especially considering the harsh Edinburgh weather. I can hear the Rover 213 fizzing away from here!
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