Welcome to York. While the rest of your party are wandering around the Minster, taking in the shops at the Shambles, or spending a lovely day at the Railway Museum, we are enjoying a ringside seat by the car park alongside the Castle Tower. And what a sight to behold!
It’s been an interesting year so far. It’s beginning to feel like the 1980s are finally taking off. The UK’s cellular ‘phone network had opened for business on 1 January and the first phone sold, the Vodafone VM1 cost its owner a cool £1200, plus hefty call charges. The home computer market is finally beginning to mature after five tumultuous years in the making, where at one point, the UK’s population owned more home computers per capita than any other country, including the USA.
This early success could be laid squarely at the door of Sir Clive Sinclair, who’s pioneering ZX80, ZX80 and ZX Spectrum had brought affordable computing power to the masses – specifically for less than £100. But the big corporates have been catching up – first, Commodore with the ‘Elephantine’ C64 and Amstrad with the CPC464. Sinclair’s upmarket £399 QL (below) has been on sale since 1984, and it’s not exactly flying off the shelf, neither is his new battery-powered car, the C5, which has been on sale since January. Has Sinclair bitten off more than he can chew?
So, tell us about the cars
There’s a really fascinating selection of cars in this image, which reflects York’s position as a centre of international tourism. It was taken by Andrew Deykin and, looking at this little lot, bad parking is clearly not a modern phenomenon. Prime pig-parkers all seem to be driving Fords… Hmm. Also, again, see how the world had changed in the last three decades – where are all the Audis, the BMWs, the Mercedes-Benzes?
However, there are some real joys to behold. Look closely on the fifth row back and you’ll see a European-market Ford Taunus with its bonnet up. Its owners are hopefully being fastidious checking it over, rather than needing to fix it. But scan to the bottom right of the image, and what do we find here? A Barkas van (parked next to a Morris Marina van), probably over from the country of its manufacture – The Democratic Republic of Germany. Now that’s unusual for England during the height of the Cold War!
There are so many other glories in this photo that I could easily spend all day naming them. Instead, here are a few highlights to enjoy…
If you enjoyed this, let us know in the comments and, if you have any pictures you’d like featuring, drop me a line via any of the links below.
- Concepts and prototypes : Hyundai/Rover Oden (1992) - 9 November 2023
- Opinion : So, maybe the Montego was the best they could do… - 8 November 2023
- The cars : Austin Montego (LM11) development story - 7 November 2023