Although it’s not Steve Saxty’s first book, The Cars You Always Promised Yourself is certainly his first serious effort after penning a guide to the Ford Capri III back in the 1990s. And what a book, as it encompasses the Capri and other fast Fords right through to the current day.
If you end up buying this one, you won’t be disappointed, as it’s packed full of might-have beens, inside information never seen before and product information you’ll simply not find anywhere else.
The Cars You Always Promised Yourself, by Steve Saxty
If there’s anything positive to come out of the current situation, it’s that I’ve been able to catch-up with some much-needed reading. One of the books that’s been on my shelf in its wrapping for some time, itching to be read, is The Cars You Always Promised Yourself by Steve Saxty. It’s a doorstep of a tome, with more than 300 pages and 155,000 words – but this is a book that’s all about quality more than quantity, especially given the sheer abundance of new images, information and access that the author has had to the inner sanctums of Ford.
So, where to start with this book from an AROnline perspective? For one, it pretty much covers 50 years of Ford history end-to-end and, although it has a necessary performance car slant (in order to sell), there is lots of inside information about the development of the Capri, Escort III and Sierra – definitely enough to make this a book worth buying for those interested in more than just the halo models. Yes, the Sierra Cosworth story is told in great detail, as well as the Mustang, Ford Puma and all of the XRs, but there is so much more to this book than blind adulation of go-faster Fords you see everywhere else.
As someone who loves detail and learning new information, the book scratches that itch perfectly, summoning up a number of abandoned projects that had never previously seen the light of day. The book has significant input from a number of insiders and benefits from Saxty’s full access to Ford’s archives at Warley among other places (something us BMC/BL/Rover historians would love to have), and has forewords from Designer Patrick Le Quement, industry colossus Bob Lutz and motor sport legend Rod Mansfield. Be in no doubt, this is a product of the highest quality – helped in no small part by some deft editing skills from former CAR Editor Mel Nichols.
But Saxty’s CV is perfect for telling this story. As he said to me, ‘I’m an ex-Ford, Mazda, Porsche and finally Jaguar employee where I ended up running global advertising.’ With such industry insight, the story has been told realistically and with deep understanding.
- Original Escort and Focus RS design sketches
- The struggles with the Sierra in its early days
- Abandoned RS coupe
- First Sierra Cosworth prototype
- Cancelled 1975 Capri RS2800
- Cancelled 2003 Ford Capri replacement
- Ford Sierra design alternatives
As the development stories of the Ford Sierra and Mondeo are two of the most widely read articles of their type on AROnline, we figure there’s going to be some interest in this book from our readers. It’s been out for a while now, and Steve says there aren’t that many copies left to sell, but if you’re interested in picking up a copy, you can do so by following the link below.
To whet your appetite, here’s an image taken from the book of an abandoned Ford Sierra targa prototype, which would have extended the appeal of this highly-controversial car during the tough early years. You can see more of the same at Steve Saxty’s own website, too.
Price in the UK is usually £44.95, and you can buy a copy by visiting the Porter Press website. However, you can get one of the last few hundred copies with £10 off using the code ‘TENOFF’ at checkout. At £35, for what is effectively two-books’ worth of reading, that is an absolute bargain.