It would be fair to say the television programmes I’ve watched over the years have had quite an influence on which cars I chose, as have the car events I’ve visited. How do we eliminate particular cars over others?
Top Gear was one of the TV programmes I always looked forward to on a Sunday night at 8pm, week in and week out. As automotive TV goes, Top Gear was one of the better ones offering advice to those of us who wanted to know on what to buy and what cars to avoid while featuring the cars that were discussed. Yes, young un’s, there was a time when Top Gear was relatively formal. This later lead to me buying Jeremy Clarkson’s VHSs when they were released as well as asking for them as Christmas presents.
There was one particular VHS that set the bar; this was ‘Jeremy Clarkson Unleashed On Cars’. The video featured a ten-car shoot-out between the TVR Cerbera 4.2l V8, Dodge Viper RT/10 (first generation), Porsche 993 Turbo, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Lotus Esprit V8 and a Caterham 7. As the 8l V10 from the Viper roared off the start line, I knew I wanted one. In fact so much so, I’ve got a scale model and a poster of the GTS up on my wall.
Next on my list was the Ford GT40, although I ended up with second best on my bedroom wall, the Ford GT – the GT40’s contemporary brother. It was at the age of fourteen or fifteen I discovered Supercars.net which holds a database of supercars, concepts and galleries of the latest automotive events. This soon lead to me looking through each of the cars alphabetically and so it was that, at the letter ‘F’, I came across the 1966 Ford GT40 MkII. A four-time winner of Le Mans back in the 1960s which settled the score between Ferrari and Ford. I had to have one and so the hunt continued for ’60s nostalgia clips.
Coming up fast on the list is the Jaguar XJ220, although yet to reach the wall as of now. It was a car that was hyped up before being released to the public in 1992, with claims that it would have a V12 and be four-wheel-drive. This didn’t happen, as the Metro 6R4 engine was slung in with its twin Garrett turbochargers. So it didn’t meet the hype? That didn’t stop my lust for the underdog; hence it ended up on the wall, almost.
Anyway, to conclude, there isn’t actually a specific influence on where our automotive posters come from. Well, I had to finish this blog somehow, didn’t I?
Charlie Johnson is the Editor and founder of Retro and Classic Cars, and a classic car enthusiast.