Next up is our Sam Skelton wannabe. He likes big barges usually and tends to regurgitate standard drivel. But here goes anyway. You can feel the wannabe journalist overtones OOZING from him more than Chucky. Enjoy*
Beloved of Tories, crooks and banger racers, the XJ40 truly is all things to all men. It combines ‘80s flash with a driving experience that’s so good, you can’t help but have a disgusting smug grin on your face every time float down the road in one. It may have spawned the X300 and X308, which are quantifiably better cars, but the square ‘80s styling of the original avoids the cheerleader-tied-up-in-the-boot creepy vibe of the X300, and the tacky, desperate image of the X308. There are cheaper ways to have fun, such as a coke habit or an addiction to Wagyu beef. If you’re after the smarmy satisfaction that golf club touring cars like these offer, look no further.
ADO16s are one of those rare cars that once you get in them…you just want to drive them…and drive them…and drive them. They’ve got more grip than most bath mats, and even the 1100 has enough torque to make one feel quick in every gear. I know for similar Issigonis nonsense most would point me towards AN Mini, but because the classic car scene constantly tries to ramn the Mini down one’s throat (metaphorically I mean. physically having a Mini rammed down your throat would hurt) I get sick of the sight of the bloody things.
It’s hard to explain why I like these. It’s the car equivalent of having a weird crush. Maybe it’s the whole under-dog thing? It was only recently that the Triumph Owner’s Club accepted them, and most people probably don’t even have a clue what they are. Acclaims are an interesting footnote in BLARG history, and I’d like to own one in much the same way I’d like an Ekranoplan: only interesting because of their obscurity, but interesting all the same (Ekranoplan VS Triumph Acclaim – ARF twin test?).
Occasionally a Metro, bubble shape R3 or a 45 for sale will pop up via a link on one of those numerous CLASSIC BRITISH ONLY OLD CAR OLD BUY CLASSIC AND SELL LOVERS ONLY type Facebook groups, and hundreds of lickers will frot themselves over gleaming paintwork, low mileage and a full service history. This is normally because they were owned by OAPs, who keep their cars for decades, get them serviced on the dot at main dealers and only drive once a week to buy slug killer or something. But now the firm is dead, what will the lickers frot themselves over in the future? A Honda Jazz just isn’t the same. Oh course! MG! Barton to the rescue with the delightful little MG3. But MG don’t want to sell any cars, and nobody has heard of them, so very few MG3s will probably make that stage in life. For the sake of all future window lickers and internet BLARG experts I feel I should buy one, do 7 miles a year in it, only take it to a main dealer for servicing, so it can be wheeled out on eBay after my eventual and inevitable suicide. You’ll all appreciate me when I’m dead.
Stags are dreadful. They drive with all the finesse of a lopsided shopping trolley with five wheels, aren’t especially quick and are hopelessly unreliable in standard form. And that’s before we even get to the finger-severing design of the hood, which is a work of art in it’s own right. So why is something so dreadful on my list? Because of how they make you feel. The good looks, V8 soundtrack and generally laid back way in which a Stag goes about its business will make anyone, and mean anyone look and feel cool. Even if you look like a moldy dog turd and have the personality of a fax machine, a Stag will transform you into Sir Roger Moore in an instant. It’s like viagra for your personality.