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The Carchive: Enid Blyton style Ford Fiesta promo from 2003

And now for something completely different. At about this time every week we put 2018 on hold for a little while and take a peek into the past. Yeah, there’s been some bad stuff, but as we saw last week with the Citroen GS, there’s been plenty of good stuff. Today, though, it’s time for something weird.

What we have here is a somewhat unique promotional item for the fifth-generation Ford Fiesta of 2003, and up until I saw it on eBay I had absolutely no idea such a thing existed. Fortunately, nobody else seemed to be in the least bit tempted, so I secured it with a bid of £1.17 in case it was interesting. And I reckon it is. Judge for yourself after the jump, and welcome back to The Carchive.

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Motorboat Monday: Scrapyard sadness? That ship has sailed

Anybody else having trouble keeping up? When I was 14, my parents would dismiss the music of the day as a repetitive series of bleeps and yowls. Frankly, their description of The Prodigy was pretty accurate, but I would defend Braintree’s incendiary pop/rave/rock crossovers to the hilt. Hey, guess what? I’m now not far off the age that my dad was back then, and find it difficult to comprehend what teenagers listen to today.

Back then, I couldn’t possibly appreciate how quickly time would end up passing, and I’m far from alone on that. The future is coming at us like a bullet from a gun, and there’s just no dodging it. It’s hard to predict what people will want to listen to, drive or experience in the years ahead, and it hurts when things like car magazines, favourite bands and local landmarks disappear that you thought would be around for ever.

On this latter point, we say goodbye to the cruise ship on which I proposed to my wife back in 2013. It’s just been sold for scrap — a victim of the fact that time waits for no man and tastes, desires and expectations are constantly changing.

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The Carchive: The 1978 Citroen GS

Consider the entire spectrum of automotive offerings there are out there today, from the least alluring, economy-minded thriftmobile to the worlds most extravagant, fastest beacons of conspicuous consumption. When all’s said and done, there’s really not a huge amount to choose between them. All the city cars, superminis, coupes, sedans, SUVs and supercars are each geared to satisfy a very well proven set of buyer expectations. Sure, people like us — e n t h u s i a s t s  — will feel the nuances, the characteristics of each one, but as far as most buyers are concerned, every car in every category offers the same basic package as every other.

Once upon a time, there were cars that didn’t offer the same basic package. There were cars that did things radically differently. Let’s take a look at the 1978 Citroen GS — a family car that did anything but tread the path of least resistance. Welcome back to The Carchive.

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Did the Lotus Elise kill the sports car?

No, of course it didn’t. What a stupid question. The sports car is not only alive and well, but in rude health. Look at that, I’ve answered my own question. Thank you and goodnight.

I think there’s more to say, though. When the Lotus Elise arrived out of the blue like an aluminium and fibreglass lightning bolt, it immediately redefined the sports car. It became the new standard bearer, the datum point from which all subsequent sports cars would be judged. And from that point onwards, the category seems to have become one without nuance. Judging by published reviews of the new Toyota co-developed BMW Z4, a car is now either a Sports Car or “Not a Sports Car”.

Why did things have to get so one-dimensional?

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The Toyota Land Cruiser Commercial is the poshest car you can buy today

Chris Haining November 2, 2018 All Things Hoon

In one hand, I hold a Faberge egg. Beautifully made, artistically conceived and definitely aimed towards the extremely well heeled. In the other, I hold a Savelli Champagne Diamond cellphone, inlaid with 395 white and cognac diamonds and running Android. One of these items is a guaranteed future heirloom, an instant blue-chip collectable that might never lose its value. The other is a mobile phone with a bunch of shiny bits glued on. By dint of being obscenely expensive, both are regarded as ‘luxury’ items.

SUVs, then. If you’ve got lots of money, you can buy a Range Rover, and be the envy of many. If you’ve rather more money, you can buy a Bentley Bentayga, and be the envy of Range Rover drivers. If several of your rap albums have gone platinum, you can roll in a Rolls Cullinan and be the envy of anybody who reads Hello magazine. Thing is, while any of the above are undoubtedly luxury cars, can they truly be regarded as posh?

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The Carchive: The 1976 Toyota Celica Coupe

With the weekend firmly in sight, and Last Call about to provide us with that final breath of relief that we’ve all been waiting for, lets just sneak a moment to look at something comfortingly familiar in this fast-paced, ever changing world we live in.

Last week we saw how Vauxhall marketed its Carlton, Viceroy and Senator towards Britain’s upwardly mobile in 1982, (desperately) placing the emphasis on status and prestige. Today we’re heading six years further back, and looking at what was definitely the first Toyota that sold on anything other than reliable engineering. It was Toyota UK’s answer to the Ford Capri. A sexy car for sexy people. Or something. Welcome back to The Carchive.

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The Carchive: Posh Vauxhalls from 1982 — Carlton, Viceroy, Royale

It’s Friday night, and the moment that literally some of you have been waiting for. It’s time to discard all that’s new and exciting in favour of the unloved, rusting and forgotten. Welcome back to The Carchive.

A fortnight ago we dissected the Citroen C3 Pluriel, and witnessed some truly whimsical marketing for what was an astoundingly individual — if cynically conceived — car, and quite unlike anything the company makes right now. It’s quite a contrast from the almost abrasively sober marketing of Vauxhall’s 1982 ‘big cars’ range, which ironically is also quite unlike anything the company makes right now.

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The Carchive: The Citroen Pluriel C3

Well, there goes another week, in which we nibbled away at the future a little bit more, and distanced ourselves slightly further from the familiar and the comforting. Yeah, I’m talking about the past. I’ve got bookcases full of the stuff, and surrounding myself with it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Like binge-watching the box-set of Blackadder. Again. Welcome back to The Carchive.

Last week we sat around the Redusernab campfire and discussed which cars we’re still amazed were given the green light for production. My nomination was this, the Citroen C3 Pluriel, and I promised you that I’d share the brochure with you this week. So here it is, in all its insane glory.

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The cars that you’re amazed were ever built

I was preparing for this week’s Carchive post and, unlike the chaotic bookcase landslide that led me to contemplate which stylish production car had the most disappointing interior, The Carchive remained neat and tidy and I found my target Citroen Pluriel brochure with very little fuss and bother.

But before I filleted, scrutinised and chronicled the publicity matter I had been looking for, my train of thought was derailed by the realisation that this was a car the likes of which could never conceivably make it into production today. In fact, that it was offered for sale in actual showrooms is still one of the more implausible notions of the 21st century motoring scene so far.

And it begs the question: Of all the cars that have been green-lit for production since roads were a thing, what’s the most baffling?

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The Carchive: The 1991 Fiat Tempra

It’s Monday, and as we gather momentum for the charge towards a weekend that seems a distant speck on the horizon, let’s pause for breath with a whimsical look at the past.

In 1991 my parents had a meeting with their mortgage advisor in Frinton-on-sea. I was ten years old and in dire need of entertainment while they were discussing interest rates and insurances, so what I really needed was a car magazine. Probably with money saving in mind, my Dad had the brilliant wheeze to eschew the newsagent at the other end of the street in favour of the Fiat dealer virtually opposite the mortgage office, from whence he would emerge with an armful of brochures for my entertainment. This one has been in my care for 27 years. Welcome back to The Carchive.

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