This time last week I was racing along the deserted roads of Northern France in happy wonderment at just how well maintained they are. From A road to D road, they’re flat and fast, with rarely a fellow driver to be found.
Okay, so I guess I’ve probably extoled the virtues of enough Italian rustbuckets to last my five faithful readers a lifetime, so this week I’ll pop my patriotic hat on and spend my regulatory union tea break having a look at another wedge-shaped marvel,
There was a time when Mk I Ford Escorts were everywhere, absolutely everywhere, rather like the Yaris is today, the only differences being that the Ford had some character, and was usually moving slightly faster than a tectonic plate.
A while ago I wrote about my favourite one-make racing championship: the Coupe Gordini. There aren’t many more compelling cases to be made for getting a group of young hotshoes together to race an affordable little car on the most challenging circuits France had to offer,
I’ve done my fair share of grumbling here about the issues a typical Leyland customer might have experienced after taking delivery of their shiny new automobile, but I’m trying to turn over a new leaf.
Days of austerity these may well be, but back in the fifties, as Europe continued to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of WWII, things were pretty grim. With rationing still in effect and fuel prices high (especially following the Suez Crisis) the market was ripe for cheap, economical transportation, and into this berth trundled what would become known as the “bubble car”.
Give ’em a chance and they’ll build a car out of anything, from the hair-raising balsa wood Formula 2 Protos (rather you than me, Pedro) to a Skoda made of sponge, there seems no limit to our desire to escape the shackles of steel.
On the face of it the Delta might just seem like a boxy hatchback – another exercise in angularity from the ruler of Mr Giugiaro, and one likely subject to the same rust worm that had blighted Lancia’s gorgeous Beta.
As an inveterate car-spotter, always on the lookout for old classics, one occasionally sees a Renault 4 or Vauxhall Viva sitting dented and unloved by the kerb, and it never fails to stir my preservationist instincts.