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sierraman

Undesirable specs

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Any car with Xantia on it circa 2000 judging from my attempts at selling one, ended up swapping it for a mondeo estate three years older and twice the mileage. It was still on the forecourt 9 months later. The mondeo did 40000 miles for me without so much as an exhaust or battery. Tyres and oil was all it had.

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80/90's big Mercedes don't feel quite right with a manual gearbox. Few sold in UK.

 

Any 50's car without a heater - whatever were they thinking - permanently steamed up in winter or even icing up inside the car (also no screenwashers of course).

 

50's or 60's cars with no cubby for a radio - radios had to be hung under the dash with meccano.

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Guest Hooli

 

 

I’m thinking manual XJ40’s in white with hubcaps and tweed trim? Almost unsaleable at the time.

With the lovely* 165bhp 2.9 single cam engine.

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Solid navy blue, white or dark solid green base model examples of cars like the mark 1 Focus and the Astra G, which were mainly fleet fodder when new and mainly Carcraft/Yes Car Credit fodder when two or three years old.

 

Of course, such cars make a lot of Autoshite sense now that they are very old  :mrgreen:

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Agressive base model cars ruined by decosting. Series II Morris Oxford nice 1500 B Series engine but if you were poor you could buy the Cowley a 1200. Probably same economy but you knew you were less deserving as it had slug like performance and no heater. Only lasted a couple of years before they put the 1500 back. 70mph top speed in 1956 was poor even then for a family car. Four up it must have been very slow.

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Agressive base model cars ruined by decosting. Series II Morris Oxford nice 1500 B Series engine but if you were poor you could buy the Cowley a 1200. Probably same economy but you knew you were less deserving as it had slug like performance and no heater. Only lasted a couple of years before they put the 1500 back. 70mph top speed in 1956 was poor even then for a family car. Four up it must have been very slow.

 

The Cowley is a great example of undesirable spec! 

 

Outsold 7-1 by the only slightly dearer Oxford, the equivalent Austin A40 Cambridge using the same 1200 engine was very quickly dropped by Longbridge. 

 

I don't even think the Cowley road-tested much above 65 mph but an awful lot of people were still buying their first post-war car in the mid fifties and many of those still unsure of cubic capacity as a measure of engine power.    It simply wasn't as important as it was to become.

 

Heaters were optional on Oxfords as well, it is just that most people paid for them.  Except a mate's Dad whose Minx de Luxe came without heater as he had spent the money on the wireless instead! 

 

There was a cut price Hillman, too - the Minx Special.  No chrome trim, unadorned rubber screen surrounds announced your poverty.  

 

They were the Escort Populars of their time, enabling price lists for their models to start at a lower level and probably appealing to fleet buyers to whom first cost was important and could buy enough cars to show an appreciable saving.   

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Any older basemodel BMW with grey interiors that aren't the biggest i6 or V8. There's absolutely no point in owning a 523i or 535i if you have identical running costs to the larger engines but with a noticeable drop in power, unless its impossible to find one of the bigger engined variants for a reasonable price, which is never the case. I don't understand people that settle for less for no good reason.

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Standard 8, 1953-5. No opening boot, sliding windows (not even wind-up), no grille, door cards and dash made of grained cardboard and heater comprising basically a circular biscuit tin with a tiny fan that recirculated the fug in the car to make it even fuggier :( Now that's what you call an undesirable spec.

 

Footnote: while rearching this I incredibly came across a photo of DAB 805, a 1939 Flying Standard 8, which my wife's great uncle owned for many years. I was offered it when he died in about 1980, but it had been standing in his shed for over 20 years, a tree had grown up in front of it and it needed most of the steering renewed and nothing was available new or used. In any case we had just moved and were in the middle of builing work so I had nowhere to either store or work on it. In the end it went to another relative who had a small engineering company, and he must have restored it because it still exists even with its original reg but now black instead of grey and rust :o Unfortunately the image is copy-protected, but available somewhere on the interweb.

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The Cowley is a great example of undesirable spec! 

 

Outsold 7-1 by the only slightly dearer Oxford, the equivalent Austin A40 Cambridge using the same 1200 engine was very quickly dropped by Longbridge. 

 

I don't even think the Cowley road-tested much above 65 mph but an awful lot of people were still buying their first post-war car in the mid fifties and many of those still unsure of cubic capacity as a measure of engine power.    It simply wasn't as important as it was to become.

 

Heaters were optional on Oxfords as well, it is just that most people paid for them.  Except a mate's Dad whose Minx de Luxe came without heater as he had spent the money on the wireless instead! 

 

There was a cut price Hillman, too - the Minx Special.  No chrome trim, unadorned rubber screen surrounds announced your poverty.  

 

They were the Escort Populars of their time, enabling price lists for their models to start at a lower level and probably appealing to fleet buyers to whom first cost was important and could buy enough cars to show an appreciable saving.   

Yes you have hit the nail on the head - using a base model you could quote  a low 'come on' price for your range at least getting people into the showroom. Also I suppose you could create a 'new' model at no cost , just by putting less bits on the car. But it does make you wonder whether any of it was worth it by the time the messing about on the production line had taken place involving two engines etc. Happy olden days.

 

Base models usually had rubber mats, I think the Ford Popular also dispensed with a second windscreen wiper!

 

Studebaker in the US had the Scotsman too...

 

http://www.curbsideclassic.com/automotive-histories/1957-1958-studebaker-scotsman-discount-life-preserver/

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1970s and 1980s model catalogues were full of marketing driven base models that mainly existed to create showroom traffic. Ford's Popular and Vauxhall's ES trim levels were typical and they were pretty stripped out and basic (so perversely very appealing now) but I'll wager that for every ten punters who expressed an interest in a Mk1 Fiesta Popular eight deals were done on Popular Plus variants.

 

These things also reinforced the company car pecking order, the most junior salesman could be dropped into an Escort Pop and after six months of hitting targets could expect a Pop Plus or even an L!

 

Mind you, are the base model Dacias today any different?

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I'll wager that for every ten punters who expressed an interest in a Mk1 Fiesta Popular eight deals were done on Popular Plus variants.

 

A bit later, with the Mark 3, Ford offered only one option on the Popular (a rear wiper) but a whole range of options on the Popular Plus. So a Popular really was only for those prepared to have the bare minimum.

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This remains one of the most unappealing cars I have ever come across:

 

36155571003_c3d2733584_c.jpg1997 Nissan Primera Equation. by Sam Osbon, on Flickr

 

Weird base model Primera which looks like a former poverty police car, it all round manual windows too.

The beige P10 Primeras they built in batches for the German taxi companies looked worse.

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Ford GL. I hate a GL. I get people buying an L because they just want transport, aren't fussed about bells and whistles but can see the base/Pop is for fleet buyers, but if you want a nice one, buy a Ghia! Really grinds my gears when a mint MK2 Escort/MK4 Cortina etc comes up for sale but it's a poxy GL.

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