29 July 2015

The Nostalgia Factor

There is an appreciation for past time everyday motors.

OLDER, mundane everyday cars that were once common place and now a pretty rare sight, can gain appreciation. Cars that were once considered bangers, and when the numbers of these particular cars quietly vanish away could become a classic in their own right.

Whether that car in question is a classic is debatable. In its day and generally speaking, some these of old timers when new may not have been exceptional - some were even terrible and not necessarily remembered for the right reasons. They don't make their mark in history that bona fide classics do, because they my not have been glamorous, interesting or exciting in their day.

Many car enthusiasts will take note when they see that car pootling about, and then ask themselves: "When did I last see one of these?" Or say that "I can't remember the last time I saw one of those ". If they or someone they knew (like their Mum or Dad) owned one of those cars, the nostalgia kicks in. Memories come flooding back of the car. Of the adventures they had in it, and the experiences they had of the car.

Here's one car as an example, the Ford Escort MKIV (pictured above). When in production and on sale from 1986 to 1990, it was Britain's best selling car at the time. A competent albeit an unexceptional all rounder.

Is it a classic?

OK, so the XR3is and RS Turbos are pretty sought after these days. The prices of them are rising and pretty much regarded as a classic. The stock Escorts probably less so. What were once a common sight in the 1980s and 1990s, these Escorts are a pretty rare right these days.

Should you see another MKIV Escort on the road, you will probably take note - especially if you or someone you know that owned one. If you grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, it's very likely that you will have memories of one and probably get nostalgic talking about it.

Dare I say, seeing or driving one of these old timers are probably as evocative as a Ferrari - an Escort Popular is probably rarer than most cars that bear The Prancing Horse. People that drive old timers like an old Escort will want to re-kindle and connect with the memories of the car they or their parents drove. Or it could even be a car that they hankered over buying when they were a teenager.

I was very pleased to see that there is an appreciation of mainstream motors from years gone by. Festival of the Unexceptional that taken place last weekend, is a more obscure classic car event showcased  more mundane, if unexciting older cars from the past.

Whilst cars like an Applejack green Austin Allegro, or a base Ford Sierra 1.6L on display at the show may not set the world alight or capture peoples' imaginations. The memories that re-kindle many enthusiasts is what makes the Festival of the Unexeptional unique with the nostalgia factor.

It's unfortunate that I didn't go to Festival of the Unexceptional. Next year, I will love to attend the event. A date to put down in my calendar come 2016.

1 comment:

  1. The mk4 Escort is a car that everyone knew someone who had one.

    We had one briefly in the family, a tidy little red 1.3 litre basic spec example.
    My uncle had the rarer 3 door estate, a variant that seemed to have died off as hatchbacks became more estate-shaped.

    My view is that of banger valley.

    In the 90s mk4 Escorts were everywhere, a decent used banger.

    They are ten to a penny, many are scrapped, until eventually they reach rock bottom.

    Then, at some point, as you say, people start to say they haven't seen one in ages, and prices and desirability go back up for remaining examples.

    The Sierra has been through it, the mk1 Mondeo is slowly climbing back.

    Early today I saw a mint Rover 600 driven by a lost looking elderly gentleman, it may be a mid 90s car but I don't know when I last saw one.


Have your say and leave a reply...