What’s the worst ‘limited edition’ car ever made?
It has to be the RB10…it never worked for me!
Mk6 Escort Mexico – shameful and inexcusable sullying of a Moniker that stood for fast Ford fun…
For interior alone, I would nominate the 1987 Astra Club. This gem came trimmed in stripes of cream, grey and cat bile yellow. In a material that lasted about as long a hymen in a South London comprehensive.
Austin Allegro Vanden Plas. Horrific adornment of one of the great automotive turds with a faux Rolls-Royce grillette and polished walnut picnic tables. The thought of it even now makes me do a small wee.
Rover 200 BRM – the green one with a red mouth
Allegro Vanden Plas. An object lesson in wasting perfectly good Brasso on a turd.
Hahaha. Great minds ^^^^
Renault Vel Satis
The Peugeot 106 Kid. Make a reasonable small car more appealing to young folk by:
1. Trimming the seats in denim
2. Removing the rear wiper to save 50p
3. Limiting available colours to red or white
4. Deleting the standard radio cassette, the one thing the yoofs always wanted
Result? They nearly all sold to pensioners.
Repeat excercise with a different name every summer in time for perceived sales rush (that never happened).
So back in the late 80s (or possibly very early 90s) my mum had a Nissan Sunny which was a special edition. I wish I could remember the name of it, but what made it special was that it came in British Racing Green, and had some gold accents on it – in the shape of a thin decal stripe that ran up the bonnet and over the roof. There was a small break in the sticker on the bonnet, and between that gap the owner of the car got their initials (or was it a first name) in a sort of cursive script applied to the car. I think it might have had the it applied to the rear of the car also.
I wish I could remember more about how it looked. All I seem to remember is that it was a monumental turd of a car, and that I seemed to get car sick in the backseat if we were in it for any length of time. It was sold on to someone who didn’t have the same initials (or name) as my mum, so he had to take them off the car.
I think it might have been called a gold leaf, but the internet seems to know nothing of this truly terrible car.
I’m disallowing the Allegro Vanden Plas on the grounds that it was a series production model and not a limited edition.
It’s got to be the VW Polo Harlequin.
So many colours, I’d love to know what it said on the V5…
Honda Civic Jordan.
Basically a yellow Civic with bees on it.
Bah. OK, I’ll fold my Allegro and raise you the Mercedes SLR Stirling Moss. An irrelevant upgrade to an unnecessary car, and a woefully failed homage to the greatest driver never to etc etc.
Any of the special edition MINIs. The Knightsbridge, Camden, Kensington, et al. Nasty cynical marketing things.
I’ll rethink if they release the MINI Cockfosters.
Every single bugatti veyron special edition. If the total vehicle production run is less than 500 units total, it’s not a special edition.
Zonda – meant to be limited edition, isn’t, at all. . . . . Or Escort Cosworth that cost twice as much to insure as it did to buy….
The Vauxhall Corsa “Limited Edition”. I swear that there’s more of them than regular Corsas. Plus, the Corsa is a hateful car.
The Vauxhall Nova & Astra/Belmonte ‘Merit’ only for the irony.
shoddy repair work should never be mass produced!
Mk.V Ford Cortina Crusader.
Parts-bin special run-out edition; it came out of the showroom like it had already been f**ked about by some boy racer in the spares department as a joke.
* Pin stripes on side *and* bonnet with wide plastic rubbing stips as well, just to make it look really fussy..
* 2 tone paint in a range of clashing colours if multiple go-faster stripes weren’t enough.
* Deptford Moto-World beauty rings for the wheels.
* Fake axminster carpets
* Fake Granada seats
* World of Pine door cappings & dashboard.
* Same shit engines and handling though.
VW Harlequin V5 would say this:
Vehicle colour: MULTI-COLOUR
Has to be the Citroen C4 ‘By Loeb’
How to honor your own brand and star driver for winning the WRC NINE TIMES IN A ROW? With a 300bhp rival to the Focus RS of course! Oh no, wait, actually we’ll just take a bog standard C4 and put some stickers on it, without any upgrades what-so-ever – so you can look like a knob when driving it.
Disgracefully miserable shambles of a ‘special edition’ car.
Volvo 240 Torslanda for me – not because the Torslanda is a bad spec, it isnt, but because Volvo were flogging at a hefty premium the very end of production of a car little changed from when it was introduced in 1977 and had been superceded twice with the 740 and 940 by the time that the Torslanda was launched in 1992!
Sorry, the Volvo 200 series started in 1974, not 1977, making the Torslanda’s underpinnings a mere 19 years old at the time it was finally canned in 1993!
JPS Mk2 Capri, Why? The JPS Lotus F1 car was a Lotus, not a Ford! Just a load of Gold pinstripes on a Capri!
I knew someone who had one, and he died of a smoking related illness and you can’t get worse than that, QED this was the worst special edition ever!
@Shitroen, Surely the sister car, the C2 ‘By Loeb’ is even worse? A standard C2 VTS with red paint and some stickers. At least Seb actually drove the C4 in WRC, the C2 not so much.
My vote would go to any number of limited editions based on a ‘below poverty spec’ production version that dealer networks used to be so fond of.
Example: My mum’s 1986 Nissan ‘Micra Medallion’, a real austerity icon (no rear wiper, only driver’s side door mirror etc.) which had been whipped up to commemorate the 1986 Commonwealth Games by the local Edinburgh franchise Belmont Nissan (nee Datsun) as part of a range including ‘Sunny Sprint’ and, I’m sure, ‘Bluebird Boxer’.
I’m sure there was a ‘Javelin’ in there too, but I’m struggling to recall a suitably alliterative contemporary Nissan model.
What did you get for your special edition cash then? Nothing less (or more) than a tasteful Commonwealth Games graphic on each front door, reassuringly applied at an angle guaranteed to be nearly, but not quite, straight.
I hate to admit this, but I am driving my daughters Metro Kensington, in Met Red. with a car like this, I can quite understand my the UK motor industry went tits up.
Did Princess Di have one? Contraption is too nice word. Coming from a Citroen C1, the Metro seems utterly primitive. You should see the looks I get filling up…
At least the Jordan was based on the VTi and not some chronically underpowered base model. Honda also had a legitimate tie-up with Jordan F1 at the time so not really a tenuous link.
I’m giving that one a pass.
I’d have said the MG6 GT BTCC but then Willy Wang did the impossible and brought us the 90th Edition, so I am torn as to which…sod it, the BTCC with its Gay Pride logos is worse…stitched 90th logos in the head rest probably qualifies as the worst!
I expect Sniff will disallow it but the 2.0 8V Golf Mark 3 should NOT have been designated a GTI, given that it could be outrun by a milk cart.
The Frank Sinatra Chrysler Imperial is a strong contender, though mostly because it was a 1981 Chrysler Imperial. It did come with 10 cassettes of Sinatra songs though, and a built in spot to carry them.
I’ll agree with a previous suggestion for once by going for the God awful Rover 200 BRM
The “Rover” Metro Rio.
Whilst it was called Rio, it never danced on the sand and was, frankly, nothing like that river twisting through a dusty land. Never really shone, either, etc.
For Philip’s benefit, the Torslanda was, I believe, actually 2 model runs, the first being in 1991 (H plate a few left until J, red and silver only) and the second being 1992-1993 (red, silver and white).
As for being sold at a premium, it was a budget option as it was a DL with 14” lattice-spoke alloys and some aesthetically marginal stripes at the bottom of the doors. The SE, with such “luxury,” items as velour seats, padded head restraints and electric mirrors / windows was about another £3k.
(apologies for the geek knowledge; my dad chopped in his ’84 240 GLE for one of these in 1991…and waited for it to be a J plate. I then had the “good fortune,” to learn to drive in the car handling forgot in 1997. The heated seats were, at least, quite good.)
Peugeot 205 Style
– on the grounds that it had none.
For me it was the Fiat Seicento “Michael Schumacher” edition. The list of differences to a standard Abarth version: “chrome gear stick surrounds and Michael’s signature on the boot lid and side skirt”.
Michael Schumacher won 7 world championships and you honour him with that?
Harlequin models’ “V5 colour” is the colour of their rear quarter panels/C-Pillars 😉
Considered saying the Aston Martin Dominator but not sure if Brunei Editions count?
If not, my first car – MG Metro. Red seatbelts, metric tyres, massively expensive wheel trims that either fell off or were nicked, white paint to highlight the coming rust (fond memories of finding a brownish patch one day, bubbles the next, and a hole by the end of the week).
The VW Golf Pink Floyd/Rolling Stones/Bon Jovi edition(s)
Nothing could be further from rock ‘n roll, well that is not unless the ever do a Black rebel Motorcycle Club edition the of VW Up!
I used to think the Metro Jet Black was the coolest car (ahem). There was also a Red Hot edition, but I thought that was too brash.
Now there’s 3 Jet Blacks left, compared to 1 Red Hot, so history has proved me right.
My vote goes to the Mini Advantage, a tennis themed car which appeared to have no obvious advantage to it.
I never saw another one on the road, I suspect that (like mine) the net decal along the entire side had been peeled off.
Range Rover Westminster – not a bad car but what a naff name choice. Similarly Mini Clubman Hampton – just as well they didn’t call it the Hampton Wick or do a Huge Hampton Countryman…
Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you the winner. The Austin Rover MG Metro Mark 2 “Nigel Mansell” edition.
France always had a soft spot for co-branded limited editions. But for one good co-branding project, like the Roland-Garros Peugeots or the Renault Twingo Kenzo, there’s a boatload of rubbish ones with the oddest sponsors.
Want proof ?
Mini “Twinings”, Mini “After Eight”, Citroën C2 “Tic-Tac”, Renault Mégane “L’Equipe” (sports newspaper), Toyota Yaris “Stargate SG-1” (yes, the TV series), Fiat Punto “Orange” (yes, that Orange, you got a mobile phone with the car), Citroën Saxo “Tiscali-Liberty Surf” (former internet access provider, came with a mobile phone), Chrysler Voyager “Compaq” (you got a free Compaq PDA), Chrysler Voyager “ToysRus” (you got free toys in the boot), Austin Metro “Schweppes” (you didn’t get free bottles), Suzuki Jimny “Jacques Dessange” (haircare products), Lancia Phedra “Le Phare de la Baleine” (no, me neither), and probably the most pointless of them all, the Saab 9-3 & 9-5 “Celebrity”. Doesn’t ring a bell ? Well it’s a tie-in with a Woody Allen movie from 1999, of course ! How parisian.
The 1977 Lincoln Continental Bill Cosby edition. Came with a free bottle of rohypnol in the glove box and full reclining front seats.
I would like to suggest my daughters Nissan Micra ‘Music’ on the grounds that the stereo didn’t work.
Re: BeachHut’s suggestion of the Cortina Crusader, I was told that the Crusader came about after a batch of Cortina’s were stored in a field which flooded. this required the carpet and seats to be replaced and the rusty bottom half of the car to be repainted. Due to paint matching problems it was done in a different colour and joined by the pin-striping. (allegedly)
I couldn’t pick one, because I don’t have several days, but the answer is obviously one of the hundreds of VW Beetle special editions.
My favourite was always the Vauxhall Nova spin. I was never sure if that was an offer or an instruction.
Chrysler TC by Maserati
2001 Lincoln Blackwood Neiman Marcus Edition
In Australia, the Nissan Pulsar Reebok edition where you got a free pair of runners with your car.
Anything that involves the words “Limited Edition”…
How about the BMW 3 series Nelson Mandela Democracy edition? Each one of the limited run of 10 cars was signed by the man to mark 10 years of democratic rule in South Africa…..
Holden Commodore Royal from about 1980. While the ordinary Commodore came with a 3.3 litre 6 cylinder or 4.2 litre V8 or a 5.0 litre V8, the Royal came with a 1.9 litre 4 cylinder engine and a 4 speed manual gearbox. It also came only in blue with gold pinstripes, and the number plates all started with ER. As Gordon said – it was the below poverty spec model. You could count on one hand how many were sold.
My suggestion would be the AMC Pacer Levi´s Edition. Not at all as successful as it’s siblings Gremlin and Hornet.
Any Vauxhall vehicle with the word ‘Elegance’ on it.
I’m afraid empirical proof is needed on the Polo Harlequin and I have it. Stick P477EUK into total car check .co .uk and you will see it’s listed as multi-colour
Not a strong contender but I find FN2 Civic Type-R’s number plaques sligthly ironic. The whole plaque thing is meant to provide a sense of exclusivity but an eight-thousand-something number on it defies the whole point.
In the early 90’s I worked in a Saab dealership in Leeds and they took in as a part ex a mk3 ford escort rse (ringways special edition) that had a wide arch body kit and white paint with the blue stripe going round the body aka mk1 escort Mexico. The only problem with it was it was based on a bog standard 1.3l with the worst alloys ford ever made that were too narrow to fill the arches!!!
Looked good from a distance though. If that distance was the next town for example.
What about the Volkswagens with Rockstar themes:
Golf Bon Jovi, Genesis and Rolling Stones…..
I remember my mum having a Golf Madison. With different wheelstrims, some striping and a clock….
Fiat Panda Italia 90 edition, with the football wheeltrims?
….and the best ever LE has to be the Allegro Equipe “Now even VROOMIER”
Douglas Bader ordered one that had to be converted to an auto.
Never have so many been sold to so few….
Nearly forgot. The Ford Fiesta Dash.
Anyone expecting a budget XR2 with a healthy “0-60 dash” was
in for a disappointment; white plastic wheel trims and matching go slower stripe to match the standard 1100cc lump
as Dash was some budget ladies clothes brand. Ka Primark anyone?
@Discoballs: Flooded field Cortina story difficult to verify since every one I every rode in smelled of mould anyway.
While McLaren were producing the McLaren F1, Williams gave their name to a Renault Clio. Oh dear, Sir Frank – that’s right up there with signing Pastor Maldonado.
Elegance wasn’t a Vx limited edition, it was a trim level. But in typical naming vagiary, it was the base level.
I’d love to know what you got with a Toyota Yaris “Stargate SG-1″ edition?
How about the Lotus Elan S2 M100 – Limited to 800 because there were 800 Isuzu engines left.
I believe that the Mini Advantage was going to be called the Mini Wimbledon but nobody at the LTA would sanction it. They’re no mugs!
There was a Rover 214 Sprint ( and maybe even an earlier generation 216 Sprint…) that was a “wheel trim and graphics” LE just to try and shift a few more of the slow-selling 3-doors.
The Vauxhall Viva “S”, which came in a revolting “metallic Kermit” shade of green, with an electric radio aerial which was probably more powerful than the engine; especially in mine, where the engine had been stuffed with sawdust, the front brakes were half seized, and the steering rack was – ah – worn out. The guy who sold it to me said “it’s a heil car”, which is presumably Aberdonian for “dangerous, worn out wreck”.
Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel.
Rover Metro Tahiti (1.1), like all of the Metro ‘Special’ editions it was a truly awful, pathetic, hateful car. What the hell was What Car? Magazine smoking back in 1991? They awarded the Rover Metro ‘Car of the Year’.
Got to agree with Lewis (congrats on the championship, btw), has to be the Fiat Seicento Michael Schumacher edition. [politically incorrect comment deleted, on reflection] If you want to see how rubbish it was, click on the website link above, read the rant, and then follow the link to the pictures. I’m not sure who was more stupid: the owner for buying that rubbish or Schumacher for (presumably) agreeing to it.
I have a soft spot for the Viva.
If it wasn’t named Viva the Macc Lads could not have rhyhmed it with “beaver”.
Following on from the aforementioend Peugeot 205 Style, may I offer up it’s bigger brother, the 309 Style, replete with rubber real spoiler and, if i remember correctly, a GTI-esque front spoiler yet skinny steel wheels with trims. My parents had one.
MkII Ford Fiesta “Festival”
At the time (mid-eighties), Ford charged a premium for a car that only seemed to add white wheel trims and a jaunty script for the badging, over and above the basic 1100cc L model.
I came to this late and can’t believe nobody has mentioned the winner, which is, of course, the Rover 25 ‘StreetWise’
So I win.
I’ll risk controversy by nominating the 1986 Mercedes Benz AMG ‘Hammer’… 396bhp V8 rwd, for the word ‘hammer’ substitute ‘lethal’.
Also the smoothly named BMW Individual 760Li Sterling Robbe & Berking Edition. Real silver trim if you please. Tin of Silvo not supplied.
Didn’t Fiat do some Gucci limited edition thing?
I think the genuinely bad special editions are the dealer specials from the 80’s and 90’s. Perhaps with a funky Caribbean name, but still log booked as an LX, but no additional features other than a set of sunset logos and a grossly inflated screen price. With no guide value you could stack up enough margin to jumble the figures around to bail anyone out of their current £4000 negative equity snotter and into a beige Tropicana with boot spoiler.
I went out with a girl once who had a Talbot Matra Samba – I didn’t say anything at the time because I had a J series Cavalier (GLi, no less).
Ford Granada Chasseur – pretentious? moi?
Vauxhall Astra Antibes c.1986
Based on the boggo Merit, with wheel trims painted white, migraine inducing patterned cloth seats, and an electric aerial.
Aston Martin Cygnet and Collette
VW Golf Mk1 Genesis special edition (bugger, mentioned already!)(turn it off, turn it on again. I can feel it coming in the air tonight….)
Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel edition (bugger, mentioned already!)(WTF!!! Use the name for something that will at least look quick!)
Peugeot 306 Genoa
Peugeot 306 Spinnaker
Peugeot 306 Meridian
Renault Clio Be Bop
AMC Concord D/L (no relation to plane, don’t even think it’s a special, but on a wee car (for ‘States) wood dash with digital clock, landau roof, colour keyed wheel covers, red velour. No extra charge, but sick in my mouth)
Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon (sports mirrors, A-Team-ish but wider stripes down the side, trim rings, sports rallye package and porthole windows. On a van).
Renault 5 Le Car (ok, more Stateside, they dropped the ‘5’ and not really a special, but in the same way Ferrari LaFerrari sounds weird, doesn’t printing Le Car down the side look muppetish?)
Ford Escort Harrier (Mk4 & 5)
Skoda Fabia Ambiente (I know it’s more a trim level than a special. Still, sounds like they couldn’t used the word Ambience due to Trading Standards, so went down the L’Oreal Nutrisse route).
Austin Metro Gala special edition (must be a Austin Mini Village Fete somewhere!!!!)
Austin Metro ARX. The red seat belts were a lovely contrast to the grey seats with the red piping which in turn complimented the silver grey coachwork that within six months was contrasted by the red streaks of rust erupting from the rear wheel arches. I didn’t speak to my mother for buying that. Trouble is she still goes on about what a lovely car that was. She is 89 and ………
The Pontiac Aztec with the tent that fitted around the rear hatchback. You know it is bad when the Americans try to do hatchbacks.
How about the dealer special edition Mk4 Escort XR3i Rattlesnake?
Or the ridiculously wide-bodied Mattig Vauxhall Astra Mk2 GTE? Although I desperately craved one of these when I was 17! Especially with it’s cartoonishly wide (non driven) rear wheels.
And whilst we’re on the subject of Vauxhalls, there always seemed to be something awful about anything sold by Vauxhall dealers in the 1980s which had an Irmscher badge, or Irmscher bodykit, or those bloody round Irmscher headlight conversions, or just those naff ruddy grey, silver and yellow Irmscher flashes.
Plenty of nasty limited editions in France:
Citroen Saxo Bic (Yes the biro) complete with pen top style door locks springs to mind.
Renault Twingo Perrier anyone?
Or the Peugeot 206 Xbox 360 ?
If you have a product, a French car manufacturer will stick a decal on one of their models and get some mug to pay them to advertise it for you.
Vauxhall Adam Grand Slam
Citroen C4 Loeb edition
yes it was red, yes it had white wheels, no it was not a rally rep.
they even did a mega 110bhp diesel !!
citroen cleaned up with Loeb in WRC but they never capitalised with a hero model whilst renault grabbed all the french hot hatch credits with various clio/megane nutteur models
There’s a Vauxhall Adam Jam too.
I don’t know if it comes with a popular four-piece beat combo or a fruit-based spread.
The MkIV Escort ‘Bonus’ deserves a mention, if only for the fact that it came without headrests, rear wipers, rear speakers, choice of colours, any identifiable power from whatever engine they’d found behind the bins in Dagenham or any indeed point at all.
Don’t Infinity sell a ‘Limited’ version in America? Seemed slightly at odds with any kind of reason too.
(I have a signed photo of Skid Carrera coming second in an altercation at Rockingham on my study wall. What a small world!)
The worst was the Metro Red & Metro White…and I worked at Austin Rover at the time. The rationale was excellent.
Malcolm Harbour’s secretary and Trevor Taylor’s Secretary who were two brummie dolls a bit like the brunnie version of Jade Goody pestered their bosses that we need a couple of limited editions like Renault and Vauxhall had done.Marketing and Styling were dead against it but were forced to produce two cars and then show them internally and a vote was taken.
Marketing argued that they were two dogs (the cars) that did not enhance anything and would have a detrimental effect.
Styling werre crying when told to paint the windscreen wipers in body colour as well as anything else black.
The car looked as chavved up as could be and despite receiving a thumbs down by everyone it still got though. What i remember most was one the gals saying ‘ it luks really luvly its beautiful” in a broad brume voice…I left shortly after
Evan Salway is almost spot on – Vauxhall Belmont Club…
My parents bought one – it must have been cheap. The seat trim was so garish that they bought covers within a week. Proper poverty spec car, with an AM/LW radio (not even FM and tapes would have been a luxury) and only speakers in the front.
Fondly remembered for exposing my young fragile little mind to all the swear words my Dad knew, as it did not have the power to overtake a tractor on the way back to the ferry on a French holiday. And for breaking down on another holiday, and thus being the first car I remember fixing.
The “Talbot Matra Samba”???? Ain’t no such thing, bro.
Be cool, and don’t bring none of those Suzuki X-90 mothers with the Red Bull cans on the back into the ‘hood. Otherwise YOU’LL be a very limited edition. You dig?
Hyundai Accent Atlantic. One would have thought that the chappies who built it might have found a more productive way of spending their way, such as polishing a turd…
Hyundai Accent Atlantic. One would have thought that the chappies who built it might have found a more productive way of spending their time, such as polishing a turd.
We enjoyed a Citroen ZX Elation for a while, managing to change the rear badge to something far more amusing thanks to judicious use of a black marker pen.
Endlessly amusing of course until the day came to sell, and an elderly local lady came to view it. Never has a seller used so much white spirit within the space of 60 seconds.
Porsche 911 Sport Classic. Ducktail spoiler, shit retro wheels, finished in primer grey. Bloody awful.
That reminds me – a mate had a Honda Civic Hawaii to which another mate decided to add “Five-0”, etched in with the sharp end of a key.
Unfortuntaley mis-spelled “Five” as “C**t” however, which made resale tricky.
Everything is the same as in the stock option + some do not need expensive option three
Gonna have to say any of the Peugeot Quicksilver editions. Gaudy grey stickers down the sides and usually a weedy 1.1 engine. Nothing says Quicksilver like a slow van with windows…
@Nev – they are talented at the ultimately-disappointing marketing are the French. Take the Peugeot 309 Special Equipment, ought to have ejection seats and a nitro boost, instead of the tilt sunroof and rear wiper this edition offered. Same went for the Zest special – green seatbelts anyone? That is my vote for a bad limited edition as you compare it to the sublime-in-a-straight-line 309 GTi or GT16.
The Clio Williams was pretty good, 16-valve engine and nice blue paint job with gold wheels and body stripes, if I remember correctly.
A mildly amusing anecdote from back then:
I was working for Benetton Formula when the Clio Williams came out, and we had the Renault engine along with Williams. The chief designer’s daughter was learning to drive so Rory B ordered a Clio for his company car so she could use it too; a white 16-valve duly showed up.
Rory was a keen cricketer and of course the top man was one F Briatore.
When asked why he didn’t go for the Williams edition Rory answered “I don’t think Flav would approve – and you can’t play cricket with no kneecaps”.
I suspect he had a point…
The “Volvo 480 Celebration”, which should be a new example in the dictionary for the word Oxymoron – right up there with shops called “Perfect Kebab”.
It did mark the end of 480 production which might be seen as a cause for celebration.
My Dad worked for Volvo and had a 480 to test before it officially launched in the UK. I think it was one of the first cars to have ABS – which worked by vibrating the brake pedal so badly, you’d fracture your ankle – thus stopping the wheels from locking.
First production car with ABS. Was Jensen FF launched 1966….
An LE in its own right?
If limited editions are about getting more for less, then the ultimate has to be the six wheeler Panther 6. They only made 2, which is the ultimate number for a limited edition (making only one, means its a one off, making 3 means there are 2 others)
All special editions have more than a whiff of sadness about them. Usually the only emotion you can summon up is pity. Pity for the poor sod of a salesman who had to get up on Monday morning realising that his commission this month was dependent upon shifting something with a pop top sunroof, stripes and a badge that for some unknown reason said “Tropical” on it. You feel pity for the poor fool at the wheel. They were so misguided and knew so little that the aforementioned desperate salesman persuaded then that a Citroen C6 Benylin was a wise investment. The more pitiful prospect is that the driver knew what they were doing and was looking forward to the admiring glances from other road users when they saw his BMW 116i Dropsy. Worst of all are the sad car wonks who now, thirty years on, seek out these pitiful special editions. How many times have your eyes flicked around a room at a social gathering as you desperately searched for someone to come and rescue you from the Golf GTi Anniversary owner?
So working on the understanding that all special editions are sad, pitiful things it’s a pointless task trying to rank them in order of awfulness. I’d put a vote in for a special edition which brought something genuinely innovative to the party. With its alloy wheels, fancy paint, stickers, mudflaps, carpets, sunroof and radio upgrade the Renault 5 Soleil was straight out of the run out model desperation playbook. It needed something to differentiate it and after too much wine Renault slammed the ball into the back of the net.
Here’s an amusing tale about the Mini Advantage.
Years ago, my old man bought my Mum a Mini Advantage, but on the way home, the engine started making the “death rattle”. Keen not to lose face, my Dad locked himself and the stricken Mini in his garage for a few days, pausing only to take clandestine delivery of an exchange engine, which he duly fitted.
At the time, he told my mother he was servicing her new car, and “giving it the once over”.
I’m fairly sure she didn’t believe him.
I’d say it’s a toss up between the Ford Escort Popular “Plus” and Ford Sierra Chasseur.
I’m sure the Escort was quite popular but there wasn’t much of the Plus about it.
The Chasseur I believe was named after a light infantry unit, no doubt because someone at Ford thought it sounded sophisticated but in my mind (doing French GCSE at the time), it was just an shoe. Or perhaps a load of old cobblers.
I think the MG Metro should get an honourable mention for it’s legendary painted wheels which apparently didn’t grip the tyres at all and allowed the tyres to rotate around them under heavy braking which sounds quite alarming.
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Well-oiled car journalist ROY LANCHESTER recalls a legendary festive party
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