I found a 1995 issue of Autocar and it is littered with pure gold

I've selected my highlights

3y ago

Last weekend I ventured home to North Wales on a five hour drive in the Fiat Panda 100HP. Other than discovering that an Italian hot hatch with the suspension of a tin tray wasn't the best choice to tackle this expedition, I also discovered a hidden gem from the very beginning of my automotive addiction.

I was sifting through my magazines I had hoarded over the years, the majority of which were GQ magazines I now realise were full of content completely irrelevant to a 15 year old from North Wales with £42 in his bank account, and I came across a solitary issue of Autocar from January 1995.

I was at the impressionable age of six at this point, so the information in this magazine would shape my motoring preferences beyond my control for years to come. Having now re-read this issue, I can see where some of my 'niche' opinions originated from.

Without further ado, here are my highlights from the 18th January 1995 Autocar issue. (I realise how unbelievably boring that sounds, but I promise there is some funny stuff in here.)

Clarkson confusion?

When Jeremy came into the DriveTribe offices recently, the first thing that sprung into mind was his resemblance to... Barry White.

Bugatti falls on hard times

"Bugatti's only possible automotive partner is the much-hated Fiat.'

I think it is fair to say that Bugatti came good... This man, Romano Artioli, had to sell his stake in Proton because of the financial implications of Bugatti's insolvency. Every cloud I guess...

Stupendous adverts

I love a bad advert. There is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing millions of pounds spent on a campaign and it all boiling down to a shit advert. The '90s had some crackers such as the following:

First up is this Vauxhall advert. I mentioned how much I hate the Tigra before and I think this is where it came from.

"Do you iron creases into your jeans?"

"Do you plump up the cushions on your sofa?"

"You won't like the new Tigra at all."

I've edited it slightly:

"Do you own clothes?"

"Do you have eyes?"

"You probably won't like the new Tigra at all... because it is absolutely shite."

Next up is the most ambition advert to have ever been created.

I have no clue how a boardroom full of people managed to keep a straight face when they decided on this as the tag line to sell the Hyundai Accent.

One of the selling points you might not be able to read due to my horrendous photography skills is a 'Rear spoiler.' What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a huge step forward in scientific discovery. Hyundai, in 1995, managed to make a spoiler that creates a measurable amount of downforce at 37mph on the B3022 from Slough to Bracknell.

'90s Motorsport nostalgia

The year that I fell in love with motorsport was the year Colin McRae became the first ever British champion of WRC. This Rally season guide was my bible and lay the groundwork for my love affair with '90s performance cars along with the British Touring Car Championship. This unfortunately happened to a lot of other people my age as I can still not afford my '90s heroes as my generation of petrolheads have all been hit by the nostalgia bug at the same time... I just want a Mitsubishi EVO Tommi Mäkinen Edition for god's sake. Is that too much to ask?

The icing on the cake

There were so many things I could have included in this article, such as:

- The terrible Jaguar X400 concept that looked like a baby S-Type that had been left in the sun too long.

- The Ford Ka concept that looked better than the final product

- Saab's concept where they looked to launch a new baby car (that didn't work out)

- The promise of a £10,000 Ford Probe that no-one wants

However, I have decided to finish on something that isn't really car related, but trust me, it is worth it.

I discovered what trying to get a date with a stranger looks like before Tinder and the actual internet.

Ladies and gentleman behold:

I'm going to ask you all to answer question 9. Which of the three pictures do you prefer?

We all love a bit of nostalgia, this is certainly my oldest motoring magazine but my favourite would have to be the 1999 Top Gear magazine with the Ferrari F50 v the '80s Ferrari F1 car.

Have you got any old magazines stored away? Let me know in the comments.

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Comments (7)

  • As much as advertising a rear spoiler sounds stupid, it's still being utilised here. And worst of all, it bloody works.

      3 years ago
  • James, you really should have had everyone fill in the blanks: The Hyundai Accent. When all you want is everything. But all you can afford is ________. (Suggestions - Ramen noodles, a pre-owned Yugo, or a rusty bicycle)

      3 years ago
  • Blast from the past here. It was the year before I left for uni and i remember those ads. I quite probably had this issue.

      3 years ago
  • January 1990, the first edition of AutoWeek, featuring the 525 bhp 035, Bugatti’s answer to the 959 and F40. Happy days 😊

      3 years ago