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The best "Old School" cars of all time

By Edited Jul 4, 2016 0 0

The best "Old School" cars ever

The term “Old School” is used to describe something from a long time ago, that was fashionable and modern at that point in time, but no longer is. In some ways old school is retro. Old school cars are cars that were popular, desirable and the vehicles to have back in the day. What one person considers old school cars another person won’t, and this is the result of the generation gap.

The classic "Old School" RS Turbo. This was the model of car all the boy racers wanted to own, but due to high insurance (and running costs( it was out of the reach of most people under the age of 30. Fortunately, it was possible to modify a standard Ford Escort to look exactly like an RS Turbo.

The Classic RS Turbo

During my college years there were a variety of different cars available that were on the top of every young person’s wish list. These cars weren’t exotic cars, these cares weren’t luxury cars and neither were they that expensive or fast, yet despite this many people wanted them. These cars had a certain image, style and personality and they were the car to be seen driving. The cars of the day were the Ford Escort XR3-1, the Ford Escort RS Turbo, The Ford Fiesta XR2, the Ford Fiesta Turbo, the Peugeot 205 GTI, the Renault 5 GT Turbo, the Vauxhall Astra GTE, the Vauxhall Astra SRi, the Vauxhall Nova GTE and the Vauxhall Nova SR. During my college years these cars weren’t considered old school, because they were bang up to date, however as the years have rolled by these cars definitely are considered as old school by my peers.

Other than exotic cars, prestige cars and luxury cars, all of which are very expensive, I find modern day cars dull , boring and lacking any charisma. All of the old school cars of my college days had their own charm, and all of them were highly desirable cars in their own right. There were many people who wanted one of the various models but simply could not own one. The old school cars weren’t expensive to buy nor were they expensive to maintain and keep on the road, and they were well within the reach of most people. The problem with the old school cars was getting a valid insurance policy for them.

The old school cars were categorised as “hot hatch backs” by the insurance companies and this category of cars was considered a high risk. In order to get a valid auto insurance policy on a hot hatch back car you needed to be at least thirty years of age, have a minimum of five years no claims bonus, have no endorsements on your driving license and have an alarm fitted amongst many more stringent conditions. If you didn’t satisfy all the conditions imposed by the insurance company you would not get insured on these vehicles.

The Toyota Celica GT4.This is one of the most under rated Japanese cars on the road. With a twin entry turbo and 240bhp as standard the Celica GT4 is one mean machine that is a real hoot to drive, although it does drink the gas somewhat.

The Toyota Celica GT4

Even though many people could not get insured on the old school cars they were not deterred and found alternative ways of owning one of the hot hatch backs, although the cars owned weren’t the actual hot hatch back models.

Modifying the standard model of car to replicate the hot hatch back model became very popular. For example, many people would buy a standard 1400cc or 1600cc Ford Escort and then make it look like the Ford Escort XR3-i. By purchasing the XR3-i boot spoiler, the XR3-i body kit (consisting of a big front bumper, a big rear bumper and two side skirts) and the XR3-i alloy wheels it was possible to turn a standard Ford Escort in to a hot hatch back. Whilst the car would not have the same performance as the genuine hot hatch back, it would at least look like one and that is all that mattered. In those days speed didn’t matter much, and it was all about the looks.

By purchasing the bumpers, spoiler, side skirts and alloy wheels it was possible to replicate the hot hatch back model. This meant Peugeot 205 drivers could own a 205 GTi replica, Astra owners could own a GTE replica, Renault 5 owners could own a GT Turbo replica, and so on. Converting your standard car became the only legal way of getting a hot hatch back on the road for many people. The demand for bumpers, spoilers, side skirts and alloy wheels soared and so did the price. Buying brand new body parts was very expensive and the only way of sourcing the modifying parts was to go to a breakers yard, and it wasn’t long before the breakers spares started running low. The modifying scene lasted a few short years and then disappeared, as did the hot hatch back cars. It really was the end of an era.

Not really an "old school" car but a nicely modified car that was on show during a local meet.

A modified car - But what exactly is it?

The hot hatch back cars during my college years, i.e. my favourite old school cars, are very thin on the ground. I do occasionally see an old XR2 drive past or an RS Turbo and it always brings a smile to my face, however the cars are always in such a state they look like they shouldn’t be allowed on the road. There are a few old school cars owners clubs around and all of these regularly show their cars at car shows up and down the country, so if I want to see one of my old school cars I can always attend one of these shows.

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