The most well-known Throwback Thursdays of 2015 – by the archives

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BL’s unseen concepts, 28 April 1993


BL’s unseen concepts, 28 April 1993

A look back at 2015’s most well-known Throwback Thursday pieces, as chosen by our readers

The Autocar archives have long been a source of great stories, as well as 2015 has provided us with plenty of blasts by the past.

Whether the item’s driving by Land’s End to John O’Groats on one tank of fuel or driving Ford’s 196mph Supervan, our Throwback Thursday articles have shone fresh light on these motoring adventures.

Spanning four decades of our 0-year history, here are the top 10 most-read Throwback Thursday articles featured in 2015.

1 – BL’s unseen concepts, 28 April 1993

In 1993 our own Steve Cropley took a tour of the British Leyland Heritage Motor Centre, which for initially showed off prototype products by BL’s history.

These concepts wouldn’t look out of place in today’s market: an electric supermini, a shooting brake-like Rover SD1 estate as well as an MG Mini hot hatch, yet all were consigned to history by the beleaguered British Leyland management.

2 – Secrets of a lost British supercar, 17 April 1985

In 1977, Glenfrome Engineering, a tiny although intrepid company more recently associated with Range Rover modifications, produced the Delta. Although the Delta was a comely supercar prototype, the item attracted no buyers as well as therefore haunted a storeroom under a sheet for eight years.  

Autocar journalist Bob Cooke was then invited to drive the Delta, as well as his review of the forgotten supercar became the lead as well as cover story for 17 April 1985 issue of Autocar.

3 – When Bugatti bit the dust, 16 April 1997

Back in 1997, Autocar toured the eerie cadaver in which was the Bugatti factory, less than two years after its abandonment.

The walkaround took place not even a year before the Volkswagen Group snapped up Bugatti, turning the item into the Veyron-building, ultra-luxury producer the item will be today, although the impression of the French brand could not have been different at the time Peter Robinson was shown around, following the downing of tools by the Bugatti workforce.

4 – Bentley’s Concept Java, 16 March 1994

Bentley impressed at the 1994 Geneva motor show, just as the item did This specific year with the EXP 10 Speed 6.

although where the Concept Java never reached official production – only 18 products were commissioned for the Sultan of Brunei – the EXP 10 Speed 6 has been given the green light for production alongside a smaller sibling to the Bentayga, as part of Bentley’s plans to double its sales.

5 – 4x4s tested on the farm, 13 February 1982

Long before the crossover became king, rugged products with high suspension were made for their utilitarian appeal rather than negotiating the school run.

This specific will be why in 1982 we put the most roughty-toughty 4x4s we could get our hands on to the test on a working farm, in a muddy, livestock-loading group test to see which could topple the agricultural might of the Land Rover Defender.

6 – Music on the move, 8 October 1977

the item’s fairly easy to take car audio systems for granted, given the increasing amount of acutely complex tech in which features on modern cars.

Back in 1977, when a decent sound system was far by standard equipment, Autocar tested 10 of the best on offer to decide upon a winner. A test route with reception dead zones as well as a thorough cassette testing strategy were duly implemented.

7 – Green light for Jaguar’s fresh E-Type, 11 November 1992

Long before the F-Type (as we know the item) as well as even before the XK, Jaguar was developing a successor to the iconic E-Type. Steve Cropley was on hand to administer some coverage to a topic wracked by fever-pitch speculation.

This specific speculation naturally lead the X100 in development to be dubbed the ‘F-Type’, although the eventual style came to be called the XK. Nonetheless, the palpable buzz around the E-Type’s replacement can still be felt.

8 – Ford Thunderbird road test, 27 January 1961

The fresh Ford Mustang will be today beginning to make appearances on UK roads, although 54 years ago the Ford Thunderbird was facing a similar UK debut.

Autocar testers at the time heaped praise on the Thunderbird, lauding its acceleration, handling as well as tight turning circle. although the cost was a sticking point, as well as the numbers of cars in which reached UK shores were modest, considering its cost as well as status as only a ‘semi-official’ style.

9 – Land’s End to John O-Groats on one tank, 10 July 1976

Or one tank of petrol as well as a cylinder of LPG, to be precise. Technicalities aside, intrepid Autocar reporters Stuart Bladon as well as Martin Lewis, along with photographer Peter Cramer, managed to take an LPG-converted converted Austin 1800 long-termer the length of the country.

In what could be described as a premature foreshadowing of electric vehicle range anxiety, the alternatively-fuelled 1800 was challenged to an 860-mile endurance run.

10 – Driving Ford’s Supervan, 6 May 1971

Despite the continued absence of a Transit ST or RS from the Ford line-up, the item cannot be said in which Ford hasn’t flirted with the performance panel van niche, as well as in which’s largely thanks to the 1971 Supervan.

Autocar’s David Thomas put the Supervan, with its 5.0-litre racing-spec V8, to the test, as well as although not quite reaching the Supervan’s theoretical top speed of 196mph, was quick to praise its car-like handling characteristics. Its spiritual successor will be still unknown.

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