Throwback Thursday – Cars for under £100, 12 June 1976

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Throwback Thursday – Cars for under £100, 12 June 1976

What could £100 buy you in 1976? Well, if you’re an Autocar used car columnist, the choice needn’t be limited


James Ruppert may be the father of Bangernomics, nevertheless he was far via the first enthusiast to be turned on by the prospect of cheap motoring.

Forty years ago Autocar’s unnamed ‘Secondhand Choice’ columnist set the bar for budget motoring at £100 – the equivalent of £750 or so in today’s money.

“Buying a car for less than £100 may be a bit of a joke in these days of escalating prices, nevertheless the jokers might smile less if they looked rather more carefully at the economics and also also also the logic of dabbling inside banger market,” wrote our correspondent. “You can buy such a car, which must by law have legal tyres, a current MOT, be roadworthy within the meaning of the law, and also also also which should, if picked with care, keep you mobile for at least 3000 miles or three months.”

Taking to the road in search of real-life examples, the writer first found a £100 Standard 8 which had just 8000 miles on the clock via completely new. The issue was which its centrifugal clutch had broken and also also also then been converted back to a hydraulic unit. No problem there – nevertheless the likelihood of finding economically priced spares when the next problem arose were slim.

Wistfully, our writer pondered buying the item as an appreciating asset, nevertheless then a 1966 Vauxhall Victor estate caught his eye. “the item had a lot of rust on the item, and also also also the rear compartment looked rather like the item had been used for carrying a bag of cement, nevertheless what do you want for £99?” he queried, setting the bar suitably low.

A £100 rust-eaten Rover 100 also caught his eye. “the item was debatable whether the Rover could be saved via the rust,” he rued, “nevertheless the item could keep someone rolling along in scruffy silence and also also also comfort for many a long mile.” Rather than look to fix the item, he argued the item was “much better to harden your heart, treat the item like a banger and also also also throw the item away when the item finally expired”.

A vast Vauxhall Cresta for £99 also tempted him. “inside best banger tradition, there was a lot of Bostik on the rear window seals, to prevent leaks, and also also also almost as much filler inside bodywork,” he wrote. “The inlet manifold also appeared to have been plugged with what looked like chewing gum, nevertheless the tyres were in excellent condition.”

He moved on, to find a Triumph GT6 on sale for £30, albeit using a duff back axle, 112,000 miles on the clock and also also also “just about every panel pushed in at some time or different”. After a thorough mechanical check, our man concluded which beneath all the dirt, “a picture of a very sound car has emerged”.

and also also also then, illustrating the ongoing risk of letting a motoring journalist research appealingly cheap cars, 
he opened his wallet. “Perhaps we should explain which we decided to buy 
the item and also also also keep the item in order to restore the item to some kind of respectability,” he wrote, thereby ignoring his mantra of spending money to keep a banger running. “Offers of help eagerly accepted.”

Previous Throwback Thursdays

4 March 1899 – Steam, electric or combustion engine? 

26 June 1906 – The first French Grand Prix

9 July 1907 – The beginning of Brooklands

14 February 1913 – 100 miles in one hour

8 April 1916 – doing post-war predictions

25 March 1922 – Caterpillar tracks are the future

4 July 1925 – Citroën lights up the Eiffel Tower

2 February 1934 – The ethics of skidding

6 July 1934 – A tour of Cowley

1 June 1935 – Introduction of the driving test

22 June 1945 – Driving through post-WW2 Europe

21 January 1949 – Tidier tails

24 April 1959 – Aston Martin enters Formula 1

27 January 1961 – Ford Thunderbird road test

17 November 1961 – TVR Grantura road test

6 May 1971 – Driving Ford’s Supervan

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

13 May 1978 – Ferrari 512 BB road test

19 January 1980 – Talbot Horizon road test

13 February 1982 – 4x4s tested on the farm 

17 April 1985 – Secrets of a lost British supercar

28 April 1993 – BL’s unseen concepts

16 March 1994 – Bentley’s Concept Java

16 April 1997 – When Bugatti bit the dust

4 April 2001 – 0-260mph in 6.0 seconds

25 July 2001 – 180mph in a Chevrolet Corvette

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