CAR CRAZY - 1970S COLLECTORS
|70s cars are making a comeback|
ropey suspension and rotting bodies - 1970s cars were unreliable and had a reputation
for poor quality. But for some, 70s cars are the only cars to be seen in.
MG Midget, the Triumph Spitfire and the Robin Reliant - for one group in the West
Midlands, this is their idea of car heaven.
John Astley, Malcolm Greenly
and James Edge are 70s cars fanatics and members of the Triumph Sporting Club.
are preparing to take James' Triumph Spitfire to compete at the National Restoration
The group spend a great deal of time and an even
greater deal of money restoring these elderly motors to their former glory and
according to car dealer Mike Ford - they're not the only ones.
70s now is the boom section within the industry," says Mike.
finding far more interest now in 70s cars than 50s and really 60s."
|From the production line of the 70s to a collectors club
It is not just the sporty numbers that are attracting
attention - the infamous 'Plastic Pig' - also known as a Robin Reliant has its
own fan base.
The car that has spent so long being the butt of many jokes
originally attracted motorists through its licence requirements. The three wheeler
car could be driven on a motorbike licence.
"It's amazing how often
cars that have been ridiculed become quite collectable," says Mike.
It may be difficult to understand the attraction of these notoriously
unreliable vehicles, but for James it is all about nostalgia.
to own a Spitfire in the 60s. Forty years on and he is restoring the car of his
youth and recapturing some of his own.
|Mark Gray and the Rover P6 Club win the highly sought after
For others, car restoration is a hobby plain and simple.
Some fish, some watch football and some restore cars - at least they try to.
day at the restoration is not going as well as they hoped. The car's
needs fixing but is proving difficult.
To make matters worse, the car is
James' only means of getting home - if he doesn't fix the car, he is in for a
"I wish I'd never started, especially today," says
John Astley. "Not one thing has gone right."
To add insult to
injury - the Rover P6 Club snatch the coveted restoration prize.
James may be disappointed but he has nothing to be ashamed about.
1970s cars were beset with faults.
Car manufacturers in the 1970s were plagued
by disputes and quality suffered as a result. Factories churned out substandard
cars plagued by all manner of problems.
But apparently it is not all down
to poor production techniques.
|Andy ensures that his cars go out in a blaze of glory|
"A lot of the problems were caused by the manufacturers not educating
the buyer, or the supplier as to how to keep the car," says Mike.
Andy Robertson is a huge fan of 70s cars too. But while James
spends painstaking hours restoring his, Andy spends a few adrenaline fuelled hours
smashing them up.
Andy is a banger racer.
"The cars we get for
racing are too far gone, they are past collectors rebuilding them," says
"We give them their last bit of life they're going to have. They
go out in a blaze of glory."
Little white lie
of the cars is not always easy and owners are often reluctant to sell their beloved
motor to be smashed up in a rally. The solution? Don't mention it!
usually tell them my dad's got one and I need some spare parts for it," fibs
70s cars - love them or loathe them, they are certainly generating
a lot of interest.
Whether its labour of love restorations or action packed
rallies, 70s cars have got years more mileage ahead of them.
And if James
is still struggling with the suspension - we might know someone interested in
taking it off his hands