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The British Motor Show celebrates retro vehicles

“Mom and Dad cars” will be on display alongside supercars.


The British Motor Show plans to display a wide selection of “ordinary nostalgic motoring” at its first major motoring event since the UK’s lockdown was eased.

Should take place on August 19-22, 2021expect to find more middling vehicles like a 1980s period austin maestro or Vauxhall Cavalier alongside the latest and greatest supercars.

Both were common family cars, the Maestro resembling the Australian Nissan Pulsar and the Cavalier a Commodore.



The show claims to touch the hearts of many, saying: “we all remember the cars that ferried us to and back from school, took us on our first dates or gave us a taste of freedom to drive the day we passed our tests.”

the Andy Entwistle, CEO of the British Motor Showalso added “Our Mum and Dad’s Cars exhibit will bring a taste of the nostalgic automotive ordinariness to an already packed show, where the love of Ferraris and Lamborghinis is just as important as the love of Fords. Sierras and Rover 200s, which for many of us is where it all started.

For all of our UK expat readers, the two examples mentioned above will evoke memories. Nostalgia is constantly changing with the times, and the current surge in popularity of products from the 1980s and 1990s is undeniable.



Specialist car insurance company Hagerty is planning a much larger and more formal event on the same theme in the UK, dubbed “Ordinary Competition”.

To us Australians, however, neither the Maestro nor Cavalier badges mean anything.

As our own little celebration of the “automotive ordinary”, we have respected five Australian vehicles of the same description.



Let us know though the comments section if we missed any peelers.

An Australian icon, which became infamous later in life for being an entry-level rear-wheel-drive vehicle.

A suburban staple and one of many Australian-made Toyotas of the era. The performance of the V6 model will surprise, but these models were not manufactured locally.



An uninspiring, but cheap option, made locally by Japanese car giant Nissan. The international models dubbed “Bluebird” were equipped with a turbocharger and all-wheel drive, while the Aussie “Pintara” was sorely lacking in power.

1985-2005 Mitsubishi Magna

Everyone has tried it, whether as a rental vehicle, a company car, someone else’s company car or a company pool vehicle. Transpired and later died as the Mitsubishi 380.

Two members of our editorial team chose the four-cylinder version independently of each other, which says it all. Both claim it was terribly slow.



After more than a decade working in the product planning and marketing departments of brands such as Kia, Subaru and Peugeot, Justin Narayan returned to being an automotive editor – his very first job in the industry.

Read more about Justin Narayan IconLink

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