I’ve long held the tongue in cheek view that, once a manufacturer wheels out a range of heritage vehicles on a product launch, it’s game over for the newer, shiny stuff.
Why? If your head isn’t turned by a slice of well-preserved nostalgia you might want to re-examine your career choice.
Joking aside, heritage is rapidly becoming the new black. Witness Land Rover launching a limited run of ‘new’ Defenders to celebrate the vehicle’s 70thanniversary. That the actual cars are recreations and not actually brand new is unlikely to put off prospective owners.
The advertised £150,000 asking price does put me off, though. And it’s a worrying aspect of this newfound appreciation for old stuff; whether it’s recreations like this new/old Defender or the comedy prices being reached at auction for regular cars that, 10 years ago, would’ve have commanded only buttons, heritage sells.
Hopefully, like classic car bubbles from the past, this current madness will calm down sooner rather than later. I’d like a 205 GTI but I’m not prepared to pay new Ford Fiesta money for one.
Still, there’s no denying that such cars generate a lot of goodwill among the media and public and I’m all for encouraging the celebration of historic icons. 2018 isn’t short of anniversaries, with Ford’s Mondeo, British Leyland and Morgan’s Plus 8 joining Land Rover.
Which begs a rather timely question: would you like to see a selection of significant cars celebrated at the forthcoming driving day? The benefits run from adding a welcome advance PR ‘hook’ to the promotion of the event to being a positive talking point on the day itself.
And flipping the heritage concept on its head, what do members think about adding a technology theme, be it inviting tech-centric PRs, companies etc? As well as boosting networking opportunities and introducing new people to our event, there might be the potential to demonstrate any new technology safely on the otherwise under-used circuit.
Let me know what you think.
Iain Dooley | Chairman, Western Group of Motoring Writers