Video Outtake: 1973 Was 50 Years Ago; Here’s What You Could Have Chosen

I know it doesn’t feel like (I’ve only just got used to writing “2022”) but next year is now this year, so to speak. So, welcome to 2023, just 50 years on from 1973 and these selections of new and revised cars. Which would you have chosen?

These video extracts are from a long defunct television programme called “Drive In”, broadcast mostly in London and the south east of England by the then regional provider Thames Television. It was a typical consumer information programme. centred on motoring and new cars, and was unlikely to set the hares running any which way. After all, Thames wanted advertising revenue….

This first extract features the British cars, and you can sense a bit of then fashionable criticism of British Leyland (not then government owned but heading that way) and its works, while also bemoaning that the rest of the industry was (then) American owned. but the Jaguar XJ-C looks tempting, even if the Morris Marina Jubilee edition is something to worry less about.

So, perhaps you’d prefer a Continental, meaning from Western European, car? The Renault 12 looks practical if a bit dull, the 5 a bit more perky, the Alfasud tempting, the Montreal odd in metallic brown but perhaps most intriguing was the temptation of next year’s Citroen GS Bi-Rotor. Elegance points go to the Fiat 130 Coupe and the Mercedes-Benz 450SEL, perhaps the best car of the 1970s?

And then there were the Japanese cars. Only 6 cars, from 3 brands, but for each of them full equipment (Radio! Rear window heater! Electric aerial!) was a feature. Left unspoken was the growing reputation for reliability, and also the longer term corrosion issues of some. Still, there were rotary engined Mazdas.

So what’s your choice? Whilst you decide, you can listen to the best music of the year, no, of the  decade – Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield.

Happy New Year!