AT Business Car Manager, we do our level best to help you choose the right company car. By sifting through the CO2 figures, wading through the company car tax calculations and testing the latest models, we provide everything you need to select the best car for your needs.
But it hasn’t always been like this. In the days before smartphones, the interweb and One Direction, there was no Business Car Manager. How did you manage without us?
We’ve taken a misty-eyed nostalgic look back at five company car heroes from yesteryear. Take a trip down memory lane with us. Just don’t forget your jump leads, WD40 and a hammer…
Once upon a time, suburban Britain was filled with Ford Cortinas, each one lovingly washed every Sunday morning by its doting owner.
If the Ford Transit was the ‘backbone of Britain’, then the Ford Cortina was the lifeblood.
Heck, in 20 years of production from 1962 until 1982, some 2.6 million Ford Cortinas were sold. But ask yourself, when did you last see one on the road?
Amazingly there are just 2600 of the blue-collar family saloons enjoying active service in Britain. The Cortina’s built-in affordability would eventually be its undoing, as each one was scrapped when the first big bill or signs of corrosion reared their ugly heads.
To say the Ford Cortina was a huge success would be a massive understatement. It dominated the sales charts of the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s and even spawned the super-desirable Lotus models.
An icon? You betcha. And ‘Cortina Man’ sounds so much more exotic than ‘Mondeo Man’.
Vauxhall must mourn the day the Ford Cortina was launched at the London Motor Show in 1962. Had the Cortina not appeared, the Vauxhall Cavalier might have had its own way in the UK.
The Cavalier first arrived in 1975 and soon developed a reputation for excellent motorway manners and low running costs. In other words, it laid the foundations for what would become a tremendously successful company car of the 1980s.
Good fortune was certainly shining on Vauxhall when, in 1981, it launched the all-new MK2 Cavalier. After a slow start, the Cavalier was a major benefactor of the public’s reluctance to embrace the space-age, alien-looking Ford Sierra, which arrived in 1982.
And although the Sierra would eventually claw things back, the Cavalier had already established itself as a company car favourite.
The MK3 arrived in 1988 and would continue to be sold until 1995, by which time a total of 1.8 million units had been sold.