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4.6 out of 5 stars
Top Gear: My Dad Had One of Those
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
This is a nostalgia-fest for men of a certain age looking back at the cars of their youth, primarily from the 1970s.

Despite sturdy covers and good production, I was disappointed at first by the small dimensions of the book, but once inside I revelled in the (mostly colour) photographs of Hillmans, Fords, Austins and Vauxhalls, many of them coming from original sales brochures. Although primarily geared towards British models, there are foreign cars too: French, German, Swedish and Japanese.

The book is divided into twelve chapters, looking at the different types of car and assigning them to the types of Dad. The finale focusses on Cortina Dad, the summit of Dadness. Each entry has a photograph, a list of stats and a few paragraphs of witty comment from the authors.

Although the book took me less than an hour to read, the style is warmly humorous and down-to-earth and I often found it difficult to repress a chuckle or ten.

This would make a perfect extra present for boys in the 30 to 50 age-range.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A splendid little book, full of humorous nostalgia for the cars your dad and in many cases you possibly also drove with such pride in the 60's 70's and 80's.

A great present for maybe Father's Day or Christmas.

Derek Bissell

Luton,Beds
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 2009
Having previously purchased the similar 'Crap Cars'book which on reading found out that I had owned a few of them it came as no surprise to see some of the same cars in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the memories....the Marina, packing up at the traffic lights, the 105E Anglia...that would never start, the 1100 that as a mechanic working on one would guarantee to skin ALL your knuckles removing the rust ridden sub frame assemblies...after just two years. I even had a friend with a Moskovitch that was so bad he buried it in his back yard..........
The book is great, the illustrations are good and some even selected from advertising literature of the time.Yes OK, the book is small(and awkward for fitting in your bookshelf) but it is well made and sturdily bound and quite capable of withstanding being passed around your mates,the 'Here Dave, remember these...'sort of thing.
Don't know how far you can go along this line though, maybe a 'My Granded had one of those' featureing just before and post WWII cars, old Morris 8's and Ford Pop's, (now my Grandad DID have one of those........)
I recommend to the point of 9 and 1/2 out of ten and good value for the dosh too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2014
I purchased this book for my Dad for his 50th Birthday and he absolutely loved it! It is by far his most used present, the majority of the cars he had as a youngster were in there and he spotted cars his dad and granddad had. Even other family members commented on it and picked it up to have a browse. It is definitely worth every penny you pay.
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on 19 December 2012
Its brilliant! This is the book that I SHOULD HAVE written! :-) Any kid who grew up in the 1970's will easily remember the cars featured in this book - The Ford Cortina, Escort, Capri & Granada, the Hillman Avenger, those powerful and streamlined Rover SD1's (which the Police used to use on motorways)- and who could forget those orange Datsuns ?? These were the mainstay of the 1970's and early 80's - AFFORDABLE, ordinary cars. None of that sporty/super-car nonsense - just every day cars that we used to see...every day!! Remember as you walked to school - all those badges on the backs of cars L, GL, XL, 2000E, Ghia ? Remember when the seats changed from being all plastic to having a bit of velvet/canvass ? Remember when side mirrors changed from being on the bonnet to being on the sides of doors ?? Remember when your dad/older brother used to spend an entire Sunday cleaning and waxing his car ? Remember when someone mentioned they needed to go to the scrap yard to buy a "cam shaft" or "carburettor" ?? These are words, phrases and activities that probably most of us ordinary (working class) people can relate to. That's the beauty of this book - it takes you right back and connects you with real cars that parked right outside your front door. You opened your door, picked up the milk, said good morning to the postman - and parked at the kerb of the pavement, was your dad's/brother's Cortina or Granada. but of course, it was also "your" car - or "our" car. There are many books out there about Sports Cars and Super Cars and Racing Cars - none of which we ever saw on the road, much less owned. But this book takes care of our ordinary, real past - one we can relate to easily!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2008
All in all, an enjoyable book. It is always interesting to view something from someone else's perspective; in this case, how the Brits view their father's mundane "daily drivers". Interesting to note how Ford products are viewed as somewhat boring, yet popular because products such as the Cortina and the Gran-Dad, er sorry, Granada, were reliable, durable, and stylish in that they copied their larger American cousins.
I found the Austin 1100 article to be of interest; that car was sold in Canada as the Austin America; in retrospect, it was far ahead of it's time; the current Nissan Versa seems to be an update of the Austin !!
It you buy this book, check out the Hillman Hunter photograph; the car is interesting but you'll see what I am referring to when you buy the book !!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2014
Brilliant!!! I am 45 and recognise many of the cars shown.......and yes!!! I have seen my dads in there and my grandads!!! a book of our cars now in twenty years time will be just as exciting....and wuite a creation!!! FAB!
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on 5 February 2015
Bought as a gift for car mad son. Caused much reminiscing with all the (grown up)children. Some cars were my mum had a car like that, some of which were for children to learn to drive. Pictures on every page were good too and caused amusement. Well written pieces about each car. Ideal for Christmas present or someone who thinks everything used to be better than it is now!
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on 3 June 2015
A birthday present for my dad who has possibly owned more cars over the years than is humanly possible so we might need to rename the book "my dad had ALL of those!" It's a good quality book, some lovely pics but I was disappointed when it arrived as it is quite small in size, plenty of pages though. Nice little thing to go with a bigger present.
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Motoring nostalgia! Good book for a coffee table, can spin through it quite quickly. To be honest, no more than a memory jogger, no real description of the cars and just the usual populist view of mid twentieth century cars. In general, they didn't go too fast, not too reliable, used too much fuel but after a few years just rusted away.
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