• May 3rd 2007 at 9:06AM
  • 17

Top Gear writer Giles Chapman and script editor Richard Porter assembled a collection of Cars That Dad Had. As one synopsis put it, the book reflects "a time before people carriers and lifestyle off roaders, when the nearest thing to an airbag was hiding behind your fat brother." Being a British book, it doesn't detail the cars our dads waxed lyrical over -- unless your dad was that one guy in the neighborhood who had an original Mini or a Datsun Sunny (the 1200 in the US). The book also puts dads into categories based on what kind of car he bought. A Robin Reliant dad, for instance, is Frugal Dad. We wonder if they've categorized the dad who bought the never-completed-project-car-that-rusted-under-a-gray-tarp. The full book press release is posted after the jump.


Top Gear: My Dad Had One of Those
Publication date: Thursday 17th May
ISBN: 0563539194, RRP: £9.99, Hardback
By Giles Chapman & Richard Porter

Don't you just love your dad? He collected you from school discos, delivered you to Sunday morning hockey matches and gave you a lift when you were late for school. And, of course, he drove a dad's car – a dependable, trustworthy, reliable machine that added to your sense of security. You went everywhere in your dad's car and (if you're honest) remember it (or them) as affectionately as he does.

Now is your chance to show your gratitude to your dad. Authors, Giles Chapman and Richard Porter from Top Gear magazine, have brought together all the best (and some of the worst) dads' cars in My Dad Had One of Those. It's the perfect nostalgic present for your dad. Over a pipe full of Old Scotch ready rubbed, a bag of Werther's Originals and wearing his Clarks tartan slippers, he can reminisce about the Mini, simper over the Hillman Imp, chunter about the Hillman Hunter and dream of a Vauxhall Viva revival.

Usefully, the authors group the cars according to the type of dad who was attracted to them. Sensible dads went for a Datsun Sunny or an Austin Maxi. Demob Dad chose a Standard Vanguard or maybe a Rover P4. Robin Reliant appealed to Frugal Dad, while for Cortina Dad it was a MkI, a MkII, a MkIII and then a MkIV.

Thanks to the use of brilliantly evocative period promotional illustrations of period promotional illustrations, the book celebrates the very essence of a dads' car. There's Mr and Mrs Wannabe Middle Class with their Vauxhall Victor, the Fun Family in the Ford Anglia and the Vauxhall Cavalier-owning Suburbanites.
Nearly 60 cars make it into the dads' car category ranging from the Austin 1100 to the Robin Reliant and including the Opel Manta (for the Sporty Dad prepared to pay £1327 in 1970) and the Ford 'Pop' (£560 in 1955).
There's a pithy commentary for each car featured and an information panel that will have your dad going on and on about the current price of petrol – yes, you really could buy a Hillman Avenger for just £850 in 1970.
Of course, you don't have to buy this book for your father. Get it yourself – it will rekindle those cheery days of childhood memories when life (and a car) was uncomplicated.

The authors Giles Chapman is an experienced motoring writer who was voted Jeep Consumer Journalist of the Year 2005. He writes for Top Gear magazine and is the author of nine books including TV Cars (2006). Richard Porter is the script editor on BBC2's Top Gear show, a contributing editor to Top Gear magazine, and author of Crap Cars (2004)'

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      My dad haven't, but Í have a Sunbeam(Hillman) Hunter :)

      from 1967
      • 8 Years Ago
      I am a sixty something who has had 25 or so of these loveable family cars during my lifetime. I have been moved to write my own book about them and recently published: ROAD WORKS ISBN 1847530338 I believe this may be an interesting and humourous sequel for readers of MY DAD HAD ONE OF THOSE as I describe the cars in the context of our lives at the time we had them. It's almost social history seen through the prism of the cars we drove.
      • 8 Years Ago
      My dad had an NSX. Now he drives a Santa Fe or a Jetta. Oh, how the mighty have gotten soft.
      • 8 Years Ago
      My dad had a custard colored Ford Fairmont. That thing was a BESAT. Before that we had a brown Mercury Capri that leaked oil faster than we could pour into it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      My dad had an Austin Maxi and a Fiat 500. He'd rather forget about the Maxi...
      • 8 Years Ago
      My Father had a 1970 El Camino with the 350 and the 3speed auto. Then he changed jobs and had to commute. He got a Chevy Chevette 4dr Diesel. I got the El Camino. Still have it, although it is now a garage queen.

      • 8 Years Ago
      We had twin Pinto wagons during the gas crises of '73 and '79...the non-exploding wagons that were quite reliable and practical.
      • 8 Years Ago
      my dad use to have a 77 z28 camaro. but sold it in 94 when my bro was born. thats why i hate my bro. i always tell him that!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I forgot to add to my comment that you can preview my book ROAD WORKS on www.lulu.com/biro Sorry to be using comments for book publicity but it is so relevant to the Top Gear book and could make a few Dads even more pleased with their birthday/christmas presents this year, 0r maybe even some Mums!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I bought and read the book, My Dad Had One Of Those, but was disappointed to find none of the cars my dad actually had in it, although I did remember many of the cars from other sources and there is a definite nostalgia about them all. My main reason for the comment, however, is to point out an error. One of the cars my dad did have, and the car in which I had my first (legal) driving lesson, on my 17th birthday, was a Triumph 1300. A predecessor to the Dolomite NOT a derivative. It was a beautifully appointed car, years ahead of its time. FWD with a fore and aft engine not the transverse Issigonis type of BL. When I bought my first SAAB more than a decade later I was much struck by the similarity. It also had an innovative instrument binnacle with a clock face of warning lights centrally. The identical binnacle was used for yonks on black cabs after the 1300 disappeared from view. I think there was a problem with the CV joits on the drive which meant that for the next model, the 1500 and the Toledo, they reverted to rear WD. These were the basis of the Dolomite.
      • 8 Years Ago
      When I was growing up we had an Oldsmobile Delta 88. That thing was a tank...
      • 8 Years Ago
      We had a 71 Pontiac Safari wagon. That bad boy would get up and go. Good looking also. They must have all been crushed because I have not seen one in at least 25 years.
    • Load More Comments