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)'

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