Big Car
94 episodes
The Citroën DS - a car from the future?
1 week ago

The Citroën DS seemed to have come through a time portal from the future when it launched. Maybe it had, when you consider it was used as a car from 2015 in Back to the Future Part II, even though it had been launched 60 years earlier just a month before.

The Hillman Avenger: Chrysler's world car Cortina-killer?
3 weeks ago

General Motors famously designed their world car, the Chevette in the 1970s, but before this was Chrysler’s Hillman Avenger. Well, it was initially called the Hillman Avenger on its UK launch, but it seems like it had more names than I’ve had hot...

Why did Renault's happy Twingo lose its smile?
1 month ago

At its most basic level, a car is a box that, by using levers and wheels, gets you to your destination. But we humans find personality and character in everything around us, especially our automotive pride and joy. The BMW 5-series exudes a serious intent

Did the S-Type save Jaguar from extinction?
1 month ago

With the New Labour Government of 1997 and its youthful new Prime Minister, Tony Blair, the UK was undergoing a “Cool Britannia” transformation of identity. Britpop and The Spice Girls were sparking a renewed pride in being British as the country...

Why did this Porsche have a VW badge?
2 months ago

The Porsche 914 wasn’t really a Porsche at all. Well it was, but it had a bunch of Volkswagen bits in it. But then again, it wasn’t exactly unique in that respect! What was different about the 914 was the Porsche and Volkswagen badge on the back, and...

The Many, MANY Failed Mini Reboots!
2 months ago

If British Leyland had a pound for every Mini reboot, they’d still be in business! Ever since it burst on the scene in 1959, designers have been trying to reimagine it for a new era. In the process their failure had made the shape of the original Mini a..

Why did Mercedes' A-Class discard its revolutionary shape?!?
3 months ago

The doo wop sound of the 40s and 50s was honed by American teenagers on street corners, trying to one-up each other to become the greatest group in town. This friendly rivalry, also seen in Chinese cafés as electronics engineers try to produce...

The Retractable Hardtop Fad
3 months ago

In 2007 it seems every car company had a convertible with a fancy electric retractable hard top, but nowadays they seem to be abandoning them for soft tops. Why did they suddenly become popular, almost 100 years after they were invented, and why are they.

When Honda took on Ferrari and WON!
4 months ago

When Gordon Murray designed the all-conquering McLaren F1 supercar, he didn’t use a Porsche, Lamborghini or even a Ferrari for inspiration. It was the Honda NSX. Yes, Honda, makers of the humdrum, practical Civic. He liked it so much, he bought one with..

Why didn't the "All Agro" succeed?
4 months ago

The Allegro was supposed to be a fresh start for Austin after being starved of resources in the 1960s. It replaced the highly successful Austin/Morris 1100 and 1300, and was a well-funded project to take on the might of Ford in the UK, and European car...

The Alfa Romeo Alfasud Story
4 months ago

The Alfasud was a revelation when it stunned crowds at the 1971 Turin Motor Show, upstaging the Lamborghini Countach. The low bonnet line, new shape, and when reviews got their hands on it, the excellent handling and lively yet economical engine seemed...

The Yugo Story
5 months ago

If you’re my age, you might remember Yugoslavia as a sort-of Communist country that was a nice place to go on holiday. But you’ll definitely remember it for the cheap, tiny hatchback thrust upon an unsuspecting public – the Yugo. It went from an...

The Audi V8 Story
5 months ago

The V8 is an almost forgotten luxury car from Audi’s late 1980’s line-up, like the Audi 200 before it. It’s easy to get it confused with the A8 that came after it – a car that drove Audi to new levels of opulence that allowed it to compete with...

The Nuclear Car Story
6 months ago

In the 1950s, as the Cold War was heating up and children were being urged to “duck and cover” from nuclear weapons, car companies seriously proposed powering their cars using lead-lined nuclear reactors. It seems like madness today, but while the...

The Volvo 400 Series Story
6 months ago

The Volvo 480 shocked the buying public when it launched. Surely Volvo was just boxy, boring cars? What are they doing making a sports coupé? But this was the perfect halo car to entice a younger audience to their showrooms, and Volvo had the perfect...

The Toyota Prius Story
7 months ago

The Toyota Prius isn’t the coolest car on the block. If you’re ordering a Lyft or an Uber, chances are one of these will turn up to whisk you away. And with the world gravitating towards electric vehicles, the hybrid Prius seems like just another...

The BMW C1 Story
7 months ago

Cities continue to jam up with more and more traffic, with many city centres taxing cars or banning them all together. Car manufacturers have produced different types of small city cars that have lower emissions and can fit into tight parking spots, and..

The Volvo 300 series Story
8 months ago

The Volvo 300 series was a common sight on British roads in the 1980s, due to its popularity amongst practical people to buy a safe, affordable car. But many of these slow-driving, flat capped drivers weren’t aware that this car didn’t start out life...

The Triumph Dolomite Story
8 months ago

When I grew up the Triumph Dolomite was everywhere. And there’s a good reason why. Triumph was known for its sports cars, and luxury saloons, and the Dolomite, and specifically the Dolomite Sprint carried that sports pedigree into the compact class. It...

The Citroën BX Story
8 months ago

Citroën has always been a car maker that’s charted a different course with car design. It’s meant that several times they’ve been ahead of the curve on technical innovations. By getting a steal on the competition, there was always a feeling that if...