Brighton your day with a thirty year-old mem­ory.

Practical Classics (UK) - - CONTENTS -

This im­pres­sive spec­ta­cle of Eight­ies con­sumerism was de­vel­oped on the edge of an old in­dus­trial site in 1987, and we think this pic­ture was taken shortly after it opened. Be­hind the store, on the north­ern edge of Brighton, the South Downs rise up to Ditch­ling Bea­con. Holling­bury had been the lo­ca­tion for many suc­cess­ful lo­cal em­ploy­ers, no­tably Gross Cash Reg­is­ters, but we must skip over the his­tory and get on with the cars – we have a lot to get through. It’s hard to be­lieve this scene is 30 years old al­ready, isn’t it?

Start­ing bot­tom left, we have a metal­lic blue sec­ond-gen Honda Civic next to a pea-green Cav­a­lier MKII sport­ing a glass sun­roof. Next comes a pair of Es­cort MKIIIS in sen­si­ble pri­mary colours and then a gap to some­thing from the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion: a Har­vest Gold Marina. Two more empty spa­ces lead us to a Nis­san Blue­bird es­tate. Con­tinue to the right and we find a Volvo 740 sa­loon, Skoda Estelle and Re­nault 11.

‘A beige 126 manag­ing to make a Metro look wide’

We re­turn to the bot­tom left for the next row back, with a Di­a­mond White Sierra, Sand­glow Marina, jazzy Mini Metro with a big side-stripe, blue Mini with roofrack that must have trimmed the top speed, and then a Granada MKII. The Fords con­tinue with an­other Sierra and a Fi­esta MKII, be­fore there’s a Fiat 127, an­other Re­nault 11, a booted VW Polo Clas­sic (known as a Derby in MKI form), Nis­san Blue­bird five-door hatch, Fi­esta MKI, Volvo 340, a black hatch we can’t iden­tify, BMW 5-series, green Re­nault 12 with a lad­der on the roof and fi­nally an­other Es­cort MKIII be­fore the rail­ings. High­lights of the cars nearer the store­front in­clude a stri­dently green Re­nault 5, nice early Volvo 245 es­tate in or­ange, a Fiat Strada next to it, black first-gen Nis­san Mi­cra and a Vaux­hall Bel­mont next to a snow-white Porsche 924. In the dis­abled bays we can see a Cav­a­lier MKI, Saab 900 five-door and a beige Fiat 126 manag­ing to make a Metro look wide.

Sil­ver Swede ma­chine

This was the year that Saab 900s un­der­went their most sig­nif­i­cant facelift, swap­ping the blunt, nose of the early cars for a slop­ing snout and in­te­grated bumpers. Were the nearby Volvo own­ers jeal­ous of this sex­ier Scan­di­na­vian model?

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