Brighton your day with a thirty year-old memory.
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?