West Germany, 1976
Memory Lane takes a rare trip abroad this month as we find ourselves in a car park in West Germany. We love this image because it vividly reminds us of an era when cars had colour. Yes, the family runabout might have had a wheezing little pushrod engine, scratchy cloth seats and doors that shut with a clang, but it was the colour of a tropical tree frog.
There are heaps of rather unfamiliar shapes to identify, too. We’ll start bottom right with the silver fastback: an Opel Kadett coupé ‘F’. Up from there we find a blue Opel Kadett C, a Golf MKI, and Escort MKII, a dark little Fiat 124, a BMW ’02 and the backsides of another Golf, and a bronze-coloured Passat MKI. Now go back down to the banana-yellow Granada with the black vinyl roof. One up is a tiny little Fiat 500, then another Kadett coupé, this one the earlier type with ‘gills’. Then comes a Mini Clubman, a Kermit-like Beetle, an Alfa Romeo Alfetta, an Opel Rekord C, another Beetle, an Audi 80, an Opel Ascona ‘A’ two-door and yet another Beetle before we get to a scarlet Capri, a green Granada and a maroon VW 1600 estate.
Let’s go left to the two main rows, starting at the bottom with a beige Beetle 1302. Next to it is a Mercedes ‘strich acht’ W114 sedan, then another two-door Ascona, an Opel Olympia coupé (a sort of poshed-up Kadett), another W114 this time with a roof-rack, a Peugeot 504, another Audi 80 B1, Golf, Ascona, Beetle, DAF 66, W114, ‘Fintail’ Mercedes, Alfetta, Beetle, Passat and so on.
List form for the adjacent row to the left, bottom up: BMW 3 Series, Golf, Ascona, VW 1500, Ascona, VW Type 2 bay-window, Audi 80, Ford Taunus coupé, Opel Manta ‘A’, Kadett coupé F, Beetle, BMW ’02, Ascona four-door, Golf, Citroën GS and so on. Phew!
The Ford Fiesta lives on today in MKVIII form.