Cheaper cars? - Daedalus
Reading the "Why Alloy Wheels" thread and a comment by Bartycrouch brought to mind something I had been thinking about for a while. How much would they be able to make a car for if you took out all those little extras that have "crept" in over the years. Im not talking air con here but wind up windows full stop. Have a catch and locking mechanism to slide them up and down. No carpets, just rubber mats. Radio, ash trays, glove compartments get rid of the lot. No servo brakes and ABS right out. Just the bare minimum, although I would have to have fabric seats to sit on and in this country some form of heater. The engine would have to meet the normal emmisions standards but could this be done with less "technology"?

Cheaper cars? - Cheeky
What a ridiculous suggestion.

1. With the 'improvements' you suggest, car design would be radically altered and take a huge step back in time

2. Without a glove box and trays, where will you store documents, papers, cloths to demist your seized up catch windows, and floor mop to scrub the condesation ridden bare metal floor?? - Not to mention sweets...

3. Assuming you allow engines to meet the current standards of performance/emmisions etc. how on earth are non servo breaks going to stop you in time?

4. Safety will be compromised a great deal, due to the lack of soft materials, airbags etc. that will be missing

Alternatively, go and buy a Lotus which does most of this for you, but at least has one hell of an engine (& breaks that work...)
Cheaper cars? - Cheeky
Correct the above - BRAKES that work....
Cheaper cars? - bazza
Interesting! I can't see it happening as we tend to treat cars as more than simple functional appliances these days. The marketing men have done a brilliant job over the years to etch the "form and image" concepts deep into our psyche, particularly in the class-ridden UK market. So cars sell strongly on image, colour and goody count and boy do the manufacturers know it! It's a case of them convincing us of our needs, and they're very very good at it. Of course there's a large slice of profit in all these goodies as well, hence the effort that goes into convincing us that we really do need sat nav, heated seats, DVD players and so the list goes on..... and let's face it, we don't really do we? But I'm not sure I'd like to do without servoed brakes! ABS I can (and do ) happily live without and PAS I'm not bothered either way.. Electric windows are needless complication, central locking I could easily live without as well, Sat nav is a complete waste of time for me. But each to his/her own, I guess someone out there has a use for these things!
Cheaper cars? - Vansboy
Didn't Fiat make a prototype, such as this, a couple of years back?
VERY basic & could sell for £3000 or less?
Never heard any more of it, certainly not going to be the new Panda, out later this year, that DOES look a 'cheap' car!

Cheaper cars? - Blue {P}
I like my cars loaded with gadgets, the more toys to play with the better! :-)

I would hate to go back to a non-central locking car, or one without A/C...

I wouldn't buy one of these tin cans at any price...

Cheaper cars? - Daedalus

You have totally missed the point here. The idea is to make the car as cheap as possible and still be road legal. It is a step back in time thats the whole idea of it. You may not be able to live without all of the extras, well thats ok you are well catered for there is plenty of choice. But what about all those other people who want cheap transport but dont want the hassle of a second hand car. They want new and are prepared to forgo all of the additions that have crept in over the years.

Cheaper cars? - madf
Ford used to do this:
I recall the E93A Ford Prefect/Anglia (upright and sidevalve) and the various "basic" models of Ford Escorts etc.

Try driving a basic car in summer time jams and swelter or winter forst and freeze. Would you drive without PAS, heated screens, aircon etc?

You can buy a secondhand car cheaply with them all fitted.

Otherwise Lada would still be exporting to the UK:-)

Cheaper cars? - Pugugly {P}
Buy a Land Rover Defender !

Seriously Vauxhall did a fastback version of the Viva with minimum spec as well as the "Popular" version of the Escort.

Cheaper cars? - Vansboy
Remember the Escort Popular-N platers, I think, so 1975.
Rubber mats & 2 doors, headline price £1099, IIRC.In bright Spring Green, too!
So what does that price compare like, to the CHEAPEST Focus, today, in real terms?

Cheaper cars? - DavidHM
Can't say I remember them new, although I can still picture them from when I was a kid and they were bangers. My mum had a 78 1.3 Ghia actually. The cheapest I've ever seen a Focus is £7800 for a 1.4 Studio from

According to the GDP reflator at £1099 is worth about £5.5k, although don't forget that inflation was rampant then. In 1974, £1099 would be about £7500 today so I guess it depends on when in 75 the site takes its price levels...

There was no Fiesta back then and a base Escort had a (45 bhp?) 1100cc engine. If that price is from earlier in the year, that doesn't compare especially well to a new Fiesta 1.2 Finesse, which probably does the same job in marketing terms as a basic car that's just about acceptable for a family. That can be had for a smidgen over £7000 discounted as a five door - I'm guessing that there wasn't much of a discount available on that car in the 70s.

Value my car