Matt Prior: Not all cars were better “back in the day”


But I also think it’s easy to forget that, for example, a late-1990s Daewoo Lanos was unspeakably bad in a way that we don’t have to tolerate today.

It’s not the quality of today’s cars that underwhelms me but rather the quantity that overwhelms. In 1993, I could have told you the trim level and price of a car by a glimpse of its wheel.

Today, I could stare for several minutes at a premium SUV and still be a little foggy about its name. I may be the UK’s only person sad about the Ora Funky Cat having its name changed to… whatever it is now. At least I remembered it the first time around.

But back to that sports car group test. If you’re tired or bewildered by most new cars, these more basic thrills are still available to you. While the RV8 and Marcos have sadly left us and the Lotus Elise has both come and gone since then, cars of their ilk are still around.

In two weeks’ time, I will drive a Morgan, now with a BMW engine, which looks the same as it always has but which is engaging and better in every way than one from 30 years ago.

Ginetta doesn’t put much stock into road cars today, but given how it races them, it’s perhaps a more credible car maker and certainly more financially stable than at any time in its history.

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