by Arian Smits, images by Doug Breithaupt
Last month we discussed the Car of the year election. Cars until 1979 have had their attention. Now we continue from 1980.
1980; Lancia Delta. How did this car win !! The rally versions are great but the normal road car did not sell very well. No models of the street cars known to me but Summer did a rally version.
Summer (Sini Pismestrovic)
1981; Ford Escort. The first world car. Not special but a big seller. Siku, Norev, Majorette, Guisval and Hot Wheels made it. Probably more exist.
1982; Renault 9. Not the most attractive car but a good example of a car of the year winner. Good at everything but not a winner at any judging point. Norev and Guisval made the toys.
1983; Audi 100. Nice car. One of the most aerodynamic cars of its day. Siku made a station wagon version.
1984; Fiat Uno. Another popular Fiat again. Poliguri did the Uno.
Poliguri (Richard Koelsch)
1985; Opel Kadett. An Opel that looks like a Citroen GS. Good combination. Very popular. Matchbox and Guisval are responsible for the models.
1986; Ford Scorpio. Not all people liked this big comfortable Ford. Guisval did.
1987; Opel Omega. A gray mouse in the upper car lot. Is this the last big Opel ever? One rather generic example was done by Welly. Siku and Supreme did a wagon of the next generation Omega,
Welly (Sini Pismestrovic)
1988; Peugeot 405. First of the really good quality Peugeots. Majorette and Hot wheels made it available for the small boys.
1989; Fiat Tipo. Nice try from Fiat to attack the VW Golf. Majorette was here.
1990; Citroen XM. Super comfort for the (French) road. Majorette was here again.
1991; Renault Clio. Good R5 successor and Europe's best selling car after introduction. Majorette seemed to like reproducing the winning car.
1992; Volkswagen Golf. Finally VW managed to win. Majorette and Siku made it.
1993; Nissan Micra. The first Japanese win !! Was it the quality of the car or the bad competition this year? It was not popular with the toy makers
1994; Ford Mondeo. Popular with the business man. Siku, Matchbox and Majorette made it.
|1995; Fiat Punto. Europe's best seller. No models exist.|
|1996; Fiat Bravo. Again a Fiat? Not a best seller. No models exist.|
1997; Renault Scenic. Small MPV that was unique at introduction. Siku makes the first issue.
1998; Alfa Romeo 156. The first Alfa. Again half a Fiat win. Very nice looking car. Yatming makes it in around 1/70 and Polistil offers a police version, made by Real Toy.
1999; Ford Focus. Daring design. A best seller. Matchbox makes the road version.
2000; Toyota Yaris. Good small car. Kinsmart makes or did make the toy and Majorette has a nice example.
2001; Alfa Romeo 147. Again very good looking. Not a big seller. Yatming makes a small one.
2002; Peugeot 307. Best selling Volkwagen Golf killer. Norev makes it and Majorette has one announced for 2004.
2003; Renault Megane II. You have to like the styling. Models just like the Peugeot 307.
2004; Fiat Panda. Fiat keeps on winning. No models available yet.
A lot of brands reached the highest place on the podium. In the election there is always a role for the nationalistic flavor. That's probably why mainly European cars became winners. Since the millenniums change that is disappearing as Mazda reached the podium twice in the past two years.
Other things that are curious is that Fiat managed to win so often. What is their secret? Or is it that they just produce nice cars at a reasonable price? Each year several cars of one car manufacturer can take part but Citroen managed to get two cars on the podium in 1971. The winning GS and the third place for the SM Citroen-Maserati. That has never happened again. BMW, Saab, Volvo, Seat, Skoda and Jaguar never had a winner. As all the American brands and most of the Japanese. Let's hope that changes soon.
I am curious which car will win the 2005 election.