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Good old Dad and his good old Dad's car. As solid and dependable as the man himself, if a little less balding, Dad's car was almost a member of the family, whisking you to exciting days out, or just to visit boring relatives in distant parts of the country to the chant of 'are we nearly there yet?' Like the man behind the wheel, Dad's car made you feel safe and secure, because it was as reassuring and sensible as he was. Maybe in an idle moment Dad dreamt of driving something rakish and fast, just like in idle moments he dreamt that your Mum was Twiggy, but the demands of family life meant soft tops, hard suspension and anything even remotely sporty were off the cards. Even anything less than four doors would have been wildly hedonistic. But although the family car may not have been the very essence of rock 'n' roll, Dad was proud of it. Spanning the 1950s to the '80s, this is a celebration of the heyday of the Dad car. From much loved family workhorses like the Ford Cortina and Vauxhall Viva to the rakish excitement and playground kudos of the Rover 3500 and Citroen CX, all the great Dad cars are here. Reflecting a time before people carriers and lifestyle off roaders, when the nearest thing to an airbag was hiding behind your fat brother, this is a celebration of simple, honest cars that were as flawed and as loveable as your Dad himself.
Giles Chapman's motoring writing has included The Independent, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times, Evening Standard, Conde Nast Traveller, Auto Express, Top Gear magazine, Classic & Sports Car, and Octane. He is author of nine books, including Moving Objects, Car Badges (2005) and TV Cars (2006). He was voted Jeep Consumer Writer Of The Year, 2006. Richard Porter is script editor for BBC's Top Gear, a columnist for Evo magazine and contributing editor for Top Gear magazine. He is author of BBC Books' Crap Cars (2004).