Occasionally it’s good to indulge in a little nostalgia for the cars of your youth. Rewind 20 years to the early ‘90s and the motor scene was very different to what it is now. Back then it was cool to have stickers on your rear bumper and spoilers as big as whale tails on your boot. Ok, maybe they weren’t cool for everyone, but for the new, young driver about town they were the bee’s knees – an expression you never, ever, would have heard one of them say.
Back then, we imagined that the cars of the future would hover, like so many movies of the ‘80s promised and although that dream hasn’t come true (yet), cars have evolved into slick pieces of four-wheeled technology that barely resemble the vehicles of the past. But, the question has to be asked, will we look back on the cars we drive now with such affection in another 20 years’ time?
Here are a few of the other driving simplicities of yesteryear we go all misty eyed for:
Then: Listening to tunes on the move meant putting compilations together on cassettes or tuning into the radio. Many, many happy hours were spent selecting just the right tracks, including the biggest anthems of 1993 – Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s ‘Boom! Shake the Room’, Arrested Development’s ‘Mr. Wendal’ and the Tag Team’s classic, Whoomp (There it is). Those were the days.
Now: Fast forward to today, beyond the in-car CD changers which are already considered ‘old-school’ and suddenly, when it comes to finding the perfect road-trip anthem the sky’s the limit. DAB radio and Mp3 systems come as standard and the modern car needs something other than tapes cluttering up the glove box.
Then: Keeping on top of traffic and travel news meant listening to the radio. Actually getting from A to B meant balancing a map the size of a small village on your steering wheel or arguing with your best mate or girlfriend about their inability to read it.
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Now: Arguments about which route to take are now almost as obsolete as maps thanks to the invention of the Sat Nav, but although these systems have taken a lot of stress out of getting anywhere, they do mean that the fun of getting lost is also a thing of the past.
Then: One of the major things to get nostalgic over is the old price of petrol. The early 90’s saw prices that averaged 40p a litre, this slowly crept up to average 50p by the mid 90’s and hitting 61.9p in 1999. Add to this the simple fact that cars where smaller and lighter meant that the petrol went further back then.
Now: In the last 20 years the price per litre has gone up more than 200% which has put a serious dent in the fund for go faster stripes and late night cruises around the city centre. For drivers who’ve matured in the last two decades, this isn’t such a biggie. For those who really love driving, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.
So, it’s all doom and gloom?
There are of course plenty of things that are best left back in the ‘90s. Things like, having to wind down windows manually or shop around for insurance quotes one firm at a time. The internet and advances of technology in general have undoubtedly made driving easier and safer, but unless someone finally comes up with those anti-gravity cars we were promised, it’s unlikely that the motors of today will have us going quite so gooey with affection over them in another 20 years’ time.