The ever-popular PFS returns with a perennial favourite of DTW, the 240 GL, as seen yesterday.
There’s a potentially vivid discussion waiting to be kicked off with this image. Or two. Without any shadow of a doubt one can have a controlled argument as to whether this car is better than the corresponding Saab 900.
The second discussion is broader. It’s about the Best Car In The World. Here the debate hinges really on a definition of best and only thereafter can one get to a short list of the BCITW.
For the record, my definition of BCITW means the best compromise of price, space, quality and durability. Only then does driving quality come into it. The moment one includes driving quality in the list almost every other parameter suffers.
You won’t be surprised to find Peugeot make the car that satisfies all five parameters. Ferrari doesn’t make the cut. I’d be interested to hear of the few others that are not too dear, not too small, not too cheaply made, not too flimsy and not too ghastly to conduct. Most French cars fail to make the cut on these terms and yet they are often beautiful and beautiful to drive (DS, Renault 16, Peugeot 205 et cetera).
Most Italian cars get by on their looks and driver appeal too but which Italian car is BCITW material. Is it Lancia Thema? Lancia Kappa? Are there any Fords or Opels on the list? If not, why not? What about the Vectra C or one of the Astras? The Focus Mk1 gets into the list now I come to think of it. But does the Mk2 get there too?
A final argument is small and easily managed: is it true the 240 must have been sold eventually in one trim level and with three colours: red, white and this grey colour? I never see late models in anything else. Is there a name for this phenomenon of paring a range back to the basics?