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The Samara Flyte also was dressed up here in the UK, but with truly awful quality, the Skoda Rapid convertible hailed from a specialist coachmaker in Kent, and dare I say it, a fine looking car too.

But to end another nostalic ramble, I recall hearing a tale about someone who owned a dealer edition Rover Metro who ran into the back of a stationary car at some speed.

No serious injuries were sustained, but a rear seat passenger was almost knocked out by an aftermarket pod speaker that came away from the parcel shelf – part of the Metro’s exclusive additional equipment so I was told! Upon leaving school, Mike was destined to work on the Railway but cars were his first love.

But I still have the magic touch with a roll of pinstripe!

Where once, your average punter would go weak-kneed and giddy at the thought of a Hyundai Pony Sport Special (with white Weller wheels, front spot lamps, twin coachlines and a Richard Grant glue-on tail spoiler), for better or for worse the buying public are more switched on these days.

The Manta Exclusive run-out model equally so, yet Vauxhall also did the Antibes based on the Nova, Astra and Cavalier with awful doom blue paintwork and a seat trim that looked worse than hessian wall paper, all topped off with some sexy brilliant white wheel trims.

Who remembers the stunning Vauxhall Cavalier Calibre though? Even the Soviets were in on the act with the Lada Niva Cossack – yes, it was a production model but converted from the normal bitterly crude standard model in a big tin shed on the North Yorkshire coast.

Many of you may recall when the ITV network went through a massive shake up, Thames, TVS and TV-am including others lost their franchise licence to broadcast, TV-am became GM-TV while the legendary Thames became Carlton.

What has this to do with cars you may think, bear with me reader – I’m coming to the crux. On the stroke of Midnight in came 1993, and the first advert on the all new ITV channel was for the Ford Fiesta Meridian.

90mph was the best she’d do and the screaming engine was drowned out by the shreiks of fear from the rest us squashed into the Bri-Nylon clad rear seat.

My suggestion to Alton Towers of the On a personal level, I think Ford and Austin Rover went edition crazy back in the 1980s.

Looking back, it was dreadful, the fake wood on the dash and glovebox was about as convincing as your average Elvis tribute act and the striped nylon seats were as pleasing on the eye as staring at the sun!

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