Finally, some good news from America: Chrysler boss Tom LaSorda has confirmed that the PT Cruiser is about to be axed. 

Most of us have a personal bogey-car, and the PT Cruiser has been mine pretty much since it first reared its ugly head nearly a decade ago.

It's hard to believe that when it first appeared it won something approaching cult status, with Chrysler struggling to build enough to meet demand on both sides of the Atlantic. But, of course, the PT suffered the fate that befalls almost all deliberately fashionable products, becoming desperately uncool in short order. The Cruiser came as part of a wave of knowingly retro models, an automotive design movement that led to a very dead end.

To be fair to the Chrysler, despite its sometimes crappy build quality it was far from being the least original of the generation of backward-looking models it was born into, and time has been unkind to almost all of its spiritual siblings - the VW Beetle, Rover 75, Jaguar S-Type and X-Type.

Indeed the only one of the deliberately retro models that seems to have stuck is BMW's take on the Mini, which at least has the redeeming quality of being a good car and a fairly imaginative reinterpretation of the values that made the original so special.