As I celebrate a remarkable - though largely unsuccessful, inconsistent and controversial - 26 years in the motor industry, I may not have accumulated much in the way of wisdom, expertise or insight, but I have bagged a whole heap of business cards.
Unless you are Japanese, you get most business and personal details emailed or texted to you these days. Personally I don’t mind and I applaud all the clever virtual ways of buying and interacting in the car business, but I am worried that we are losing something. Yes, we are losing the badly printed, ill thought out, and simply odd business card.
I haven’t had a decently weird one for years. Outside of the boringly logoed main agents, even the independents have had an outbreak of good taste, with subtle colour, a bit too much design language and not a line drawn Cortina Mark 1 in sight.
It is depressing that car dealers are getting a charisma bypass these days. The hypnotically bad ones, with 3D effects, a dayglo orange background and ‘amusing’ one or two liners have long gone. And so have the blokes and the business who proffered them. There must be a connection then…
Tempted as I am to rivet them to a rusty bonnet and enter it for the Turner prize, below are a few of my favourites…
So the question is, do you still have a characterful car dealer near you?
Nobby and Dicks Used Car Emporium in Edmonton north London was one of my favourites.
Reassure me that they are not all iPhone toting business graduates with a website and no actual stock, except an MOT failure in the pub car park.