I had not planned to write about what the Prime Minister buys for his missus, but having been hauled onto the radio waves to explain it all, clearly it is a matter for national debate.
For the Camerons, though, it is bang-on politically correct: an affordable British-built hatchback that won’t break down. So for the first lady it is perfect, in a ‘we’re all in this together’ fashion. Sam Cam will love the blue hatch for popping to the shops and doing local commutes.
There has been criticism that the PM didn’t haggle and paid over the odds, but it’s a dealer car at dealer money and if it is rubbish he can take it back, along with the attorney general, if need be.
Having been fascinated for decades by what politicians drive, it has been good to see full complements of Jaguar and Land Rover products used, but there are surely occasions when the PM should turn up in something more radical — such as a Radical.
I know they are mostly track day stars, but I saw an SR1 the other day for £19,999. The engine had only had 50-odd hours’ use and came with all the bits and bobs you need to enter the SR1 Cup series. How cool would it be to see a member of the cabinet doing some hot laps at Brands? That is no money at all for a race-ready vehicle.
If we want to be truly sensible and practical, how about the political representative of the British people turning up in a TVR? A new one is coming soon, but why wait? Prices have been stiffening, but they’re not as stiff as the projected £80k-£99k of the new ones.
A £12k Chimaera would be nice, but I get the feeling that a hard-to-enter Tuscan would be better for security reasons. The ones that have been largely rebuilt by their devoted — and some might say slightly bonkers — owners are £20k-plus. But TVR not only stands for Trevor but also trouble. That could cause an international incident.
No, the best truly British car that consistently raises a smile and represents our industry, design ethic and loveable eccentricity is Morgan. A 3 Wheeler might sound preposterous, but they start from £24,995 for a 2012 example, so it starts to make sense.
If the PM wants to be taken more seriously, though, an Aero 8 is the answer. A 2002 example would be around £50,000. That’s rather more than an old Micra, but this would still be saving the nation a fortune.