What happened to genuinely posh cars and their targets?

What happened to genuinely posh cars and their targets?

Author
Discussion

austinsmirk

4,097 posts

87 months

Wednesday 7th April
quotequote all
My mother is selling the family home. Been clearing a few items of mine left there for decades. Turns out I have a wealth of dealer brochures from the 80’s, mint from cars my father had

Volvo, Mercedes, Jaguar.

And oddly Porsche, Ford and golf gti that he never did.

And a few auto traders from the late 80’s.

I can tell you the answer easily.

The gulf between Mercedes, Volvo and Jaguar compared to anything mundane was enormous. Ditto price and specifications. The gap on pricing of a merc v a Granada was huge.

Even leafing through an 80’s Ford brochure s you can see just how cheap and Ill fitting the cars and trim are by comparison.

But the void has narrowed and as I’ve said before, you simply couldn’t buy a bad, poorly specified car now.

Sure your Dacia might not have active
Cat eye detection warning systems with a frothing cappuccino dash dispenser v more superior models but you can bet every single car these days has two wing mirrors that are heated and disc brakes plus a factory fit radio. Remember when you were lucky if they had radio prep which might mean two paper thin door speakers !

Richer or posher or harder working people had better cars simply because the alternative was something from British Leyland that would instantly rot to pieces on ones gravel driveway. And leak old on the chippings. And fail to start.

Anonymous-poster

11,982 posts

170 months

Wednesday 7th April
quotequote all
austinsmirk said:
My mother is selling the family home. Been clearing a few items of mine left there for decades. Turns out I have a wealth of dealer brochures from the 80’s, mint from cars my father had

Volvo, Mercedes, Jaguar.

And oddly Porsche, Ford and golf gti that he never did.

And a few auto traders from the late 80’s.

I can tell you the answer easily.

The gulf between Mercedes, Volvo and Jaguar compared to anything mundane was enormous. Ditto price and specifications. The gap on pricing of a merc v a Granada was huge.

Even leafing through an 80’s Ford brochure s you can see just how cheap and Ill fitting the cars and trim are by comparison.

But the void has narrowed and as I’ve said before, you simply couldn’t buy a bad, poorly specified car now.

Sure your Dacia might not have active
Cat eye detection warning systems with a frothing cappuccino dash dispenser v more superior models but you can bet every single car these days has two wing mirrors that are heated and disc brakes plus a factory fit radio. Remember when you were lucky if they had radio prep which might mean two paper thin door speakers !

Richer or posher or harder working people had better cars simply because the alternative was something from British Leyland that would instantly rot to pieces on ones gravel driveway. And leak old on the chippings. And fail to start.
Back in the day when a Mercedes was definitely not £299pm written on the doors of a car with a Renault engine!

S17Thumper

1,058 posts

150 months

Wednesday 7th April
quotequote all
Anonymous-poster said:
Back in the day when a Mercedes was definitely not £299pm written on the doors of a car with a Renault engine!
When you knew that Jimmy's dad was a big deal when he picked him up in a 3 series or 190E.


politeperson

173 posts

145 months

Wednesday 7th April
quotequote all
Everyone has now become middle class. Posh (upper class) people dont spend money on cars unless they are given them for free.

Cars are not even on their radar.

53 plate Honda CRV, 06 plate Ford Galaxy. Y reg Peugeot 406 diesel estate.

These are the cars of the "posh" people I have met in recent times.






AMC243

19 posts

Wednesday 7th April
quotequote all
Properly posh cars do exist but as many have said, there's little functional difference between an A6, Phantom, a C class or a Mondeo. They'll all (hopefully) be reliable and relatively trouble-free. They'll all get you from one place to another (hopefully) without incident, they'll all be safe in the event of a crash, and they'll have the conveniences that today's drivers come to expect.

Only on the most basic of cars do you still get mirrors on sticks, wind-up windows and optional air con. But even those basic cars will still be reliable and reasonably crashworthy. The difference is of perceived quality - I prefer metal door handles to plastic ones, but the plastic one works and if every plastic door handle passes quality control, then it's a quality item. What your money buys you is the modern driver aids such as blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise, lane-keeping etc, and bigger screens, comfier seats and other features to remove as much of the stress of driving as possible.

MikeT66

2,336 posts

88 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
Flumpo said:
MikeT66 said:
Harry Flashman said:
The Spruce Goose said:
Have we had carries money around in tesco carry bags and drives very old cars, anything in the shed thread, for the old money types?

Someone needs to do an old money bingo card.

Edited by The Spruce Goose on Wednesday 7th April 06:38
"came into the dealership dressed like a tramp, I was the only one who spoke to him, came back in and bought three matching cars with every option for his sons for cash that afternoon“, and other such classics will surely be delivered soon, by the same fools who get a kick of trotting out this tired old garbage to anyone who will listen
With all these stories, sometimes there's a kernel of truth, I think... then get embellished upon. When I ran pubs for a well-known Yorkshire brewery back in the late 1990s the owner, a very rich man with land and pubs across London as well as Yorkshire, drove a battered F-registration Montego and dressed in clothes that looked like he'd not changed them for a few years. His son was a different type, let's just say.
I can confirm Humphrey does now use the bus.
laugh Didn't want to name names, although the Yorkshire brewery bit did probably narrow it down. Humphrey seemed a very low-key gentleman, who stood quietly at the end of the bar with his half pint of OBB. Didn't know who he was until one of the regulars told me, and I watched him drive away in that old Montego. I still though I was being had, until I checked with our area manager who said it definitely was Mr. Smith himself.

Deep Thought

28,684 posts

161 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
As i said earlier there is no "Posh" class any more its gone.

We dont have upper class, middle class and lower class like there once was.

And yes a 190E was an aspirational car back in the day, but Mercedes have simply made those aspirational cars more affordable and accessible. Theres an element of society who aspire to drive a Mercedes like there was back then, except now its not the statement of wealth it could have been considered at the time. Maybe the only ones aggrieved by that are those who needed to be able to express that wealth?


Flumpo

2,333 posts

37 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
MikeT66 said:
Flumpo said:
MikeT66 said:
Harry Flashman said:
The Spruce Goose said:
Have we had carries money around in tesco carry bags and drives very old cars, anything in the shed thread, for the old money types?

Someone needs to do an old money bingo card.

Edited by The Spruce Goose on Wednesday 7th April 06:38
"came into the dealership dressed like a tramp, I was the only one who spoke to him, came back in and bought three matching cars with every option for his sons for cash that afternoon“, and other such classics will surely be delivered soon, by the same fools who get a kick of trotting out this tired old garbage to anyone who will listen
With all these stories, sometimes there's a kernel of truth, I think... then get embellished upon. When I ran pubs for a well-known Yorkshire brewery back in the late 1990s the owner, a very rich man with land and pubs across London as well as Yorkshire, drove a battered F-registration Montego and dressed in clothes that looked like he'd not changed them for a few years. His son was a different type, let's just say.
I can confirm Humphrey does now use the bus.
laugh Didn't want to name names, although the Yorkshire brewery bit did probably narrow it down. Humphrey seemed a very low-key gentleman, who stood quietly at the end of the bar with his half pint of OBB. Didn't know who he was until one of the regulars told me, and I watched him drive away in that old Montego. I still though I was being had, until I checked with our area manager who said it definitely was Mr. Smith himself.
Last time I met him, he definitely turned up on the bus. But seems as the only thing he enjoys spending money on are legal fees and having been on the receiving end previously, perhaps I should know better!


MC Bodge

15,348 posts

139 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
This thread exists due to the outdated, but lingering, British fascination with "class" -something that arguably holds us back.

In modern times the veneer of mystique of our "betters" has mostly been lost as we know far more about them, they are far more accessible, visible, on social media and we "normal people" may even have met some of them at university, work or even socially. They are just people -People who's ancestors who gained land and influence through violence before societal norms changed or made money through business.

The point made earlier is that many modern cars do the job well, even those that don't cost the same as a family house. If you are not interested in cars or projecting an image, then why would you you spend 5-10x the amount on something that does little/nothing better/more usefully than the cheaper option?


The Spruce Goose

27,609 posts

159 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
MC Bodge said:
This thread exists due to the outdated, but lingering, British fascination with "class" -something that arguably holds us back.
Reading about China, it seems they are becoming this way as well.

Deep Thought

28,684 posts

161 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
MC Bodge said:
This thread exists due to the outdated, but lingering, British fascination with "class" -something that arguably holds us back.
Exactly.


RMDB9

Original Poster:

1,711 posts

12 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
Does that mean different social classes (differences in upbringing, values, financial situation, consumer preferences, education, beliefs) do not exist anymore?

Deep Thought

28,684 posts

161 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
RMDB9 said:
Does that mean different social classes (differences in upbringing, values, financial situation, consumer preferences, education, beliefs) do not exist anymore?
They do, but not in the form of Upper Class, Middle Class, Lower Class.

From Wiki (as good a starting point as any)

On 2 April 2013 analysis of the results of a survey,[30] which was conducted by the BBC in 2011 and developed in collaboration with academic experts, was published online in the journal Sociology.[31][32][33][34][35] The results released were based on a survey of 160,000 residents of the United Kingdom most of whom lived in England and described themselves as "white." Class was defined and measured according to the amount and kind of economic, cultural, and social resources, "capitals", reported. Economic capital was defined as income and assets; cultural capital as amount and type of cultural interests and activities, and social capital as the quantity and social status of their friends, family and personal and business contacts.[34] This theoretical framework was inspired by that of Pierre Bourdieu, who published his theory of social distinction in 1979.

Analysis of the survey revealed seven classes: a wealthy "elite;" a prosperous salaried "middle class" consisting of professionals and managers; a class of technical experts; a class of ‘new affluent’ workers, and at the lower levels of the class structure, in addition to an ageing traditional working class, a ‘precariat’ characterised by very low levels of capital, and a group of emergent service workers. The fracturing of the middle sectors of the social structure into distinguishable factions separated by generational, economic, cultural, and social characteristics was considered notable by the authors of the research.[36][37]

Elite
Members of the elite class are the top 6% of British society with very high economic capital (particularly savings), high social capital, and very 'highbrow' cultural capital. Occupations such as chief executive officers, IT and telecommunications directors, marketing and sales directors; functional managers and directors, solicitors, barristers and judges, financial managers, higher education teachers,[38] dentists, doctors and advertising and public relations directors were strongly represented.[39] However, those in the established and 'acceptable' professions, such as academia, law and medicine are more traditional upper middle class identifiers, with IT and sales being the preserve of the economic if not social middle class.

Established middle class
Members of the established middle class, about 25% of British society, reported high economic capital, high status of mean social contacts, and both high highbrow and high emerging cultural capital. Well-represented occupations included electrical engineers, occupational therapists, social workers, midwives, environmental professionals, quality assurance and regulatory professionals, town planning officials, and special needs teaching professionals.[40]

Technical middle class
The technical middle class, about 6% of British society, shows high economic capital, very high status of social contacts, but relatively few contacts reported, and moderate cultural capital. Occupations represented include medical radiographers, aircraft pilots, pharmacists, natural and social science professionals and physical scientists, and business, research, and administrative positions.[41]

New affluent workers
New affluent workers, about 15% of British society, show moderately good economic capital, relatively poor status of social contacts, though highly varied, and moderate highbrow but good emerging cultural capital. Occupations include electricians and electrical fitters; postal workers; retail cashiers and checkout operatives; plumbers and heating and ventilation technicians; sales and retail assistants; housing officers; kitchen and catering assistants; quality assurance technicians.[41]

Traditional working class
The traditional working class, about 14% of British society, shows relatively poor economic capital, but some housing assets, few social contacts, and low highbrow and emerging cultural capital. Typical occupations include electrical and electronics technicians; care workers; cleaners; van drivers; electricians; residential, day, and domiciliary care [41]

Emergent service sector
The emergent service sector, about 19% of British society, shows relatively poor economic capital, but reasonable household income, moderate social contacts, high emerging (but low highbrow) cultural capital. Typical occupations include bar staff, chefs, nursing auxiliaries and assistants, assemblers and routine operatives, care workers, elementary storage occupations, customer service occupations, and musicians.[41]

Precariat
The precariat, about 15% of British society, shows poor economic capital, and the lowest scores on every other criterion. Typical occupations include cleaners, van drivers, care workers, carpenters and joiners, caretakers, leisure and travel service occupations, shopkeepers and proprietors, and retail cashiers.[42]

Edited by Deep Thought on Thursday 8th April 11:06


Edited by Deep Thought on Thursday 8th April 11:12

161BMW

1,580 posts

129 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
Deep Thought said:
No doubt.

However its when that is wheeled out to justify the "wealth whispers" statement that it starts to wear a bit thin.

Yes, many people have specific cars for specific jobs. Many people also dont "get" cars. That happens in all walks of life.

Conversely many people with real money DO spend it on cars / boats / helicopters. Doesnt mean they're not wealthy or are trying to make a point or trying to prove something to others or "shouting" about it.
It is kind of true though. If you are newly rich then most people want to shout about it and let everyone know via their purchases ie a fancy car

After you rich for a while you know you are rich and dont care about impressing anybody. Old money may or may not have nice cars but they go about it in a less ostentatious way because they have nothing to prove and dont care about impressing anyone. Unlike new money who will probably start an instagram account about it,

Thankyou4calling

9,071 posts

137 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
I would like a fancy new car but alas everything I own is old and a hand me down.

My furniture is 200 years old (Chippendale) my fireplace hasn’t been painted since Robert Adam designed it in 1800 something. I have old China from the Ming Dynasty and threadbare Persian rugs in the floor.

Even my garden hasn’t been touched since Capability Brown and his ‘oppos laid it out in 1746.

So times are hard.

I wish I could run to a new Mercedes, all shiny and bling. Alas I’ll struggle on the the Royce for now.

Deep Thought

28,684 posts

161 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
161BMW said:
Deep Thought said:
No doubt.

However its when that is wheeled out to justify the "wealth whispers" statement that it starts to wear a bit thin.

Yes, many people have specific cars for specific jobs. Many people also dont "get" cars. That happens in all walks of life.

Conversely many people with real money DO spend it on cars / boats / helicopters. Doesnt mean they're not wealthy or are trying to make a point or trying to prove something to others or "shouting" about it.
It is kind of true though. If you are newly rich then most people want to shout about it and let everyone know via their purchases ie a fancy car

After you rich for a while you know you are rich and dont care about impressing anybody. Old money may or may not have nice cars but they go about it in a less ostentatious way because they have nothing to prove and dont care about impressing anyone. Unlike new money who will probably start an instagram account about it,
I dont think you're looking at it on the right scale.

We're not talking about someone coming in to a bit of money and wanting to buy something flash to impress the neighbours, we're taking about someone maybe earning £1 million a year. They could be self made business people, they could from a business family.

Are they really not going to drive some old Volvo? If you think the answer is "yes" then maybe have a look at coverage of the Monaco Yacht Show, or have a real look at what rich business people in the rich list i gave a link to are driving or those in that "Elite" class are really driving and doing with their money.

Having a nice car (or a handful of nice cars) and a handful of properties / houses and maybe a super yacht is not to impress others, its their way of life.

If you want another example - have a look at the Porsche threads and see how many people are serial owners of cars like that when buying new 911s etc. They dont just buy one, own it for a year and then buy an A4 TDI.



Edited by Deep Thought on Thursday 8th April 13:08

RMDB9

Original Poster:

1,711 posts

12 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
Why is everybody so fixated on self-made new money hard-working tycoon types?

What about the intellectual elite, 2nd sons of landed gentry, ambassadors? None of them fall into the superyacht/white Phantom/AP Royal Oak Offshote/Gold-plated filet steak in Dubai bracket.

Deep Thought

28,684 posts

161 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
RMDB9 said:
Why is everybody so fixated on self-made new money hard-working tycoon types?

What about the intellectual elite, 2nd sons of landed gentry, ambassadors? None of them fall into the superyacht/white Phantom/AP Royal Oak Offshote/Gold-plated filet steak in Dubai bracket.
Because that line still seems to be being drawn - you're either "posh" and have money (but obvs whisper about it) or you're new money just showing off when the reality these days is not like that.

And because the self made hard-working tycoon types are far more prevalent / influential than some 7th Earl of Fuddsbury or wherever whos clinging on to the past.

And what makes them intellectually elite? And what makes them ambassadors?


Anonymous-poster

11,982 posts

170 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
Deep Thought said:
As i said earlier there is no "Posh" class any more its gone.

We dont have upper class, middle class and lower class like there once was.

And yes a 190E was an aspirational car back in the day, but Mercedes have simply made those aspirational cars more affordable and accessible. Theres an element of society who aspire to drive a Mercedes like there was back then, except now its not the statement of wealth it could have been considered at the time. Maybe the only ones aggrieved by that are those who needed to be able to express that wealth?
Well an A class with a Renault engine Is definitely not a symbol of quality and if it’s not a statement of wealth why are people buying them in the numbers they do?

RMDB9

Original Poster:

1,711 posts

12 months

Thursday 8th April
quotequote all
Deep Thought said:
RMDB9 said:
Why is everybody so fixated on self-made new money hard-working tycoon types?

What about the intellectual elite, 2nd sons of landed gentry, ambassadors? None of them fall into the superyacht/white Phantom/AP Royal Oak Offshote/Gold-plated filet steak in Dubai bracket.
Because that line still seems to be being drawn - you're either "posh" and have money (but obvs whisper about it) or you're new money just showing off when the reality these days is not like that.

And because the self made hard-working tycoon types are far more prevalent / influential than some 7th Earl of Fuddsbury or wherever whos clinging on to the past.

And what makes them intellectually elite? And what makes them ambassadors?
While i guess that you know exactly what i mean. Still, I am happy to take the bait.

The ambassador...not "wealthy", Foreign service pays peanuts compared to what the Rolex/'rari people make. He had to go through some quite elaborate education (=middle class), role has high status (compared to IT contractors, bitcoin traders or the like), will likely require him to socialize with interesting people (high social capital). But able to buy a Lambo? Do ambassador types generally want a Lambo?

Literary figures, but not Clarkson. Men of letters. Oxford dons. You get the idea. Successful in their field, but have "proof of success" via their publications/appointments/awards, dont need the "Tron" Lambo cruising around Harrods with "revs".

2nd son of landed gentry, related by birth and marriage to similar people, minor dignitaries who hold roles in local government, military or church. Education, manners, illiquid assets.