PistonHeads.com Forum

RE: The best BTCC car ever: PH Blog

RE: The best BTCC car ever: PH Blog

Wednesday 9th August

The best BTCC car ever: PH Blog

As the BTCC approaches its 60th birthday, what better time to discuss your favourite cars?



Alright, so perhaps that title is a little misleading. I'm not especially interested in the most successful British Touring Car Championship car of all time - though bonus points if you know what it is - but I would really like to discuss PH's favourites. Because, well, it's a great series with a fantastic history and, most importantly, some really cool tin-top racing cars.

No prizes for who Matt was supporting here
No prizes for who Matt was supporting here
Why now? Well the BTCC turns 60 this year, the first race for the 1958 season having taken place on Boxing Day 1957. So consider us in a premature celebratory mood. Or the more cynical might suggest I've been watching too many classic touring car vids on work time and should generate something from it.

My favourites? Naturally, there are quite a few. I was born in 1990, so I can remember getting into BTCC at the end of Super Touring; Rickard Rydell's 1998 championship winning year is a vague memory, the 1999 season the one I first followed avidly on Grandstand. That was a good year, wasn't it? Matt Neal winning a race as an independent for the first time, Laurent Aiello strolling in and taking the championship, the controversy with Rydell and Anthony Reid...

There were of course some fantastic cars from back then, cars that became even more exciting when I later learned just how special they really were. I loved the Volvo S40, not simply because my favourite driver was in it but because, even at eight or nine, I could tell it was making a different noise. A noise I liked, that I thought was interesting. A five-cylinder noise, of course. Same with the Mondeos actually - see here for just how good 8,500rpm 2.0-litre V6s sound.

Let's call the early 2000s different, shall we?
Let's call the early 2000s different, shall we?
I enjoyed the immediate post-Super Touring era as well, even if it's not cool to admit as much. I still think the 406 Coupes look great, the MG ZS appealed because of the noise (again), the flame livery (I was 11) and Team Atomic Kitten (again, I was 11), plus Norman Simon's Production Class 3 Series was welcome to someone who had missed the E36 Super Touring era.

It continued, too: the cars may not have been as exotic as they had been, but having a Honda Integra in the BTCC certainly appealed to the Gran Turismo-playing, JDM nerd I was becoming, and the racing was still super close. Is it bad to concede a fondness for the SEAT Toledos and Vauxhall Vectras as well? As more alternative bodystyles entered, so I latched on more to the traditional shapes.

If there has to be one, Matt says it's this - you?
If there has to be one, Matt says it's this - you?
Anyway, I'm waffling and could continue to. We've not even mentioned Sierras yet... My favourite BTCC car, helped massively by watching old touring cars at Goodwood and online, is the Rover SD1. No, seriously. I love an incongruous touring car, one that looks like it shouldn't be on a track, so the Rover certainly qualifies for that. I especially love an incongruous touring car achieves something, which the SD1 did - Andy Rouse won the championship in 1984, with the TWR team having won races earlier in the decade. More than all of those factors though I love how the Rover looks, how it sounds and how it races: it slithers and slides around, the driver controlling things with their hands, feet and manual gearbox. It's incredible to watch, as are so many cars of that era. There's a separate discussion to have another time about the spectacle of motorsport, but I'll leave that for now.

So the Rover SD1 is my favourite car to have competed in British Touring Car Championship. That almost sounds like a confession. Now over to you...

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Sources: AROnline, BTCC.net, images from LAT]

 

Author
Discussion

DeolTheBeast

Original Poster:

416 posts

70 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all


Or the Biela A4

AndySA

873 posts

187 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
For no other reason other than for some reason I always have mine is the P11 Nissan Primera of the 1990's. Might be as it was such a boring looking unloved thing in standard form and yet was surprisingly successful, also created a lot of the legend around the SR20 engine.

99dndd

451 posts

13 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
Mid 90s Laguna. Because my dad had one.

Dave Hedgehog

9,702 posts

128 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
they came, they conquered, they got 4wd banned smile


TobyLerone

659 posts

68 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
Two choices for me.

The Old Spice Alfa 155



Or the 850 Volvo estate


Advertisement

lucido grigio

31,397 posts

87 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
RS 500.

Spectacular madness.

Nuff said.

DrSteveBrule

1,374 posts

55 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all

AllyBassman

183 posts

36 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
It has to be the Mondeo in the Rapid Fix livery.

The only time a Mondeo has been cool. I still remember hearing the V6 screaming around Outlon park as a kid when my Dad took me to my first motorsport event.

Been back near enough every year since... (i'm 28!)

Matt Bird

906 posts

129 months

PH Reportery Lad

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
they came, they conquered, they got 4wd banned smile

That was very close too, I loved those. Didn't Yvan Muller do quite well in one?

Think someone spent £100K very wisely on this:

http://www.rmsothebys.com/lf16/london/lots/1997-au...

lucido grigio

31,397 posts

87 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all

nutbehinddawheel

296 posts

120 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
DrSteveBrule said:
Yes for me also.
1994 Alfa Romeo 155 with Tarquini, Simoni & Selenia

Mr Fabulous

4 posts

89 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
The Alfa 155.

Nothing more to see here......

Zetec-S

1,211 posts

17 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
Either the Volvo, I remember it being such a talking point when it first raced:



Or the Mondeo, purely because it was "like your dad's car". And I had a scalextric model smile


generationx

1,547 posts

29 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
lucido grigio said:
RS 500.

Spectacular
yes

Mr-B

1,180 posts

118 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
Loved the Volvo estates! And a bit of a soft spot for the Silver Audi A4's

Loved the BMW's too



Even these!


1781cc

111 posts

18 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
My first taste of BTCC was marked with the Biela / A4 Quattro combo, been an Audi fan ever since.

I also liked Tim Harvey in the green/gold 406, that was a lovely looking livery

yonex

10,415 posts

92 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
Overall it has to be the T5 estates. Loads of other great choices but a Volvo dog carrier on two wheels, easy.

Skater12

495 posts

82 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
These three.....

The Escort, simply because look at it, it's bloody gorgeous! Plus it screamed!


The obvious Volvo, because everyone though it was ridiculous, then it started winning.


And finally the Mondeo, because my dad had one of the 2nd gen cars like this, plus Mansell drove one.

Riley Blue

12,544 posts

150 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all
The A4 quattros of Biela and Bintcliffe stand out for me, by a long way.

jeremyc

16,306 posts

208 months

Wednesday 9th August
quotequote all


Because Jim Clark.