A Strange Top 10

After that 1987 Road & Track with the best 10 cars in the world, it’s funny that the very next car magazine in my pile, through sheer coincidence, decided to do pretty much the same thing. Of course, being Classic & Sportscar, this is an old car list. In my opinion, their list of the top 10 classic saloons (sedans for the Amercians that walk among us) seemed a lot more controversial to me than the one R&T put together.

The Jag on the cover I suppose we can agree on, but then they went on to add off-the-wall choices like the NSU Ro80 and the Jowett Javelin (and I’d look sideways at that Rover, too) while ignoring every Mercedes and BMW and not even acknowledging that there was such a thing as a US car industry (other than one British ford which was also unworthy).

Does that make it a bad list? Not in the least. These things are much more entertaining when they’re quirky and strange. The best part is watching the writers attempt to justify choices that all of us know are just personal preferences with arguments stretched to the breaking point.

Besides, a list composed of the usual suspects is boring.

As I may have mentioned, after finishing off my pile of Motor Clásicos (I’ve since bought another, bigger pile which I’ll get to eventually) the next pile to read is composed of these C&SCs, mainly from the 90s.

So how do they compare to the modern issues or even older ones? To be honest, I found this 1991 issue of the magazine to be the weakest I’ve seen. Of course the feature articles are wonderful and well-designed, but the flow of the rest of the mag just seemed wonky. When comparing to other publications I’m familiar with, the early nineties seems to be the only era in which C&SC was clearly beaten by R&T, designwise (normally, C&SC is the best-designed and best-produced car mag in the world, bar none).

No need to bemoan anything, however. This was just an interesting quirk and, with the arrival of full color, C&SC blossomed just a few years later. I think I have some of those to discuss in due time.

Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer whose latest novel is entitled Colony. It’s a science fiction thriller set on a cold and distant world where humans are welcome… but for all the wrong reasons. You can check it out here.

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