When was the last time you saw an Austin Metro, Ford Sierra or Renault 5? A while a go, no doubt, as many of these popular cars from around 30 years ago are disappearing from our roads.
If feeling nostalgic over these rusty relics from yesteryear is your thing, you’ll be pleased to discover a Youtube account that has been set up, featuring many archive clips from Thames News.
Thames News was the regional news programme of Thames Television, serving the Thames ITV region and broadcast on weekdays from 12 September 1977 to 31 December 1992. These are some of our favourite clips featuring cars from the 80s.
Heavy traffic in St Albans
This junction at the top of Holywell Hill in St Albans is still gridlock-central today, but there’s a definite shortage of ‘jelly mould’ Ford Sierras and Citroen BXs in 2016. If you look closely, you’ll even spot a Leyland Princess.
Hounslow housing dilemma
This clip, from July 1984, is about a piece of land earmarked for housing that might be sold off – but we’re much more interested in the cars at the start of the clip. In front of the billboard advertising the recently-launch Fiat Uno, there’s a Saab 95 V4 and a yellow Vauxhall Chevette.
1950s steam trains
We’re not sure what’s going on in this five-minute clip about steam trains, but there’s some impressive 80s chod action. We spot an Opel Ascona, an Austin Maestro, multiple Ford Fiestas and even a Renault Fuego.
This clip shows the chaos caused by roadblocks, seemingly in the wake of an IRA bomb attack. Stuck in the jams we can spy a whole host of 80s delights – including a Renault 5 GT Turbo, a Ford Fiesta XR2 and a Peugeot 305 van.
Roadworks on the M1
We can’t believe a Youtube video showing roadworks on the M1 motorway has had so few views. OK, it doesn’t sound exciting, but check out some of the highlights – including a Mk1 Ford Fiesta police car, and a roof-rack-clad Metro happily barrelling along.
Dad drives toy car – and gets in trouble with the law
This wealthy garage owner bought his six-year-old son an electric-powered toy car for Christmas – and got in trouble with a local bobby for driving it on the road to the local park. Who wouldn’t love a £2,300 VW Beetle like this today?
We’re not sure why Thames TV wanted a clip of Chiswick Roundabout, but there’s plenty to keep 80s car aficionados entertained. The junction, where the North Circular and South Circular roads meet, was filmed in 1988 – with highlights including a Triumph Acclaim and a Baur 3 Series Convertible.
The rounds around Trafalgar Square were just as congested in the summer of 1988, it would seem. Back then it was mainly polluting black cabs and ancient buses causing congestion… a bit like today, really.
Earls Court Road
This clip from Earls Court Road gives a real flavour of the sort of traffic on London’s roads in 1987. Remember a time when Rover SD1s and Citroen 2CVs were commonplace?
This clip shows day turning into night, as Londoners make their way home in a variety of cars we no longer see: from Opel Mantas to Hyacinth Bucket Rover SD3s. Of course, there’s a healthy smattering of MGBs – a classic car that’s seemingly immune from extinction.