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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 October, 2004, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
VW Beetle is named 'crappest car'
The Beetle topped the list of UK's worst cars

An author has risked the wrath of thousands of Volkswagen Beetle fans by naming the popular car as the "crappest" in Britain.

Richard Porter, author of Crap Cars, says of the iconic car: "It's slow, it's noisy and it's uncomfortable".

The Austin Allegro, Suzuki X90, Morris Marina and Lada Riva make up the rest of Mr Porter's "top five".

He said he knew putting the Beetle top was controversial, but the car was "a triumph of expectation over reality".

"In 1948 it was reasonably well built and reliable and sturdy and all those things people needed, which is fine - that was 1948," he told BBC News.

1: Volkswagen Beetle
2: Austin Allegro
3: Suzuki X90
4: Morris Marina
5: Lada Riva
(Source: Richard Porter
author of Crap Cars)
"I think the mangle was a good way to dry your clothes in 1948, but you wouldn't use one now."

But London and Thames Valley VW Club chairman Trevor Wilson said many people would jump to the car's defence.

"I suppose it's a bit funny, but a bit stupid - the Beetle was the biggest selling car ever," he told BBC News Online.

Mr Wilson, 37, the proud owner of a 1977 Beetle cabriolet, said he liked the car's design, the way panels were bolted on rather than welded to make them easier to replace.

Bond Bug (pic courtesy www.bondownersclub.co.uk)
Also on the list are Bond Bugs, produced in the 1970s (pic courtesy www.bondownersclub.co.uk)
"They were built to last and built to be easily maintained - that's a good design" he said.

"It's individual - you can make the car your own, certainly if you are going to restore it you can do what you want. Modern cars are quite boring to look at and to drive."

Publisher BBC Books describes Crap Cars as "a celebration of the shoddy, the inept and the downright ugly".

Other cars it lambasts include the Trabant: "Had an engine so lame even the people who made electric carving knives deemed it feeble" and another motoring icon - the MGB - described as "spectacularly rubbish".
How can a car that has survived nearly 6 decades relatively untouched ever be described as the worst car?
Bob Head, US

Mr Porter, a script editor for the BBC's Top Gear programme, said he had only included cars that could be bought in the UK.

"I showed the book to a couple of friends the other day and the first thing they do is go: 'Oh, my dad had one of those, my uncle had one - they were awful', so it's a sense of nostalgia."

Silver-lining of 'crap town' tag
27 Sep 04 |  England
Beetle production ends at last
28 Jul 03 |  Business

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