Showing posts with label UK. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UK. Show all posts

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Rare British Cars - The Ford Sierra

 


What Is Rare About The Ford Sierra?


Ford has always mass produced cars that have been familiar sites on roads throughout the World. The Sierra is no different. Reportedly, the total production between 1982 and 1993 is 3,470,524. This probably means that if you bought into Ford advertising in this period, that you may well have owned one!

As with all mass produced cars, they tend to not keep up with the latest innovations, especially, when the latest 'new' release can trumpet these.So, it is no surprise that by 2005, there were only 67,817 left. However, in recent years the rate of disappearance from British roads has accelerated, such that the latest figures indicate that well under 2425 remain taxed for use on British Roads.

Whilst the Sierra may not be a 'classic car' in the full sense of the term, it's scarcity will surely increase it's collectors value..and all the more so as the numbers continue to fall.



Famous Owners


As you can imagine, mass produced cars such as this were not especially coveted by the upper tiers of society, however, one UK celebrity figure certainly valued their ownership...if only for a while!

Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock allegedly purchased one of the first few Sierras manufactured. This was just before becoming Labour leader in 1983. However, the July 14,1983 Glasgow Herald reported that Mr Kinnock crashed his Sierra on the M4 in Berkshire. One thing is for sure, the seatbelts must have been well designed in the Sierra, since Mr Kinnock attributed that wearing this saved his life.

 

Main UK Competitors

 

Whilst the Sierra had competitors internationally, the Sierra was targeted in the UK to compete with the Vauxhall Cavalier(1981 onwards). However, despite the Cavalier being front-wheel drive, the Sierra retained the rear-wheel drive feature. In years to come, the Sierra also had, in addition to the Cavalier, the Rover Montego, the Peugeot 405, the Renault 21, and the Nissan Bluebird to contend with.


Where To Buy A Ford Sierra Today?


Whilst you may want to check with your UK mechanic prior to purchasing an ageing Sierra, the cars can still be readily purchased. At time of writing, Ebay.co.uk has 28 listed on it's site, ranging from £1900 to over
£50,000!. In addition, autotrader.co.uk has 4 used models, with prices ranging from
£9,995 to
£69,950

 

 

Editorial

 

For me, the Ford Sierra is not top of my list for cars to collect. However, what was once the epitomy of functionality, has now become a trend of it's own. As the numbers continue to dwindle, we will likely see the price of those that remain continue to rise.

Despite that, it is unlikely that this rare British car will ever be seen in my garage! However, if you are a collector, or the Sierra evokes wonderful memories of bygone years, grabbing one now, before the prices do rise, may well be a worthwhile investment!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Rare British Flowers - The Spring Gentian

 


What Is A Spring Gentian?


You might never have heard of a Spring Gentian, and you are probably not alone. This wild flower, native to the UK, is one of the least prolific flowers that you will see on a forest walk. It's Latin name is Gentiana Verna Gentians, and it is generally found at higher altitudes.

 

Where In The UK Can I Find It?

 

Although variations of the Gentian can be found in various locations throughout Europe, in the UK the flower can generally only be found in one of two locations: Teesdale, and Western Ireland.

 


Teesdale in the UK

 

 

The Gentian generally prefers Chalky soils, which further reduces it's ability to become a prolific species. As noted, it's rare appearance in the United Kingdom is a feature that also characterises the flower throughout Europe, so much so that the flower has been designated as an 'Endangered Species'.

 

History And Folklore

 

 The flower was first discovered in the UK by John Harriman, and now serves as the county flower of Durham, in England's north.

Holly Somerville's drawing of the flower has since become the logo for the botany department in Trinity College Dublin, and has also appeared on a British stamp issued in 1964.


Superstitions


As with most things that are rare, the reputation of the flower has led to various superstitions being formed regarding it. For instance, bringing the flower into a house would risk the offending individual running the risk of being struck by lightning! Also, death, the ultimate penalty was said to follow anyone who picked the flower. However, the threat of the death penalty for picking the flower has not increased it's abundance, although it could arguably be said that it may have stopped it's extinction!


The Takeaway


It is unlikely that you will ever see a Gentian in the UK, unless you visit Teeside or Western Ireland. Even then, it would require a foreknowledge of what you are looking for in order to identify it.

Should you be planning a trip, familiarize yourself with this rare flower, you could be one of the relatively few British folk who have set eyes upon it.


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