Crappy Brit Sports-Car Aggrandizement: Hecklerspray on the TVR Tasmin

Our favorite thing about TVR: Jeremy Clarkson saying, "TVR Spetsnaz!" when musing on new names for the cars now that the company was under Russian ownership. And that's just because we always thought "Spetsnaz" was an especially badass word. We call part our special forces SEALs, fergodssake. They may be goat-humping… » 4/10/06 3:55pm 4/10/06 3:55pm

Bouncy Car? Casino Man? Hecklerspray on the Golf Mk. 2

Laverty, apparently, missed our usual Friday commentary on his beloved-of-tha-Jalop "Rubbish Cars We Love" story. So he e-mailed us. In our defense, Chris, we were on assignment, then we were taking a well-deserved four-day break from the computer, the likes of which hasn't been seen at this particular Jalop bureau… » 4/03/06 8:19pm 4/03/06 8:19pm

Huge Bigness: Hecklerspray on the Ford Granada Mk. 2

Back in 1987, our rich uncle bought a car to keep in Northern Ireland. He drove an Audi 100 Estate himself, but the long drive up to Scotland to catch the ferry over to Larne was wearing on him. So he picked up a used Granada and let our dad drive it while we were over visiting. On a trip down to Dublin, we ended up… » 3/24/06 7:08pm 3/24/06 7:08pm

Vauxhall Builds One for Brit Bro-Hams: Hecklerspray on the Vauxhall…

Vauxhall's not-so-worthy semi-successor to the chav-tastic Opel Manta, the Calibra, is the subject of Laverty's editorial love/hate this fine Saint Paddy's morn'. We're not wearing green today, which is funny, considering we're Irish and it's our favorite color, but there's nobody around to pinch us, anyway. But we've… » 3/17/06 4:20pm 3/17/06 4:20pm

...And Justys For All: Hecklerspray on Subaru's 4WD Econobox

Whoa. Laverty really takes this rubbish car thing seriously, having put his money where his mouth is in the case of the Subaru Justy, noting: "the Justy s safety and reliability report is generally good. For us good meant shock absorbers popping up through the rear wheel arches, clutch cable snapping at the world s… » 3/06/06 2:07pm 3/06/06 2:07pm

Jag, Jag, Jiggity-Jag: Hecklerspray on the Jaguar XJ40

We have to say that lately, the idea of snapping up an old Jaguar for cheap has been really appealing. And here in LA, there're tons of 'em. Then we start thinking, "Well, um, we could easily afford the car, but we can't afford the repair bills." Still, it might be fun to buy one just to do something ridiculously stupid… » 2/24/06 2:28pm 2/24/06 2:28pm

Le Fucking Car! Yes! Hecklerspray on the Renault 5 Mk 1

Oh man, we can't believe how long it took Laverty to get around to this one, because it's possibly the OG lovable rubbish car, but bwahs and grills (as Miss Frueh, our fully-awesome pre-Alegebra teacher, was wont to say), the Renault 5 is thee business. As a child in a stroller, we always marveled at the Le Cars parked … » 2/17/06 2:07pm 2/17/06 2:07pm

Oh, the Joys of the Roundel: Hecklerspray on the BMW 3-Series Mk2

Laverty makes a good point in his latest diatribe: "You might not feel very special in a brand new BMW nowadays (6 Series apart), but once upon a time kids used to put pictures of the things on their bedroom walls." And whaddaya know? The Brit bastard's right. While modern Bimmers feature all the bells, whistles and… » 2/10/06 3:32pm 2/10/06 3:32pm

In Defense of a Lack of Cool: Hecklerspray on the Rover 200

Laverty seems to be reaching a bit this week; both in his car of choice and his defense of it. This week's example of automotive crapitude? The Rover 200. The Hecklerspray scribe suggests buying a 1.4L saloon, which to us doesn't sound like a whole helluva lot of fun at all, but you know, the Brits have their quirks,… » 2/03/06 6:05pm 2/03/06 6:05pm

The Ambassador of Bad Will: Hecklerspray on the Big Austin

Ferfookssake. The Austin Ambassador is certainly a rubbish car. But we don't know if it's really in any way, shape or form actually lovable. We don't think Laverty even thinks so. His defense of the car really comes down to this: "It is a man s car, a throw back, a true-blue with the ride of a floating duvet and the… » 1/27/06 12:26pm 1/27/06 12:26pm

Rollin', in My One-Nine-Oh! D'oh. Hecklerspray on the 190

The first Mercedes we ever drove was a 190 of late '80s/early '90s vintage, and we must say, we were far from impressed. It didn't seem like a Merc to us. It seemed like a cheap-ass car with Mercedes styling. Laverty, on the other hand, loves him some 190 action. To us, it doesn't seem like a diamond in the rough, it… » 1/20/06 6:32pm 1/20/06 6:32pm

Break Like the Wind: Hecklerspray on the Mk. 2 Scirocco

Laverty admits that this one ain't exactly rubbish. Harkening back to earlier days before traction control nannied us all into a sometimes-justified sense of security (how many times did we spin our '70 Skylark?), the second-gen Scirocco is one of our favorite '80s cars as well. While some prefer the Mk. 1 design that… » 1/16/06 2:32pm 1/16/06 2:32pm

Uno! Dos! One, Two, Tres Quattro! Hecklerspray on the Fiat Uno

As Joe Strummer sang on a live version of "Capital Radio", "I wanna hear Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. Not Sham 69, Sam the Sham. Hecklerspray's Chris Laverty's sayin' the same thing, basically. He doesn't wanna play Uno. He doesn't wanna eat at Pizzeria Uno. He wants a goddamn Fiat Uno Mk1, and wants you to want one,… » 1/07/06 6:04am 1/07/06 6:04am

Jesus, We Totally Forgot About This One: Hecklerspray on the Volvo 480

While Laverty's no doubt tucking himself into bed waiting for Father Christmas to pop by and leave him '70s-vintage mint Corgis still in their original packaging, we're enjoying his rant on the Volvo 480, a sporty hatch that the Swedes launched back in '86 before Ford tried to make 'em all sensible and whatnot. Saying, … » 12/23/05 2:28pm 12/23/05 2:28pm

Heheheheheh...Probe. Hecklerspray on Ford's Sportycar

Man, we remember sometime in like 1983 when we saw a concept rendering of the Ford Probe in the Sacramento Union and thought, "Wow! That looks like a spaceship." When it debuted a few years later we thought, That's supposed to replace the Mustang? It never did, but it did take over from Ford's UK ponycar equivalent, the… » 12/09/05 12:56pm 12/09/05 12:56pm

More Bounce to the Ounce: Hecklerspray on the Ford Ka Mk. 1

Has Laverty gone a tad soft in the noggin? We get the feeling that Hecklerspray's auto columnist was born a wee bit daft, but this time he goes positively 'round the bend over the first iteration of Ford's diminutive Ka. Especially troubling is the Ka's relative newness, but we also know that cars don't seem to hold on … » 11/28/05 5:42pm 11/28/05 5:42pm

Hecklerspray Merely Likes The Audi 200 Estate

We've gotta admit we're addicted to Hecklerspray's weekly "Rubbish Cars We Love" feature, as writer Chris Laverty generally gets in some good punches in his defense of random Eurotrash rides. But he didn't seem to be too fired up about the Audi 200 Estate this week, which is really too bad, as we were awfully fond of our … » 11/18/05 4:37pm 11/18/05 4:37pm