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Drive Life : February 11th 2011
1HERSA1 F005 *Of fer applies to new vehicles ordered and delivered bet ween 26th December 2010 and 14th February 2011. Offer excludes Dealer Delivery which may vary between dealers. Cannot be combined with any other offer. BMW11872_X1_SMH_A Only a BMW drives like a BMW and the BMW Summer Sales Drive is your opportunity to secure substantial savings across the entire new vehicle range. With incentives also available on 2010 demonstrators, now is the time to get a better deal on an Ultimate Driving Machine. Visit your BMW Dealer today. WHAT MAKES BMW FREE ON-ROADS BETTER THAN OTHER FREE ON-ROADS? THE CAR YOU PUT ON THE ROAD. LAST DAYS OF THE BMW SUMMER SALES DRIVE. ENDS FEBRUARY 14. COMPLIMENTARY STAMP DUTY REGISTRATION AND CTP* . EXCLUDES DEALER DELIVERY. BMW 133 BMW bmw.com.au BMW Sydney 65 Craigend Street, Rushcutters Bay. Ph: (02) 9334 4855 bmwsydney.com.au DL 14639 North Shore BMW 676 Pacific Highway, Chatswood. Ph: (02) 9406 0888 northshorebmw.com.au DL 26386 Canterbury BMW 376-384 Canterbury Road, Canterbury. Ph: (02) 9784 8856 canterburybmw.com.au DL 8726 Col Crawford Motors 497 Pittwater Road, Brookvale. Ph: (02) 9941 1291 colcrawford.bmw.com.au DL 6342 Sylvania BMW 101-107 Prince s H ighway, Sylvania. Ph: (02) 8543 5459 sylvaniabmw.com.au DL 14727 Trivett Classic 40-52 Church Street, Parramatta. Ph: (02) 9841 9003 trivettclassicbmw.com.au DL 579 The Sydney Morning Herald Friday, February 11, 2011 5 DriveLIFE The longest-running car ever? Threescore and 15 . . . the Morgan 4/4 went on sale in 1936. TONY DAVIS Frequently Unasked Questions This column recently discussed the Renault R4. Bet you're sorry you missed that one. Nonetheless, the R4 was the third best-selling car on record and it led to some musing here about longevity, as opposed to volume. The R4 ran -- well, jogged; it had only a few kilowatts under the bonnet -- from 1961 to 1993. That's 32 years of continuous production. What beats that? Depends on your criteria. Iran's Paykan started life as a Hillman Hunter in 1966 and was still being built in 2005. The name changed but not much else, so it could be reasonably recognised as 39 years. The Citroen 2CV did better again: from 1948 to 1990 with the same name, same French builder, and essentially the same famously frail design. That's 42 years. Lada's Riva 2105 was first seen in Russia in 1981. To say it's still going strong might be an overstatement; it never did that. But it's still being made. Furthermore, the 2105 was a modest restyle of an earlier Riva, introduced in 1970 and based on the Fiat 124 of 1966. A Lada aficionado, if one exists, might claim 45 years. The rest of us will say 41 years at best. The Trabant we all know and don't love is the 601, produced from 1964 until just after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1991, it was still wearing those tail fins that were outdated even on day one. Total? A mere 27 years, though again, it was a mild revamp of an earlier effort. The car sold here as the FSM Niki started life as the Fiat 126 in 1972. Production finished in Poland 28 years later. The Yugo? It was first seen in 1980 and was sold in the US for a few years, as covered in Jason Vuic's recent book The Yugo: the Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History. There was an attempt to re- introduce it in the US a few years ago as a ''ZMW'', perhaps because that sounded like BMW, a brand with which the Yugo had a lot in common. It was from Europe and had a steering wheel, for a start. That plan failed, though the Yugo continued in its homeland, Serbia, until 2008, with changes that were optimistically described as improvements. The Model T Ford is revered as the archetypal, long-running, little-changed car but its reign was ''only'' from 1908 to 1927. The original Mini did much better, lasting 41 years (1959-2000), or one year behind the Citroen 2CV. India throws up a few surprises. Must be the food. The Fiat 1100, circa 1953, continued as the Premier Padmini from 1962 until 2000. Hey, that's 47 years, across two brand names. Similarly, the 1956 Morris Oxford was built as the Hindustan Ambassador from 1958 until, holy cow, it's still with us. The online brochure reveals features such as an MP3 player and mobile charger but the sheet metal is pretty much unchanged. Under the Hindustan badge alone, that's 53 years, giving us a new clubhouse champion. The VW Beetle is always claimed as 1938-2003. However, only a handful of road cars were built until 1946, so one could argue it's ''just'' 57 years -- well within the sights of the Hindustan. If you count low-volume sporties, Lotus's 7 was unveiled in 1957 (a year before the Hindustan) and is built today by Caterham. More impressive still: the Morgan 4/4. It went on sale in 1936, with its name reflecting that it had four wheels, then a novelty at Morgan (''it'll never catch on''). The 4/4 has had different engines and a facelift or two. Indeed, it's a bit like granddad's axe but not as sophisticated. But the 2011 model is, in essence, the same car that was built at the same location 75 years ago. Beat that.
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