Looking Back 30 Years at Predictions of Motoring Today

A lot has changed over the last 30 years, but how much of it did we see coming? The RAC finds out…

Think back to 1988 and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have fond memories of the new Fiat Tipo and the freshly launched Vauxhall Cavalier. You know, the Cavalier that was marketed as the “The Future. Now.”

At the same time, the The Report on Motoring asked for predictions on the future of the motoring world, and there are some surprising results.

This was a time when seatbelts were optional, and only 29% of those asked said they’d need them in the rear of their next car. It was just three years later that they were made a legal requirement.

Unleaded petrol was seen as the future, with 85% suggesting that cars would be required to run on the new fangled fuel by 2001. Leaded fuel was banned for all but specialist sales in 2000, and let’s not mention diesel…

The Future. Now.

Since then we’ve seen the Channel Tunnel opening, the Mazda MX-5 going on sale, the first Gatso speed camera, crash testing by Euro NCAP, a second Severn crossing, the new Mini, the M6 Toll road and the London Congestion Charge.

In its roundup of predictions and changes, the RAC’s 30 Years of Motoring report also touches on the rapidly increasing cost of motoring, as well as looking at what might have been.

Take a look, reminisce for a while, and then make your predictions for the next 30 years…

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Phil is a motoring writer for print and web, failed racing driver, car hoarder and banger rally competitor. Nominated for the Headline Auto Rising Star award and a MGMW member, Phil freelances for outlets as diverse as Diesel Car magazine, DAD.info and Cambridge Magazine, amongst many others. He also maintains a fleet of unloved motors, but spends most of his time driving an old Corvette.

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