Motor Match – The Best from the West

Bond

When it comes to choosing a car, or even renting a vehicle abroad, you can often be spoilt for choice. Thankfully, we’re here to help you out! We’ve matched the iconic cars to their home countries in our very own motor match.

So whether you’re hitting Route 66 on a Harley, seeing the British countryside via Mini or cruising through Rome in a Ferrari, we’re here to help you make the best decision for your destination.

United Kingdom

Named “the best British car of all time” by readers of Autocar magazine last year, there is no denying that there something really special about the Mini.

The star of The Italian Job, The Bourne Identity and of course the Monte Carlo Rally, the classic Mini has long been a beloved symbol of Britishness, adored by pop culture and car lovers alike.

“It comes as little surprise that the original Mini has topped the list of all-time British greats,” said Chas Hallett, Autocar brand editor. “It’s such an iconic vehicle and represents a lot more than the British car industry; the Mini is associated with Great Britain around the world and, in many ways, it was ahead of its time.”

Perfect for zipping around the British Isles, the humble mini is undoubtedly proof that great things sometimes do come in small packages.

What’s the alternative?

If your style is more Bond than Bourne, the Aston Martin might be your car of choice. This elegant and downright suave car is as Bond as the Martini.

Aston Martin first became associated with luxury grand touring cars in the 1950s and 1960s, especially after the appearance of the DB5 model in the 1964 film Goldfinger. The DB5 has since become the iconic Bond car – and a highly desirable vehicle for fans of both James Bond and luxury cars alike.

Why not hit the roads of Great Britain in this truly luxurious ride and take in the stunning countryside, metropolitan cities and heritage sites Bond-style.

United States

The United States has long had a love affair with large vehicles. As they say, everything’s bigger in Texas and the not-so-humble American pickup truck is no exception.

Immortalised in the lyrics of Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’; the Chevy led truck design into a new era in 1967. The ’67s were more durable than ever and designed to appeal to the growing number of consumers seeking comfortable and capable trucks for recreational use or personal transportation, rather than for utilitarian reasons.

By 1990 less than 15% of pickup owners reported using the pickup for it’s primary purpose and today the pickup is mostly used as a passenger vehicle. So regardless of whether you actually need the cargo bed, the Chevy pick-up is a pretty awesome way to see America by road.

What’s the alternative?

If a car or a truck doesn’t suit your fancy for the great open roads of North America, a Harley Davidson might be the vehicle you’re looking for.

The Harley has become an iconic American vehicle, favoured by seasoned bikers and rebellious teenagers everywhere looking for more of an ‘Easy Rider’ experience.

Whether you’re hitting the road in the East Coast, cruising down Route 66 to the West or heading to the Deep South, the Harley Davidson can provide the means for a truly thrilling American road trip.

Germany

The VW camper van has become an iconic vehicle, associated with hippies, freedom and flower power. It is therefore ironic that Volkswagen was launched under the rule of Adolf Hitler.

Meaning “the people’s car” in German, Volkswagen was created in 1937 by the German Labour Front. At the time the German auto industry was still largely composed of luxury models and the average German could rarely afford anything more than a motorcycle. In his opening address at the German International Motor Show in Berlin, Hitler called for a car to be developed for the masses, requiring a basic vehicle capable of transporting two adults and three children at 100 kph.

A few decades later and the VW camper van was adopted by hippies and flower children of the 60s and 70s, becoming a symbol of the era. Today the camper van is still cherished and highly sought after vehicles.

Taking a trip to Germany? Hop in a VW – just try to avoid the autobahn, this vehicle wasn’t built for speed!

What’s the alternative?

Laid-back camper van not your cup of tea? Why not go green with BMW’s i3 electric car?

Electric cars may be new to the scene, but they haven’t failed to impress. The BMW i3 comes highly recommended by Top Gear and is considered one of the best vehicles of it’s kind. Dubbed “the most revolutionary mainstream electric car yet” by topgear.com, the i3 is BMW’s first zero emissions mass-produced vehicle due to its electric powertrain.

Not only is it a visually appealing green machine, the German five-door urban electric car carries a powerful motor, allowing the all-electric vehicle to do 0-62mph in just 7.2 seconds. This is certainly one German automobile which is ready for the autobahn.

France

Taking the family away to France? The Citroen ZX will have you set for a smooth ride through the rolling hills and vineyards and beautiful villages of the French countryside.

This small family car produced by the French manufacturer Citroën between 1991 and 1998, is solidly built, reliable and provided lots of desirable features for buyers – including the Parisian police!

This particular Citroen model reached pop culture fame when it was used by the police to chase Jason Bourne through Paris in the unforgettable ‘The Bourne Identity’.

“While you knew no car was going to catch Bourne,” says complex.com, “the ZXs in the film did a pretty good job of keeping up. We’d say that makes it really and truly cool.”

Ideally you won’t need the car for the same reasons, but there is no doubt this little car is a trooper!

What’s the alternative?

If you want something with a bit more speed, look no further than the effortlessly stylish Bugatti.

During the early 20th century, Bugatti was synonymous with performance. Frenchman Ettore Bugatti founded the company in 1909 and built some of the most legendary performance the auto industry had ever seen. Unfortunately in 1952, changes in markets forced the company to shut down in 1952.

Since the 50s, Bugatti has been resurrected twice – most recently in 1998 by Volkswagen. Starting in 2001, they decided to make the fastest car in the world in a bespoke factory in Molsheim, France.

For your trip to the vineyards in the south of France – or if you’re brave enough to attempt a drive through Paris – the Bugatti is the way to do it in serious style.

Italy

Italy’s Fiat 500, a quirky looking ride which is known for undercutting rivals on price, is considered one of the safest city cars around. This four-seater, three-door hatchback supermini not only handles well, but is also a nimble vehicle perfect for inner city driving.

According to autoexpress.co.uk, one of the key reasons for the success of the 500 is Fiat’s extensive customisation option offers, allowing owners to personalise their cars with some individual styling features, full body wrappings, smaller decals and bold colour combinations.  

An elegant yet reliable car with a nod towards retro, what more could you want when hitting the roads of the former roman empire?

What’s the alternative?

For something a little more glamorous, we recommend the legendary Ferrari. An incredibly sophisticated and elegant car, the Ferrari has captured the hearts and wallets of car enthusiasts the world over.

Largely associated with speed, wealth and luxury, the Ferrari is largely known for its participation in Formula One, having produced the highest number of winning drivers.

The company’s road cars have also won over the motor world, putting it amongst the most desired cars on the planet. Off the track, the Ferrari is an incredibly stylish way to get around. It’s “Race Red” exterior make this vehicle instantly recognisable – and what better way to stand out in one of the world’s most stylish countries?

Enjoyed Motor Match? Tweet us at @Airparks and look out for our run down of the best cars in the East – coming soon!

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