Thank Trigger: 1987 CAR Road Comparo 560SEL v 750iL v Turbo R v Sovereign

by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img (1987) CAR Magazine via Flickr ::: Road Comparison Test Issue

THUMB through the pictoral mountain that is Flickr and you’ll find an account called “Trigger’s Vintage Road Tests!” It’s awesome. For one thing, “Trigger” posted a 1987 comparison issue from CAR that compared a quartet of 80s luxury rock stars – the BMW 750iL, Bentley Turbo R, Jaguar Sovereign, and Mercedes-Benz 560SEL. Girly squeal! He’s done us auto aficionados a great service. Here’s why:

Naturally, the review acknowledges the 7er’s then newcomer status and technological superiority (which hurt the e34s in the long run), trashed our beloved 560SEL for woolly road manners, and made lots of positive excuses for the Bentley and by-that-time ancient Jag.

Final say was given over to a separate op-ed from a daffy old British scribe and sometime air traffic controller named L.J.K Setright. Mr. Setright whose long scraggly beard could’ve passed him as a body double for a member of ZZ Top was vicious in his rebuke of every car save the Bentley and, tellingly, judged even the Turbo R as inferior to 60s-era Bristols. Right.

Anyway, the articles made for great reading. To view them you have to enlarge each image manually (a pain) but I, for one, am grateful to Trigger. Posting vintage auto press is a great service that the auto mags themselves fail to fully appreciate. The established auto press sit on a mountain of archives and this is rich content that gearheads would really use online.

As of 2011, there generally remains a real dearth of quality content online for fans of cars older than 2005.

In a simple way, Trigger has filled a void and has set a good precedent for automotive publications.



April 26, 2011

About the Author: Gunnar Heinrich is publisher of Automobiles De Luxe online and is executive producer of the Automobiles De Luxe Television series on PBS member station CPTV.

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RSSComments: 7  |  Opine Freely, But Smartly.  |  Trackback URL

  1. Now this is my kind of road-test! I bet you can guess which one I’d go for, as well…

  2. The BMW of course! 😉

  3. Ha! Close. Of course you know I could never say no to a Series Three Coventry V12, though I’d rather it was the of the Daimler variety. LJK Setright was a bit of an eccentric old fruit, but when he eventually got round to addressing the article proper he could be quite wonderful in his prose, if a little odd in some of his opinions (I recall he used to have a thing for the Honda Prelude, for some reason).

    I do think that they could perhaps have chosen a more flattering picture for the penultimate shot of him though: Looks a bit like he’s being carted back to the rest home for the evening, especially since he was nearing the end of his thirty-something year career at CAR by then!


  4. LOL True enough… and he looks so proud in the Benz that his pen lashed! Quite right about his style, though. Nice use of Latin. And I get where he was coming from … even if his idea of the auto industry’s apogee was a 60s Bristol.

  5. I’ve just found this link via my stats on flickr, I just wanted to thank you Gunnar for kind words about my photostream!, It’s taken a long time (and It’s pretty boring scanning and uploading every page!) but it’s rewarding when i see posts like this.
    I still have 100’s more to do, It’s just getting the motivation to get started again!.
    Anyway kind regards Trigger (Mike)

  6. Thanks, Mike!

  7. When you said they “trashed” the 560 I’d never thought they were that mean with them, but history proved them wrong, the competition fell apart with age, but the w126s are still going strong exactly as the first day 😀

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