There have been some pretty uninspiring motors over the years, but classic car experts believe they’ve come up with a formula to work out which is the most unexceptional of all time.
Hagerty, which usually specialises in tracking the value of the world’s rarest, most expensive, ultra-desirable classic and collectible vehicles, has come up with a formula to work out which models occupy the opposite end of the spectrum – those that are commonly forgotten for being so dreary.
It has named a winner – the Austin Montego. However, while it might have been voted the most anemic automobile, there aren’t many of them still on the road today.
Can you name a car more boring than an Austin Montego? Classic car experts claim to have worked out that it’s the most uninspiring motor in recent history
Hagerty does know a thing or two about dull vehicles.
It hosts the annual Festival of the Unexceptional event – a show dedicated to boring cars that enthusiasts have meticulously maintained and cherished, despite their lack of allure or value.
To work out which is the greatest lacklustre motor of all time, it delved into data behind the festival’s previous years’ entries and winners, which consists of 360 cars in all.
Despite beige and brown being the colours we most likely associate with being uninspiring, Hagerty says blue is the most common colour of vehicles voted most unexceptional in the show’s past.
Of all the brands that feature most heavily at the annual Festival of the Unexceptional, Austins are easily the most common
With an utterly unremarkable wish list in hand, Hagerty says there could only be one winner – awarding the crown of most uninspiring vehicle to a baby blue 1989 Austin Montego
It says the most boring car of all time also needs to be a four-door saloon, ideally one built during the 1980s and produced by a British manufacturer, the latter of which tend to dominate the Festival of the Unexceptional entry lists each year.
Are you a fan of bland cars? The Festival of the Unexceptional is the motoring event for you
Hagerty’s Festival of the Unexceptional is a classic car show concept utterly unique in the UK that for the past seven years has successfully showcased the best examples of some of the most mundane cars ever built.
This year’s event takes place on Saturday 30 July at Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire.
Previous years have been sell-outs and for 2022 there are only places available for those who arrive in classic motors or drab cars that enter into judging.
Tickets start from £15 and are available here.
When attempting to identify the most uninteresting brand, it says Austin is ahead of the rest, with 12.5 per cent of motors entered into previous shows being the now-defunct marque.
With an utterly unremarkable wish list in hand, Hagerty says there could only be one winner – awarding the crown of most uninspiring vehicle to a baby blue 1989 Austin Montego.
‘It’s not entirely surprising that the data led us to the Austin Montego. It’s a car that is not nearly as glamorous as its name suggests; it is as uninspiring as Montego Bay is inviting,’ explains James Mills, Hagerty UK’s editor.
‘It was cobbled together during the final, slap-dash years of British Leyland, and despite the company’s promise that it was “The car that puts the driver first” it spent as much time putting drivers on the hard shoulder as it did getting them from home to the office or supermarket.
‘This reputation for unreliability explains why the Montego is such a rare site today, with just tens remaining out of the tens of thousands built.
‘We hope that those few remaining custodians will continue to cherish these cars. Because while some will simply dismiss them as a reminder as to how much better modern cars are, others appreciate them as a piece of history.
‘Seeing cars like the Montego at the Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional perfectly illustrates the reasons behind the demise of Britain’s mass-market car companies.
‘Long may those last remaining examples remain on our roads – hopefully keeping off the hard shoulder!’
Austin on the brink of extinction: While the Montego might have been named the most boring motor, fewer than three dozen examples remain on the road in Britain today
The Montego family saloon was launched in 1984 and signaled a new era for struggling British Leyland
Almost half a million Montegos were bought by motorists in Britain. However, by 2020 just 34 are on record as being in existence
Snooker player Jimmy White poses beside the Austin Montego as the new model hit the market. Picture taken on 11 May 1984
The saloon, which was once a popular choice among Britons in the 1980s and early 90s, were ten a penny on our streets and driveways.
But these once mainstream motors are now on the edge of disappearing from our roads altogether, according to figures released last year that reveal numbers have dwindled, in some cases to just handfuls.
The family saloon car was produced by British Leyland from 1984 until 1988, and then by the Rover Group until 1995.
A total of 436,000 Montegos were sold in the UK, though 1995 records show that just 205,283 were registered in the country by the time production ended.
Fast forward 25 years and there are just dozens remaining, according to a Uswitch report published last year.
According to data provided by the Department for Transport and Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency, only 34 remained by 2020.
That’s a decline of 99.98 per cent in a quarter of a century.
One question remains: do you agree that the Montego is the dullest motor in recent history? Especially now that you know that most have been scrapped and less than three dozen are still registered?
Comment below and let us know if you think a different car should take the top honour as most boring ever.
SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.