The answer to that question is probably “yes”. Or at least it was “yes”. But when I glance over the classic landscape as a whole today, it seems all rear engined cars have both charm, joy and happiness. Not least because of their rarity.
I read somewhere that at some point in the Sixties when rear engined cars were at their most popular, their sales represented no less than a quarter of new car sales in Europe. And I would be greatly surprised if there was not a single duffer or two between them. But even when trying to point out those boring ones, I just can not think of any. And there aren’t even that many of them, as they started to fall out of favour during the Seventies.
Actually, I would expect no more than a few seconds delay before someone says “Skoda”, but I would disagree: Even the classic 105, complete with the “rubber tooth protector” is not boring – just clench your eyes and see a shrunken Tatra. Likewise, no one would consider the even more classic Volkswagen Beetle dull today, would they? Well, by virtue of their vast numbers in their heyday, they were boring or at the very least extremely familiar, in that you would encounter them all the time and everywhere. But that’s not the case anymore – and that’s why it’s actually more the principle of carrying the engine behind the rear axle, which I see when I meet either a Skoda or a Beetle. Or of course one of the countless other rear engined cars from the Sixties and Seventies.
And then it struck me: Has there ever been a dull rear engined car?