Steve cropley

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Cropley would volunteer to help start colonising Mars – if he gets to be the driver


What do you think of the Tesla Cybertruck? Making that decision strikes me as a helluva way to start the new year! Vocal critics across the pond seem to be lining up to criticise its lateness, the 50% hike from the promised price, the fact that it will probably attract enthusiasts rather than working tradesmen and practically anything else they can think of – including the controversial persona of Tesla boss Elon Musk.

Me? I love the thing for its boldness, and if I could drive one around (provided it would fit down our streets), I would definitely do so. How it drives might be the decider, rather than how it looks. Like many, I’ve spent time over the years bleating about how slowly car styling moves and how small changes are celebrated as if they represent a new way to split the atom. Yet here’s something truly progressive – let’s not complain. Sure, it’s spiky to look at. It’s certain to be influential. Good things will flow from it.


From Japan comes the interesting but somewhat chastening news that my recent column item about the fuel pump breakdown of my Alpine A110 was, for a while, the most clicked item by readers of Autocar Japan. The news was sent to me by Kaoru Kojima, who for many years has generously translated my stuff into Japanese and always watches how it’s received.

Given that I love the A110 as much as ever and it’s now functioning perfectly, I feel rather guilty about trashing its reputation, especially in a country so well known for automotive reliability. Kojima sends reassurance, however, suggesting that my much-trumpeted love for the car will protect it. I’m not sure about that, but I hope so.


How appropriate to end a year of Autocar issues by writing in praise of one of Britain’s truest heroes of motoring, a mild-mannered but exceptionally determined historian called Peter Mitchell, who started his career as an assistant in the Science Museum more than 60 years ago and rose to become the founder patron of our own British Motor Museum, for which he scored an OBE. Along the way, Mitchell also did much to establish today’s Coventry Transport Museum.

I felt extremely lucky to join the large crowd of admirers, supporters and benefactors who gathered at the BMM to celebrate its 30th anniversary, to mark its fast-expanding educational role, and especially to honour Mitchell’s wonderful work – which wi

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