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BBC Time Shift – Roof Racks and Hatchbacks: The Family Car (2017)

BBC Timeshift 2017 Roof Racks and Hatchbacks

The family car. We grow up in the back seat – and before we know it, we find ourselves in the driving seat…

Timeshift explores the British experience of the family car, from the groundbreaking Morris Minor to the ubiquitous Ford Cortina, the Range Rover to the new Jaguar F-Pace – not to mention their imported rivals, such as the Volkswagen Golf and the Volvo estate.

Despite its reputation for being practical and sensible, designers have long endeavoured to make the family car attractive, even exciting, and to keep pace as the family and its requirements have evolved over the decades. Can a family vehicle be small – like the Mini? Or fast – like the Golf GTi? And what’s the real reason why so many of today’s family cars seem so enormous?

But the story of the family car isn’t just about design. It’s about the joy and frustration of parents and kids being cooped up on the road together. A saga of continental road trips and games of I-spy, backseat squabbles and impromptu toilet breaks. For better or worse, the car is one of the few remaining places where families still get to be a family.

Contributors include motoring journalists Richard Porter and Zog Ziegler, author Ben Hatch and leading car designer Ian Callum.

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