Then, all of a sudden, the Germans decided that they couldn't let this happen, and so Opel gave birth to the angular and functional Zafira, the plans for which were drawn using only rulers and set squares. This spawned a whole range of cars which were copycat designs, but slightly more angular.
Of course, this would all be well and good, but a cheeky British designer beat the crafty Germans to it, by about 15 years. While the Germans were still divided, Ivor Wood had already designed such a vehicle, except instead of being equipped to hold 2 adults, 5 children and a kite buggy, it was designed to hold a small sack of post for delivery around Greendale.
So to celebrate innovative British design of the early 1980s, I have compiled a list of cars which have blatantly ripped off Mr Wood's original design.
6. Vauxhall Agila.
The smaller version of the Zafira, but with a slightly pointier nose than it's larger brother, clearly copied from Ivor Wood's design.
4. Volkswagen Touran
Another German entry. More angular than Opel's Agila, the nose maybe not quite so pointy but the basic squareness is there.
4. Suzuki Ignis
The first entry from Suzuki, whose designers were the poorest equipped in the business until recently. Suzuki appear to be improving though and now they have discovered that metal can be shaped a bit rather than just cut in sheets and welded together.
3. Suzuki Wagon R+
Again, Suzuki designers have excelled themselves with this. You really have to see it to believe how much this is like Postman Pat's van. Oddly enough, you still see some being driven about, particularly early in the morning, just as day is dawning.
2. Daihatsu MOVE
Another Japanese entry. Perfectly flat design. If you crash this, don't bother with a panel beater, just drive it straight into a wall at high speed and it'll look like new.
1. Fiat Panda
OK, not the MOST like Pat's van, but this one gets special points for being newer than the others, and from a country where they know what a curve looks like.