On this day in auto history – March 29th

Mon 29th Mar 2021

It was on was this day in 1985 that production was first suspended on the doomed low-budget battery vehicle, the Sinclair C5, owing to financial difficulties.

The brainchild of respected entrepreneur Sir Clive Sinclair who had recently achieved huge success in the fields of producing pocket calculators and home computers, the C5 was blighted by poor reviews and safety concerns from the outset.

Officially launched only two months earlier in a blaze of publicity, the one-person battery vehicle was quickly deemed to be impractical owing to its lack of weatherproofing, short-life batteries and vehicle limitations and never came anywhere near meeting market expectations.

Though production did re-start again on a vastly reduced scale, it had ceased altogether by August ’85 with Sinclair Vehicles eventually going into receivership.

Despite going down in history as one of the most infamous commercial failures of the 1980’s, thousands of unsold C5’s have since been purchased by investors for as much as £5,000 on public auction sites - a hugely-inflated figure compared to its original £399 purchase price.