Hammond drives the icons: Honda Civic Type R

But the biggest thing in its favour is the interest in fast Japanese cars since its launch; the fact that this pared-back, angular simplicity now bursts with cool. A simple, flat paint job, subtle wheel changes and you've got yourself a proper, old-school Japanese classic. And that's what this thing will become. Because thanks to knotty emissions rules, high-revving, normally aspirated VTec engines just won't do nowadays. So the Type R brand is taking a break while Honda finds a way around the regulations, which means the Civic could be the last of the real Type Rs before the inevitable arrival of turbochargers and smaller cylinders.

And if you haven't dived into the classifieds yet, let's not forget this is a Honda, so it's really not going to break down. As a young man, I hankered after a Vauxhall Firenza droop-snoot. It was, for me, the ultimate ‘new classic'. Had I been able to find and afford one, it would simply never have worked. Kids of today, huh? They have it so bloody easy. Even their old-school classics are reliable.

(Words: Richard Hammond, Pictures: Justin Leighton)