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7 Reasons The Sinclair C5 Was Destined To Fail

Posted on August 18, 2010 in Posts | 0 comments

The Sinclair C5 was relentlessly ridiculed. And quite rightly so, it was rubbish. Any Industrial Design & Technology graduate/person will tell you that. But if they had just made a few small changes, it could have sold at least 500 more units.

Sinclair C5

1.  Women. Quite why Sir Clive Sinclair thought his bucket-on-wheels was going to appeal to a market that needs to check make-up upon arrival at destination, is anyone’s guess. But he did. And he was wrong. If only he had doubled one of the wheels up as a mirror. Sure, it may have looked a bit ‘bling’, but it would probably have appealed to the ever growing pimping community.

2.  Date. Unfortunately for Sir Clive, he decided to launch the Sinclair C5 on 10th January 1985. It just so happened that the Viennese zither player, Anton Karas, passed away that day. And as we all know, a zither is much more powerful than a Sinclair C5. The 11th January 1985 was a very slow news day. If only Clive had waited 24 hours.

3.  Hills. Always a bit annoying having to get out of your vehicle and push it up a hill isn’t it? Which is why the Sinclair C5 should have come with a tow rope. Or a map that just showed hills that went down.

4.  Stirling Job. Getting Sir Stirling Moss to promote the Sinclair C5 may have seemed like a stroke of genius, but they really should have prepped him first. “Just treat it as if you are riding a bicycle,” probably wasn’t quite the ringing endorsement Clive was after.

5.  Washing Machines Live Longer With Sinclair. There is an urban myth that says the Sinclair C5 was powered by a washing machine motor. It’s a myth because although the motor manufacturers, Polymotor, do supply to the washing machine industry, they also manufacture torpedo motors. Unfortunately, it is true that the body work of the Sinclair C5 was manufactured by Hoover. Clive should have waited for Dyson. Then maybe I wouldn’t be trying to think of witicisms that involve ‘Sinclair C5’ and ‘cleaning up’.

6.  Britain. Sir Clive’s biggest mistake was probably that he tried to sell the Sinclair C5 in Britain. Not only did Britain already have things called cars, it also had weather. And sadly it was never very good. If Sir Clive had been any good at geography, he would have realised that the Sahara desert would be a much better place for his bits of plastic. If it had come with a spade too, the owners could have made sandcastles.

7.  Elephants. There is a joke about elephants and minis that I have never really understood. It goes something like this. Q: How many elephants can you fit in a Mini? A: Four. Two in the front, two in the back. Hilarious it may not be, but it does at least make you think of four elephants. In a Mini. Now that’s a terrific endorsement for both Minis and elephant dieting tips if ever I have heard one. So now let’s try it with the Sinclair C5. Q: How many elephants can you fit in a Sinclair C5? A:

Elephant sits on Sinclair C5

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