Backed by Numan (Tubeway Army)’s first single – Are Friends Electric? – this was by any stretch an attempt to cash in on the nascent nostalgia for New Wave.
However, if that sounds cynical on my part as I look back from 2016, it also appealed to the likes of the 17 year old me. In 1979 I was old enough the be aware of the original version, but not able to go out and buy it for myself; this came along in the middle of my 80s record buying spree. Numan himself admits, in Complete Gary Numan UK Discography (Record Collector, December 1985, No. 76) by Stephen Webbon & Gary Numan that Cars had been originally been written with chart success in mind. This is a logical extension of that.
Of course the first charting saw the song score a big hit. This version made it to number 16 during its seven week stay in the UK Singles Chart – helped by my parting with yet more of my paper-round-riches.