We are back to Jutland’s E-Z Biler for this one. This is a very rare beast indeed, a 2.8 litre diesel Nissan Laurel. Did I just see a unicorn among those parked cars?
Can you believe I actually got to open the doors of this car and sit inside? I sat in the driver’s seat and I plomped myself down in the back too, noticing that there wasn’t a whole lot of legroom for a car so big. I also noticed the remarkably clean condition of the remarkable expanse of remarkable tufted beige velour upholstery. Was I happy about this?
A bit less than I´d hoped. It might seem perverse to say this but the fact all these rare and unusual cars are gathered under one roof diminishes the pleasure of seeing them. The most normal thing is to
stumble across a car like this when going about the daily routine. You walk down the street, reading the badges:
Aygo, Astra, Mazda, Up,
Aygo, Audi, Focus, Up,
207, Astra, Up.
Alfa, Focus, Aygo, Karl,
Mito, Aygo, Lancer, Lexus,
Up, Aygo, Laurel…
You stop in your tracks and breathe out an expletive when you see a rarity such as this car. A Laurel? Not on my street.
A chance encounter has the power of serendipity. It feels like seeing the Holy Grail being carried by a Yeti, Elvis and Lord Lucan. It’s a rare car, you say, amazed. It happened to me today when I saw a real life late-model Cortina smoking up to the rail station only to drift off before I had a chance to give it a close look.
I could probably go and a see a Cortina if I cared to look in the used-car ads but I’d rather see one by chance.
By the same token, the Laurel was one odd car packed in amongst the very many odd cars on sale at this dealer. And furthermore I knew it was there because I sometimes look at the dealer’s inventory. So, if I wasn’t unhappy I certainly did not get the same unalloyed thrill of seeing such a car by the side of the road on my way to collect something from the post-office. In this case, I expected to see the car so the delight attained did not reach the heights I’d have reached had this been seen while popping out for milk.
I may even forget I have seen this car whereas the chance sighting of an early Fiat 131 seen in Geneva around 2008 will forever remain embossed in my memory alongside a suddent, transfixing encounter with a Talbot Solara in Copenhagen in 2002 (the last time I ever saw one**)
So, yes, here we are inside an unlocked, one-owner, m.y. 1984 Nissan Laurel. It has just 42,000 km on the clock and a diesel 2.8 litre straight six engine. They want €12,000 for the car which is quite in line with the €10,000 asked for a similar car in Austria (two-owners, with 100,000 km). A vendor in Germany wants €7,000 for a 1985 Laurel with 136,000 km. And finally another German seller wants €12,000 for an 1985, also with 100,000 km on the clock. So, as John Coates would say, those prices are very firm to fruity.
Might I ask, is there something up (and going up) with the prices of recent classics? I am pretty sure five years ago such a car was not worth more than €2000, give or take? Is it dawning on people that if you want a car with an ashtray you can’t buy one new any more?
(** I noticed decent Solaras now cost thousands of euros to buy. Imagine, a car as drab as a Solara commanding more than a grand?)