Theme : Secondhand – Forecourt Temptations 2

DTW comes across a perennial favourite

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For sale from Auta Motol in Prague, this Tatra 603-2 might have had several keepers over half a century but qualifies as secondhand having done just 1,900 km since restoration. DTW have lusted after these cars since first encountering them in the then Czechoslovakia back in Communist days. Like the Citroen DS, they are unfortunately popular as fashion accessories among those whose motoring enthusiasm is slight. This not only pushes up prices, but can mean that a restoration is no more than skin deep. Continue reading “Theme : Secondhand – Forecourt Temptations 2”

Theme : Secondhand – Forecourt Temptations 1

Unloved and Desirable

Alfa 6 B

In parallel with this Month’s Theme, we will be presenting a few choice options from the dealer’s forecourts. Number one is this example of the scorned Alfa 6. For some reason Alfa Romeo felt obliged to build a large car, but approached it with little enthusiasm, though it was the car that introduced Alfa’s fine V6 engine in 2.5 litre, single-cam form.

This example is being sold by a company called Joker Pilot, north of Paris, who we have come across before. It is a Series 2 version with fuel injection and is genuinely secondhand, with just one owner and 45,900 km to its name. As such, it would be hard to find a better example on paper, should you Continue reading “Theme : Secondhand – Forecourt Temptations 1”

Sightings: 2006 Chevrolet Impala

An evening walk in central Copenhagen led to the discovery of this: a Chevrolet Impala.

2006 Chevrolet Impala in Copenhagen
2006 Chevrolet Impala in Copenhagen

I missed it as I walked within 5 metres of it but caught it as I walked back on the opposite side of the road. Chevrolet launched this version of the Impala in 2006 and it is still in production. It is based on the W-body which dates to 1986 though that platform has been revised a few times since then. It’s made in Canada and features a 3.5 litre V6 driving the front wheels. The grille is determinedly Continue reading “Sightings: 2006 Chevrolet Impala”

A Photo for Sunday: 1990 Alfa Romeo 75 Twin Spark

Alfa Romeo first showed the 75 in ’85. It replaced the Giulietta. 

1990 Alfa Romeo 75. Not very rusty.
1990 Alfa Romeo 75. Not very rusty.

Alfa Romeo’s in-house styling department handled the exterior and interior which explains the marked eccentricity. It does have a lot of lines down the side (not much parallelism) and most versions had a black plastic strip running along from nose to tail. I’ve only seen one 75 with no plastic, a base model French-market car.

Continue reading “A Photo for Sunday: 1990 Alfa Romeo 75 Twin Spark”

Following On From The End Of History

We spot a welcome alternative to the ubiquitous ironic Trabant

GAZ Volga M21 A

Probably not an original colour available to the Soviet Nomenklatura, this rather nice, apparently Estonian registered example of a GAZ Volga M-21 was seen parked in the decadence that is London’s Berkeley Square yesterday. The door writing advertises a Russian language specialist London property company. Continue reading “Following On From The End Of History”

A Photo for Sunday: 1960-1980 Saab 96

Our visiting Saab experts can probably identify this car more precisely.

1960-1980 Saab 96 seen in Aarhus, Denmark.
1960-1980 Saab 96 seen in Aarhus, Denmark.

It lives near my home and comes out at the start of summer and disappears in the autumn. It never seems to move in the meantime. I think it may be a piece of conceptual art. The timeline for the Saab 96 shows you could buy a new one until 1980. Similar living-fossils such as the Mini, Beetle, Renault 4 and 2CV all existed into this period so the 96 was not so out of place. However, the 96 must have seemed very archaic compared to the Golf which in many ways Continue reading “A Photo for Sunday: 1960-1980 Saab 96”

Photo Series: 1976 Ford Granada 2300 V6 GXL

It’s not that I have a Ford fetish. This is just the kind of car that keeps cropping up. 

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We have Myles Gorfe’s ’75, Steen Larsen’s Consul and now this ’76 Granada with its wonderfully clear trim designation: 2300 V6 GXL. You know precisely where you are with this car. Tricky lighting confounded the front three quarter view. The light was behind the car at the time and it was hard to Continue reading “Photo Series: 1976 Ford Granada 2300 V6 GXL”

A Photo for Sunday: 2001-2005 Lexus SC430

My doesn’t time fly. And why are so many of my Sunday photos red? 

2001 Lexus SC430 in Aarhus, Denmark
2001 Lexus SC430 in Aarhus, Denmark

“Breaking the copycat mould as crazy Lexus takes a swipe at Merc”, wrote Car on the front cover of their September 2000 edition. Lexus presented the SC430 first as a concept called the “Sport Coupe Concept”. The production car got a review in August 2001. So, this was one of those not-a-concept concept cars we could have discussed when ran our concept car theme in October 2015.

For the November 2000 article, Mike Duff made the point that Continue reading “A Photo for Sunday: 2001-2005 Lexus SC430”

Mercedes’ First Wheelie Bin

It may have been 2001 or 2002 when I said to myself that in the A-class, Mercedes had finally built a car to be driven and thrown away without a care.

1997 Mercedes A-class bootlid badge, or part thereof.
1997 Mercedes A-class bootlid badge, or part thereof.

I can even remember where I was when I had that thought, in a Wimpey housing estate carved from a chalk pit near Greys, Essex. Now, 13 years later, my mental note was verified. If you want to get access to Mercedes privilige, €580 is what you need for a 1998 A140 Elegance with 186,000 km registered. For an equivalent VW Golf with 185,000 km you will need €450. That’s exactly the same ball park. Continue reading “Mercedes’ First Wheelie Bin”

A photo Series for Sunday: 1982 Buick Skylark Sport

This car falls into the same category as the Mercury Monarch I wrote about a few weeks ago. 

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It’s a dented working car. It’s a pretty ordinary car too, possibly even more ordinary than the Monarch. It’s a small, front wheel-drive monocoque vehicle from the lower end of the price range. The engine is mounted transversely and the front suspension uses McPherson struts. In concept terms, it’s the same a VW Golf. Or, in image terms, think of it as a Rover 45 saloon with sporting accents. Continue reading “A photo Series for Sunday: 1982 Buick Skylark Sport”

Something Rotten in Denmark: 1984 Ford Sierra Van

Recently I posted a photo of an Audi Q7 wearing commercial registration plates. Today’s car is more like the kind of vehicle that these plates were intended for. It’s a 1984 Ford Sierra van.

1984 Ford Sierra 1.6 van.
1984 Ford Sierra 1.6 van.

That means it has no rear seats. The vehicle’s details are written on the side, in front of the door, indicating the car’s gross vehicle weight, for example. The car has the older-style full yellow plates. The new ones have an area on the white license plate marked in yellow. This car is looking a bit rough and there are no interior photos, alas. Continue reading “Something Rotten in Denmark: 1984 Ford Sierra Van”

A photo for Sunday: 1979-2011 Lada 2105 Classic

A much loved child has many names according to the saying.

1979-2011 Lada 2105 Classic (it had other names during this time.) I don´t know what year this example is from, probably mid-90s.
1979-2011 Lada 2105 Classic (it had other names during this time.) I don’t know what year this example is from, probably mid-90s.

Now that I come to think of it, I’ve never seen that phrase applied to anything very good though. What made me think of this was today’s picture, a Lada 2105 Classic. According to on-line sources this car also went under these names: Lada Riva, Lada 1500, Lada 1700, Lada Signet, Lada 2104, Lada 2105 and Lada 2107.

This car’s roots are planted in Italy of the late 60’s. Fiat launched its progenitor in 1966, the 124, Continue reading “A photo for Sunday: 1979-2011 Lada 2105 Classic”

Danish Curiosities – Yellow Plates

The big, white gas guzzler has a yellow licence plate. That means the owner paid about 30% less than a person who bought the same car on standard plates. There are no rear seats in the Audi, a condition of yellow plate ownership. They are meant to be vans. 

2015 Audi and 2CV

The car on the right has standard plates and gets no special deduction. It’s carrying a supply of toilet roll and other materials. It’s a working car. The Audi is carrying air. Continue reading “Danish Curiosities – Yellow Plates”

A Photo For Sunday – 1996 Alfa Romeo 146 Ti

I like to imagine that if you were going to write a review or article about the Alfa Romeo 146 Ti (or any older Alfa) a suitably Italian background would be appropriate.

1996 Alfa Romeo 146 Ti
1996 Alfa Romeo 146 Ti

Quite by chance it has worked out the other way and the car and background suggest the feature.

The Ti was the highest level in the 146’s engine and trim hierarchy. These models had colour-coordinated side skirts, a boot spoiler and 12-hole alloy wheels (the car above does not). Two-litre cars had stiffer suspension, uprated brakes, ABS, lower-profile tires and a different steering rack that had a small ratio as on the 156 but a worsened turning circle, something to do with an attempt to deploy pure Ackerman steering geometry. Continue reading “A Photo For Sunday – 1996 Alfa Romeo 146 Ti”

Etceterini, Etceterini, Etceterini …

It Wasn’t Just Ferraris You Know?

Moretti 2

Last year, in Southern Germany, I came across an ‘Oldtimer Rally’ and I put a small gallery of photos up in December. There was a nice variety of cars, but what stood out for me was this little Moretti 750. Moretti was just one of a good number of small Italian manufacturers including Abarth, Stanguellini, Nardi and OSCA who produced small sports and racing cars in the post War period, and whose products are known, with affection and respect, as Etceterini.

There is no absolute definition of what makes an Etceterino, but it doesn’t mean any car not made by a major Italian manufacturer, so Fiat 500s rebodied as beach cars, fun as they are, are not Etceterini. Continue reading “Etceterini, Etceterini, Etceterini …”

Something Rotten in Denmark: 1991 Volvo 960 Executive

Something Rotten in Denmark has turned up this curiosity. It’s the Volvo 960 Executive.

1991 Volvo 960 Executive
1991 Volvo 960 Executive

It’s labelled a Volvo S90, but sold as a 1991 960. And it has the c-pillar treatment of the Volvo stretch limousine but appears to be at best, just a long-wheelbase version of the car. I found this car for sale at Vallensæk Bil Centre, somewhere south of Copenhagen. It’s for sale without an MOT for 9,900 kr. I wrote to ask if it could Continue reading “Something Rotten in Denmark: 1991 Volvo 960 Executive”

A Photo For Sunday

It could have been any other car here. As luck would have it, a 2002-2008 Opel Vectra had been parked on the spot in question.

2002 Opel Vectra on Dawson Street, Dublin.
2002 Opel Vectra on Dawson Street, Dublin.

You seldom see them in that colour now. And here’s an official photo from GM in a lovely gold. This comment is related, perhaps, to our recent discussion of colour. Continue reading “A Photo For Sunday”

Something Rotten in Denmark: 1993 Maserati Biturbo

Today’s weekend morsel is an example from Maserati’s darker days of recent times. It’s a 1992 Biturbo, yours for about €20,000 (if bought in Denmark).

1993 Maserati Biturbo
1993 Maserati Biturbo

The first Biturbos date from 1981. Maserati hoped that the car would gain sales from that champion of small, sporty saloons, the BMW 3-series. To do this, Maserati equipped the two-door, four seat car with a 2.0 V6 engine, larded up with two turbos. Depending on which way you look at it, by 1993 Maserati had either ironed out all the problems or else got bored making the Biturbo. Continue reading “Something Rotten in Denmark: 1993 Maserati Biturbo”

An Irish Specialty

On my visits to the Republic of Ireland I notice what seems to be a local peculiarity, the neglected high-end car.

image

Here we have a Mercedes SLK accumulating algae and moss, seen in late December. Nearby I saw a six year old Audi A4 cabriolet where the paint was visibly worn along the bodysides and the ragtop scuffed. I can’t fathom what it would take to make paint wear down to the primer. Continue reading “An Irish Specialty”

More On Electric Vehicles: Aixam Mega Van

On a recent trip to southwest Germany I spotted this vehicle on a used-car dealer’s yard: an Aixam Mega Van.

2006 Aixam Mega Van
2006 Aixam Mega Van

You can read about the vehicle here. The range was launched in 2006 and features a choice of electric or diesel engines. The bodywork is made of recyclable and dent-proof polyethylene. The e-Van is the electrical version and the details can be found here. There are three battery pack options. The three battery packs are composed of 36 2-volt open lead elements for power of 8.6 kWh, 11.5 kWH and 17.3 kWH.  Continue reading “More On Electric Vehicles: Aixam Mega Van”

Downgraded from Economy

This wasn’t what I expected.

A rented vehicle.
A rented vehicle.

At the very least, a rental car offers the chance to drive something new even if it’s not the car of your dreams or as good as your normal vehicle. On my recent visit to Baden-Württemberg I’d expected to be driving a Ford Ka. This didn’t excite me very much but, as I said, it was a new car and not something I’d otherwise experience.

To my disappointment, Continue reading “Downgraded from Economy”

Something Rotten in Denmark: 1998 Chrysler Stratus

The Chrysler Stratus: all the bad qualities of American cars, Japanese cars and European cars rolled into one unappetising shape. In 1995 these cars had the power to thrill.

How to sell a car´s charms
How to sell a car´s charms

This car has two claims to our attention today. The first is that in the cold light of day, it is hard to believe this car and its almost identical stable-mates were nominated on Car & Driver’s 10 best list. I wasn’t aware of this at the time. The second reason I’m drawn to it is because it was the first car I was ever paid to review**.

I wrote 1000 words and saw the editor chop out 200 of them, more or less killing the nuances of the text stone dead. I wanted to Continue reading “Something Rotten in Denmark: 1998 Chrysler Stratus”

157 KM Only: 1984 Lancia Trevi Volumex

Would you dare drive a 30 year old car with only 157 km on the odometer? This Lancia Trevi VX (registered in 1985) is for sale. 

1984 Lancia Trevi
1984 Lancia Trevi

Every now and then a museum-quality rarity shows up. This has to be the oddest I’ve seen in the last few years. Beating an unused 1975 Peugeot 604 (delivery miles) and an 8,000 km 1983 Ford Granada we have this delivery-miles 1984 Lancia Trevi VX, registered in 1985. It’s for sale at mobile.de and if you want to see it, you’ll need to take a trip to Bavaria and head northwest to Affing-Mühlhausen, a town noted mostly for its association with the Wittelsbachs who ruled Bavaria from 1180 to 1918.  You can stay in the Hotel Ludwigshof and make a trip of it. Continue reading “157 KM Only: 1984 Lancia Trevi Volumex”

Death Has a Revolving Door: Nimbus Motorcycles

DTW spotted this interesting machine: it’s a Danish-made motorcycle from the people who brought you Nilfisk vacuum-cleaners.

1959 Nimbus Model "C"
1959 Nimbus Model “C”

Most countries in Europe had a domestic motorcycle manufacturer or two up until the 1950s. Ireland is almost an exception, having only the Fagan company manufacturing Villiers models for a brief spell between 1935 and 1937. Rather more successful and long-lived, Nimbus produced motorcycles in Copenhagen between 1934 and 1959. Continue reading “Death Has a Revolving Door: Nimbus Motorcycles”

Something Rotten in Denmark: 1991 Chrysler LeBaron 3.0 V6

After a bit of a dry spell, Something Rotten in Denmark has this rather over-valued money pit to present, a 1991 Chrysler LeBaron 3.0 V6.

1991 Chrysler LeBaron 3.0 V6
Rust: 1991 Chrysler LeBaron 3.0 V6

Much like the Rover 620 from last week we are shown a photo of the dark side of the car. You can make out the brightwork and the general top heaviness of the car but there are other things not so visible. For example the extensive rusting around the wheel arches shown below. You can be sure that it will cost a lot more than the 25,000 kr asked for to put this right. You can be sure the floorpan is equally rotted, if not worse. Continue reading “Something Rotten in Denmark: 1991 Chrysler LeBaron 3.0 V6”

Something Rotten In Denmark: 1996 Rover 2.0 Ti

How does Rover’s vanguard of 1996 look today?

1996 Rover 600 2.0 Ti diesel
1996 Rover 600 2.0 Ti

It’s hard to tell. The seller of this particular orphan has only just learned to use a camera. Two out of the three photos (twelve are allowed for free) at the car-sales website are taken with the sun light coming from behind the car. Thus in two out of three photos the image is mostly a Honda Accord silhouette with some Rover 600 chrome here and there. The third photo shows the front rear three-quarter with no shadow. Continue reading “Something Rotten In Denmark: 1996 Rover 2.0 Ti”

And He Could Have Had a Cadillac. If the School Had Taught Him Right

Driven to Write chanced upon a 1973 Cadillac Eldorado in NW Denmark.

1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado

David Bowie’s 1979 album, Lodger, is remarkable for a number of reasons. Among them is the scope of the record, which is partly a set of postcards back from the wider world, partly rather political (“Fantastic Voyage”, for example) and finally part social commentary. I’ve been listening to it since 1990 and haven’t tired of it. Continue reading “And He Could Have Had a Cadillac. If the School Had Taught Him Right”

Northward Bound

Driven to Write met three (of four) Germans outside a supermarket in Aarhus. They had travelled in a VW camping van with two Simson mopeds.

2014 Nordkapp with motor bikes

We don’t really do motorbikes at DTW and VW camping vans aren’t part of our repertoire either but here is a brief report on the trip of Markus, Judith, Ludwig and Victoria from the Bodensee in Germany to Nordkapp in Finnmark, Norway. I met them as they were eating a spot of lunch outside my local supermarket. They were travelling in a rather used series T3 VW camper van (1979 to 1992) and two Simson mopeds. Continue reading “Northward Bound”

Something Rotten

Richard Herriott introduces an occasional series, kicking tyres in Denmark.

1990 Citroen XM arctic white

Marcellus said to Hamlet “There’s something rotten….isn’t there?” Hamlet turned back, puzzled. “Come again?” Marcellus pulled a mildly irritated expression. “There’s something rotten…you know…something rotten-in-the-state-of-Denmark….” Hamlet’s face clouded. “This no time for cryptic clues, Marcellus….my dad’s been poisoned and I am pretty ticked off about the whole deal. What are you trying to say?” Taking a deep breath Marcellus then sighed. “I mean, Hamlet, there’s something profoundly wrong with things. Denmark is a metaphor for the situation we’re in. And all is not well. It’s a figure of speech… sorry I mentioned it.”

Continue reading “Something Rotten”