CCs In Israel: May 2019 – From Electric Basic To Locomotive Majestic

Welcome to another edition of classic and interesting vehicles, captured in the Holy-land. As per usual, variety rules as you’ll find all sorts in this post.


May started with some unassuming CCs, such as the two door E36 BMW and the VW Beetle you’re about to watch. I’ve also included for your pleasure an example of an Israeli Police patrol car (this specific one is getting old – I’d say it has passed the age of five). And also in this video, a novelty:

Yes, a rear facing camera was added recently.

I must say, both the BMW and the Beetle looked extremely well, the VW in particular. Although still popular, they are becoming rare as the years pass. I would not take a second look at both these cars a few years back, but now I find myself documenting them – that’s time for you.

9th of May was Israel’s 71st independence day- and a holiday. Off we went, wife, kid and myself to visit this Israel Aquarium which is in Jerusalem, after which I had the idea to visit the Armored Corps’ Center, which was on the way back. Probably this was not the best of times, because although it was free to enter on independence day, it meant hoards of people were also present:

The area is overshadowed by the Tegart Fort clearly visible in the clip. There are quite a few of these scattered about in Israel, built during the British mandate rule. Despite all the people, it was nice to be there again- this is not my first time there as I’m fascinated by the machinery that is a tank (my military service started in the Armored Corps but I got myself wounded… that’s a different story- and I digress). Anyway, driving into the parking area, out came this extremely imaginative liveried black & white E36. It’ll start the next video:

As for the rest of the cars in that video, I guess the ’65 Mustang holds the “most bona-fida classic” award, even if traveling without a rear windshield; The electric quad-handicap-cart-thingy, which reminded me of this, has no business driving on the road and mixing it with much faster vehicles. Sadly this is becoming more and more common in Israel; The two convertible Mustangs were probably on their way back from a meeting – one was in a hurry, the other preferred to cruse along. Again these are more common than what they used to be but not as common as you might think- hence videoed.

Upon return from the Armored Corps’ Center on independence day, we headed to a favorite restaurant near our town. This gave me a chance to photograph this:

This Mack MR series has been sitting in what is an industrial zone for quite a while, and probably belongs to one of many bushiness owners in the area. Note the local authority’s orange sticker on the windshield, warning of a forthcoming evacuation of this truck. Presumably it has no MOT to speak of, and is parked where it shouldn’t.

You don’t really need to know Hebrew to gather this was once a fire truck, although I think it served as a tanker and not actually carried an entire team of firemen and their equipment. This one was used in Jerusalem, according to the markings on its side.

The Mack actually looks unmolested, possibly due to its parking spot, (relatively) far from molesters. Heaven knows its mechanical state, seeing Eucalyptus branches starting to take hold of its running gear. License plate has it placed as a 1981 model. And it’s also facing this:

This is where you say: “BMW lover lives here”. Only it’s not a residential area, and upon closer inspection of the cars, I’m not sure if it’s love or hate that’s going on here. Of course, I’ve seen these before any time I drove through this street, but they were always surrounded by other cars. Since it’s a holiday, no-one’s around and the BMWs find themselves out in the open.

We all know this forefather of the BMW 1 series, the E36 Compact. Never cheap in Israel, they sold rather poorly and mostly “rich wives” (for lack of better description) would be seen driving them, while the husbands would drive BMW 5 series. As you can see, this looks like it started well but is now being left to rot under the rain and (more commonly) boil under the sun.

Same story with this 7 series E32, although despite the dust and less-than -ideal state, its tires have some air in them. This car is from 1987 and if it’ll continue like this, its fate will surely not be as kind as the E32 I posted here. In the background you’ll spot another dusted BMW, a 5 series E39. Sorry, but I didn’t bother photographing it. To me it’s not THAT old or special. I hope these BMWs will not be victims of “some day, I’ll get them done” syndrome, but I doubt it- as said, I drive through there often.

So, all-in-all Independence Day was quite fruitful. Onward:

Arriving at work, I usually park in a quiet street, where one morning I found this mid-to-late-1990s Fiesta, complete with comical stickers and faded paint which, at first glace, appears to be its worst problem.

As you can see at the back, this is the “Dynamic” spec, which might also be referred to as the “Poverty” spec. Black bumpers, which on the Fiesta look huge, are also a giveaway.

Even the grill oval isn’t transparent as with higher specs the Fiesta was sold with. You might say this car is even older than its age, considering this MK 4 is really a MK 3 restyle. Still, here is another car that was so common yet by now, nearly vanished from the streets.

Towards the end of the month, I captured a few more interesting vehicles on my dash-cams:

Although the Jaguar Sovereign could well be of the early 2000s, it is still the closest thing to the original XJ from 1968, and it’s amazing to think they could keep that basic shape going for so long; The Peugeot 106 is yet another one of those cars that roamed the roads of Israel throughout the 1990s – and like the Fiesta above, this one also bears a “Poverty” spec.

I’ve added the Stadler/Vossloh Euro 4000 diesel-electric locomotive for general interest, as for now it’s the primary passenger coaches engine in Israel. I say “for now” because the country is finally making the move to full electric locomotives, and you can see the power lines recently installed above the track.

The Subaru Leone, called simply “DL” in Israel, was sold massively here, as were the previous generations before it (I’ve addressed Subaru’s success in Israel here). So it’s no surprise that you can still see many in good condition being used regularly; As for the electric cargo trike – sorry, I couldn’t decipher its make, but there are dime a dosen on AliBaba, so you came indulge yourselves in a guessing game.

Recently I’ve started following a YouTube channel of this British self-admitted-hippy, who is after all classic cars that are “standard”, i.e. not luxurious, super-cars and the like but rather average everyday classics we usually don’t give a second look. I find similarities to many posts written here on CC, and this also made me start noticing cars like the Ford Fiesta and Peugeot 106 above, or this mundane, ex-company car Hyundai Accent that used to be everywhere back in the 1990s. These could essentially go on forever…

… As is the case with its successor, photographed just meters away. I wonder if that antenna draws electrically. We used to laugh at these for being (at best) also-rans, but clearly Hyundai knew what they were doing- just look at them now. And these older Accents served a purpose, and served it well (they’re still at it).

At the end of May I came across this “WRC” Sierra. Obviously it’s not- possibly a 1.6 liter. You might laugh but I see some love going on here between an owner and his car. Not to mention Sierras in general have now become almost instinct in Israel, so it’s nice to see one occasionally.

‘Till next time.