Welcome to part two! This month will be under the sign of the V12, hence the Series III E-type. You might consider this a teaser – hopefully, I will be able to finalize what I have in store for you, post-wise. Also, I hope I’ll manage to get my stupid smartphone camera to work properly again. So apologies for the uneven picture quality and on with the imports, starting with the British stuff.
Just re-emphasizing the V12 theme – that, and Daimler Double Sixes rule.
These last-gasp Rovers have a Mitsuoka air about them, or is it me? Rarely seen in sky blue, too. The covered car behind it is some kind of 30-odd-year-old Rolls or Bentley. I would have preferred documenting that, but you take what you can get.
I spied this XJ40 from a couple blocks away and thought it warranted further inspection. For one thing, it was an XJ40, but for another, it was awkwardly parked on the wrong side of the street and in front of a garage.
And lo and behold, the Jag was hiding a very nice early ’70s MG B roadster, which looked like it was having a new fabric top fitted.
Quite of few of these Lotus Seven/Caterham-like things are seen buzzing about on weekends. Not my cuppa and not worth a detour, but I was just waiting to cross the street when this one pulled up, so why the heck not.
Don’t know what to do with your old Landies? Stack ‘em up!
Finally, a pretty rare Rolls-Royce – certainly one I had never seen before. This appears to be a 1997-99 Silver Spur Park Ward limousine, one of 49 made, of which 10 were sold to Japanese clients, according to what I’ve read online. Not expecting to see too many more of those, then.
Let’s cross the Channel, shall we? There were a number of cool small Renaults over the past couple months. I know, sounds a bit counter-intuitive, but hear me out, starting with this late ‘80s Super 5 GTL. Good luck finding one of these in that condition in France.
My mother had a base model first-gen Clio. Not exactly like this, then, as this looks like a 16 S, probably an early ‘90s one. That means the 1.8 litre DOHC 4-cyl. has 140hp on offer to spin that 975kg hatchback’s front wheels, enabling it to reach 100kph in 8.2 seconds, which is pretty decent for a mere Clio, though the 2-litre Williams did even better. By the way, these were sold new in Japan at some point, but badged as “Lutecia” – the name Clio was then owned by Honda.
This is an early model second generation (1998-2012) Clio Sport (“early” as in pre-2001, so pretty ancient as these things go), obviously imported straight from France, too. This hatch was a little hotter than its predecessor, with the 2-litre engine now providing 172hp. Only the ultra-rare rear-engined V6 model was more powerful.
Aha! A late ‘70s Citroën CX Pallas with unadorned flanks and period-correct yellow headlights? Well, played, Tokyo. Well played.
Peugeot-wise, the only newsworthy item was this pre-MY 1991 205 CTI. The CTI was the PininFarina cabriolet version of the GTI, launched in 1986. Pretty damn desirable, both back then and nowadays…
Let’s move to the Italian stuff. I’m finding old Fiat Pandas all over the place in this town. It’s weird and it’s starting to get old. I think I’ll forego documenting these for a while.
Quattroporte Vs, however, are one of those cars I can’t get enough of. The more the merrier, I say.
Another Lancia Delta Integrale – this time an Evo 2 in limoncello yellow. I caught a relatively similar car (albeit in a different nick) a couple weeks ago, so if you like these, you’re in luck: I’ll try and write up a Delta post as soon as.
As per usual though, the real stars of the dolce vita were the Alfas.
That vita hasn’t been so dolce for all of them, though. I hadn’t seen a 145 in ages. These used to be everywhere, a couple of decades ago. Looks like they don’t age too well.
This 155 was in far better health. Almost rude, in fact. All dolled up in Ferrari rosso, torque-steering its boxy Twin Spark behind around the street. Have you no shame?
But the biscione of the bi-month was, without contest, this delectable early model Alfetta. I don’t think I had ever seen such an old one in this condition. Definitely never seen one in this blue. Jaw-dropping.
Let’s see what Detroit’s finest have in store for us this time round. For whatever reason, there were a lot of Cadillacs about.
This classic Brougham, with its continental kit, was driven by a Japanese guy in a cowboy hat and bolo tie. Yup. Pity I messed up the front shot.
Not all were as interesting as that, though. Some Cadillac owners here obviously aren’t too bothered with how their cars look…
Others want to prevent passersby from laying their dirty eyes and smartphones on their pride and joy.
And then, there are those who are just trolls in red baseball caps. At least, I hope that’s all that is.
Not sure what happened here, but it’s slightly unsettling. However, if it were applied to anything other than a Hummer, it would be extremely unsettling.
More Buick “Regals” Estates were sighted – in other colours, too. A lovely shade of dark red…
And a yellowish cream, with woodgrain. Truly Regaliscious, though a bit predictable. The more exotic GM stuff wore a bow-tie, this time.
Shame this third gen (1947-54) “Advance Design” Suburban was restomodded to the nth degree, but seeing that plump snout slathered in chrome still elicited an audible “Woah!” from yours truly.
Actually, the same thing happened when I caught this 1970 El Camino SS 396. It’s a great pity that the average Tokyo house’s car garage is much better suited to kei cars and European econoboxes than the typical American car.
There were several flavours of Lincoln on display, too. From the white limo for weddings…
…To the funeral coach. But what about a happy medium, you ask?
How about this? With a Gloria Y30 wagon for a stablemate, too. This might be what Jim Brophy’s dream garage would look like…
The sun was dead set against my taking a photos of that ’67 Country Squire, or rather the remains thereof, so this picture (the only one I managed to take that showed anything recognizable) is all I can do for now. I’ll have to go back there sometime and try harder. It’s worth a post.
No Mopars were caught, sorry to say, so we’ll leave the US steel and return to Old Europe. And there’s nothing more European than a Saab 900 Turbo. This is the second one I’ve spotted in town – the first was the object of a post earlier this year.
I’m laying off the Volvo 240s (unless I uncover something truly exceptional, like a Bertone coupe), but Amazons are definitely not to be avoided. This one was part of a very shambolic street display, the full significance of which escaped me, as often happened in Tokyo. It’s Suntory time.
We’ll polish off the tour on a few gins and Teutonic. Opels are uncommon here. This Astra G station wagon was an unexpected find. Not exciting, not rare, not outstanding – just plain unexpected.
The BMW contingent was much more interesting, almost by definition. I found this race-ified 2002ti had a pretty nice rear end. The front, which was impossible to photograph properly, did not have a bumper. correct me if I’m wrong, but the whole M thing seems tacked on and not period-correct. Nice colour though.
Now that’s more like it! It was very nice of this 2002 Turbo to do a U-turn right in front of me.
Of course, this could also be a standard-issue mid-‘70s BMW 2002 with a body kit and decals. Sure seemed on the loud and sprightly side, though. I’m guessing this is the real McCoy.
This also looks like a genuine M – the original M3, in fact. Quite a sight, but I understand that the sound is even better.
I recently caught a Mk1 Golf that I’d been seeing around my neighbourhood and will write it up (it’s worth it). Series 2 Golfs though, to be honest, are still so numerous here that I’m thinking of leaving them be after this edition. Nice GTI, though.
True classic Volkswagens have to have a rear engine, so the Vanagon qualifies. That’s just common sense. OK, I’ll allow a couple exceptions, such as the aforementioned Golf 1 / Scirocco and the K70. Possibly a very old Passat. But that’s it.
Vanagons are in then, but a T2 Transporter will always be preferred. Especially a well-decorated one!
Doesn’t mean they have to be old, necessarily. Mexican Beetles are pretty plentiful around here, and those can be under 20 years of age – spring chickens, for Type 1s, but still part of the continuum. Some have been turned into cabrios and given misleading license plates, which I’m less cool with.
That looks more like a genuine 1978 cabrio. But I wouldn’t like to bet on it.
Genuine old-timers are more my style. That’s quite a powerful colour choice, though. Someone likes to stand out in a crowd.
This month’s Karmann-Ghia – a very nice example, as per usual. Also looks like an earlier one, but I’m not well qualified to make that call.
This is the second Type 3 combi (or Squareback, for you folks on the other side of the Pacific) I’ve caught and posted, but this one was absolutely mint.
We’ll end the episode on a Mercedes note, just to tie it back to the V12 thing this post kicked off with. Not that we’ll be too exclusive about it, but I just happened to catch a few really big Benzes, such as this AMG S 65. Those cost around US$250,000 when new, apparently. Just looks like yesteryear’s S-Class in the midst of vertiginous depreciation now.
There are a number of new Maybach S-Class saloons around, too. I understand that M-B’s 6-litre 12-cyl. engine is going out of production soon, so perhaps this will be the last of the breed.
Ditto for this S 650 limousine, which I found parked in front of a very ritzy hotel (hint, hint). These are incredibly massive and luxurious conveyances, but we’re worlds away from the “Grosser” 600s and the “Adenauer” 300s of the ‘50s-‘60s. Still, I had no idea Mercedes still had a factory limo in their range, but they do, for now.
Twentieth Century M-Bs are more interesting, aren’t they? This W124 sports four Daimler stars on its front end. Must be some kind of status symbol record.
These W126s are really growing on me, now that they’re getting somewhat scarce…
In the last couple of weeks, spring has started in earnest, so convertibles have started to reinvest the streets. This is a rare pre-facelift car, too. Mercedes only built about 33,000 W124 convertibles – most of them post ’93 facelift, as the car was only introduced in MY 1992.
And finally, a few weeks ago, I wrote a piece about two cars, a W108 and a ‘60s Beetle, that I found parked together and sharing both the same black body colour and an identical license plate number (only the four-digit big number, that is). Well, here’s the same thing, just even more so.
The low-slung saloon hiding amongst all the SUVs was a black Maserati that also had 77-77 on its license plate. Maybe the guy won a poker tournament with four sevens and bought all those shiny black toys with the winnings.