CC Outtakes: T87’s Singles Collection (January-May 2023) – Part 2: British & American Cars

I’ve chosen to start the foreign car posts with the two largest contingents (by nation of origin) encountered in Tokyo over the winter and spring of this year – the Englanders and the Detroiters. The GB ones go first, as they beat the US by a nose. But what a nose!

I don’t know what it was with the E-Types, but they were out in force. Not complaining, mind you…

Not too keen on the stripes there, but the child seat is a great novelty. Who said classic British roadsters aren’t practical?

XJSs are a bit less remarkable than E-Types, in my opinion. But still…

… they are quite the impressive machines. V12 powaaaa!

Earlier ones in BRG do look better. But I’m still not entirely convinced by these cars – something is slightly off, but I can’t say what exactly.

I’ve not had much luck in the MG department, ever since I moved to Japan. Then, this year, they decided to all come out at once. The F (1995-2002)…

… the obligatory B roadster, in post-1974 rubber bumper guise…

… and a delightful little late ‘60s / early ‘70s Midget in British Racing Green. But that was not the whole story, far from it!

They year 2023 was to be, for some reason, the year of the 1950-53 TD. This particular one was in the process of being put back in its garage when I caught it, but the others (yes, plural!) allowed for better viewing.

Like this one. They really rocked that 1932 styling into the ‘50s like nobody’s business, didn’t they?

Black suits these very well, too. I actually caught a fourth one, but it will be saved for its own post sometime in the coming months.

Final MG of the lot – perhaps the coolest one, too: a 1956-58 ZB Magnette. Probably sold in Japan new, given the single-digit license plate.

It was a frosty day when this frog-eye Sprite caught my eye. Owning a classic British drop-top is not for the fainthearted.

Who can resist the (original) Lotus Elan? They certainly have a large fan base over here.

Case in point: here’s another one.

Austin Cooper S – says so right there, both on the front and the back. But is it the real McBMC, or something more recent made to look like one?

First Mini Moke sighting in Tokyo! Huzzah!

Not 100% positive about this one, but I think it’s based on an Austin Seven.

Looks like something right out of a Tintin comic. And so low on the ground, Lambos looked like tractors next to it.

More shades of pre-war with a possibly recent (but still ash-framed) Morgan two-seater.

This TR4A (1965-67) is ready for a spot of vintage racing. Perfect colour for that, to be sure.

Triumph-wise, this TR3-based Italia is almost royalty: penned by Michelotti, built by Vignale, 330 units made between 1959 and 1962. Pity it only drove by without stopping.

Over to the Aston Martins with a pretty nice DB7. I have a soft spot for these…

The same thing with a V12 and a soft top would be a Volante Vantage. Colour me impressed.

When it comes to more recent Astons, I will confess to being partial to the 2010-20 Rapide. Especially in black.

Not that a white one would be an absolute deal-breaker, of course.

Three Bentleys were deemed worthy of featuring in this post, starting with this magnificent Continental cabriolet. Only 421 of these were made between 1984 and 1994; pretty sure this is the first one I’ve ever seen, let alone photographed.

The re-birth of Bentley as not-just-a-rebadged-Rolls really came with the Continental R coupé (1991-2003). This one is a ’97 model, one of six made specially for Japan’s official Bentley/R-R importer, Cornes.

The Azure (1996-2003) was the Continental R’s soft-top variant. With only 1400 units made, it’s a fairly rare sight, but this is the third I’ve captured for CC.

Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. We have come to the Rolls-Royce portion of the program. Spirit or Spur, this one’s just not my bag. But it’s still a classic.

Ah, but a light blue Corniche II? That’s already much more like it!

The best-looking factory-bodied post-war Rolls, though, has to be the Silver Shadow. Whatever the number of doors or material used for the roof, it has to have chrome bumpers, like this one.

This is exactly what we need for this century’s “Panzer” Phantoms. Still can’t stand the sight of them.

The final Brit will be this scrumptious 1949 Bristol 400 – the legendary marque’s first model. With any luck, I’ll bump into it in the street someday and get a nice juicy CC post out of it.

This Cobra has an AC badge, so it might technically be viewed as half British. Kind of. Bah, who are we kidding, it’s as American as Carroll Shelby.

I’m no expert on these older Jeeps, but this looked like the real thing, not the Mitsubishi version. But was it a Ford or a Willys? Pre or post 1945? Some of you may know. Do tell.

As usual, many Grand Wagoneers prowl the pavement here. Either with the (usual) woodgrain sides…

… or without. Take your pick. Personally, I’m torn.

Strangely, Mopar products were very thin on the ground, these past few months. Only this 4th gen (2008-10) Dodge Viper was of any note. But it was quite a note.

Lots of lovely Ford products to report, by contrast, starting with this lovely little Deuce Coupe. You don’t know what I got? Well, read on.

I have a few early Mustangs in my files, but no Fastback. Yet that’s the one that really looks the best. You can’t always get what you want, as Messrs Jagger and Richards wisely said.

The elusive Japanese market Taurus wagon finally sighted! Small victories are still worth celebrating.

Equally elusive (in this country at least) is the final (2002-05) Thunderbird. Not a bad-looking car, all things considered. But the market had moved on…

Not many Mercurys have found a home in Japan – I might have seen a literal handful in the time I’ve lived here. But two were seen thus far in 2023, including this gorgeous ’68 Cougar.

Judging by the amber turn signals and the two-digit (pre-2000) license plate, this circa 1990 Grand Marquis LS was sold here new. And it still looks new.

Just one Lincoln in this edition, but this lofty vessel is easily worth a couple of normal-sized land yachts.

When I said “one” Lincoln, I meant one type of Lincoln. But three actual white Town Car limos. Read the fine print.

We start the final chapter of this post, dedicated to General Motors, with a suitably ponderous and impressive machine. But there were nice cars too.

There’s nothing sensible about a stretch limousine, but this Cadillac is way more dignified than the ones we’ve had to endure up to now in this post.

But then again, not all Cadillacs seen in Tokyo could be termed as “dignified.” Poor Fleetwood Brougham.

Very nice RWD Fleetwood, once again. I wrote up a tan-coloured one parked on this very spot a year ago – this one has an even better interior.

How dispiriting to see a sacrilege like this: a 20-inch-rimmed and LS-swapped 1961 Cadillac coupe… At last, have you no decency?

If you must ruin a classic GM coupe with massive rims, let it be a late ’70s Trans Am. It’s far more in keeping with the car’s essence than the Caddy we saw above.

Already caught this one a little while back, but it showed up again, so what could I do?

I realize these were still known as “Electra Park Avenue” in their home market, but it seems like they were known as plain “Park Avenue” in Japan even before they ditched the Electra bit in 1992.

Did they sell these Roadmasters here when they were new? They don’t really fit into the local parking spaces so well…

If the license plate is anything to go by, the Chevy version of these gigantic sleds seems to have been imported here back in the ‘90s.

Hey, my first Monte Carlo of this era! This is a ’78, if I’m not mistaken. And definitely not fresh off the boat.

Blazers and Suburbans of this vintage are pretty popular here – mirroring the North American trends, I guess. That red velour interior is quite a selling point, admittedly.

Nothing tops a C2 Corvette, styling-wise. But these pre-5mph-bumper C3s are quite stunning too!

There aren’t many of these 4th gen (1993-2002) Camaros about around here. I never liked the later ones with their bulging headlights – this earlier nose looks much better.

Quite a lucky find, this 1964 wagon. But I think we can do even better…

The best for last, as is customary. Sure, you could argue that the ’65 full-size Chevys are a bit more restrained, but the ’67s are a little more interesting in their detailing and shape. And that profile…

Let’s bask in that Impala’s glory for a minute before we part ways. See you tomorrow for the rest of the imports – German, Italian, French, etc.