CC Outtakes: T87’s Singles Collection (September-October 2023) – Part 2: Foreign Cars (Swedish, American & British)

We’re only a third of the way through, folks, but we’ll get there in the end. I’ve had to split the foreign cars section into two roughly equal posts, and what better way to get started in style and comfort than with a shiny black Volvo 240?

The 245 is so ubiquitous here, it might as well wear a Daihatsu badge. Less common is the US-style quads, though this is a Japanese market car with RHD. It’s probably not difficult to retrofit the quads if you want that look, so some local Volvo owners do it.

Saabs remain relatively rare – something that will probably not be helped by the marque’s demise. But every so often, one crops up. First time it’s a 93 drop-top, though, so it was worth a shot.

Perfect transitional shot to move on to the American metal, don’t you agree?

My Cadillac conundrum du jour is this Escalade. More specifically, the roof. No idea what’s going on there, but I hope someone will.

It seems a few of these extremely popular Buick wagons were ordered without the obligatory Di-Noc sides. I’m shocked too!

Someone loves this Firebird a whole lot. It was absolutely spotless. This is a Japanese market car, too. But I found another one that had that beat.

Check out the TV star! Not sure about the colour of those seats, but other than that, this is a bona fide KITT car.

A couple of C3 Corvettes crossed my path. The colour on this one was quite fetching, a nice respite from the boatloads of white, silver and black shoeboxes that make up most of traffic here.

OK, so they also look good in black. Most cars do.

Low ridin’ in a yellow K5 pickup, eh? I kinda like it, actually. The slight (and very deliberate) rusty appearance adds character to the ensemble.

How many of these Chevy Vans are about the Japanese capital? I keep finding new ones, hidden away in alleys and small lots.

Case in point. I’m hoping somebody might identify the dealership here, though I have a nagging doubt about this badge’s authenticity.

My pick of the bowties for this edition is this ’75 Chevelle Malibu wagon in a gloriously period-correct shade of beige.

Nothing from the house of Mopar, unfortunately. Would you take this unidentified (save for its country of origin) van instead? No? Well shucks, let’s just get to the Fords, then.

I’ll take “Things I never thought I’d see here” for 200, Alex. The answer is: An early ‘90s Explorer in showroom condition.

There’s always a classic Mustang or two lurking in the shadows. In this case, it’s a ’66 coupe showing off its 289.

The full-fat 1971-73 version is a lot less common, for obvious size and charisma reasons. Funny how this is the second early ‘70s green Ford with a black vinyl roof I’ve posted about this week.

“Things I never thought I’d see here” for 400, please, Alex. The answer is: damned if that’s not a Mercury Bobcat. Why? How? But mainly, why? That’s it for the Detroiters – not a lot to report, compared to some of these outtakes.

The British contingent, on the other hand, was pretty spectacular. There are a couple of non-GBs in this impressive smorgasbord, as well as a few I’ll be covering in their own posts, but it gives one a sense, doesn’t it?

Let’s start with MGs, because they really look the part, especially in British Racing green.

Actually, the driver looked the part as well. All that’s missing is a pipe and a Vera Lynn soundtrack. The Riley in the background will have its day on CC sometime in the near future, that’s a promise.

Somebody’s taking their Midget racing pretty seriously!

Make that extremely seriously. Who knows what’s under the hood, but it looks ferocious and requires careful monitoring.

The closer I got to this MGB roadster, the sorrier it looked. I’m no expert on these, but it seems like a US market car in dire need of TLC.

There seems to always be a TR4 in these posts, isn’t there? The interior is so quintessentially ‘60s British, it might as well be wearing a Beatle wig.

Same same but different: the TR4A with the independent rear end. This is the car’s best angle, in my view. Never cared for the front end much, though I’ll admit it’s very distinctive.

Let’s do a little pause with the drop-tops – English cars weren’t automatically roadsters, were they? – and check out the Minis. I’m a sucker for these woodies, if only for the reason that the timber in these is genuine. Because otherwise, the trees win.

And in the interest of balance, here’s the red Morris version.

What’s a good name for a group of Minis, by the way? I suggest “pre-school”, as in the sentence: “I happened upon a small covered parking lot that housed an entire pre-school of Minis. And an ADO16.”

Speaking of which, here’s a non-VdP Princess ADO16 for once, i.e. the unpretentious Morris 1100. This car’s single-digit tax band number (the smaller font “5” in the license plate) means it was registered in Japan from new.

I guess this is sort of Austin-adjacent, so I’ll drop it here. It’s not the FX4 taxi, it’s the “hire car” – no roof sign. Are those wheel covers weird or what? They look like they came off a ‘50s Panhard.

Weird wheel-wise, we have another contender in this Caterham. I often see these in Tokyo traffic, but they rarely warrant a second look. This one definitely did.

There must be a way to tell Morgans apart, but I’ve not been schooled in those beasts. Probably because I never used to see that many. But in this country, I’m encountering them far more often, so if anybody has any pointers, do please let the rest of us (and me especially) know.

See, take this other one (a 4+4, if memory serves), for instance. It’s obviously had a little extra work do to be racier, but did Morgan do that, or did a subsequent owner do it, possibly in Japan? Do those rear lights mean it’s an older model than the previous one? So many questions, so little clue.

The bonnet bulge behind the right headlight looked like it housed three carb air intakes. But it’s a 4-cyl. – who puts three carbs on a four? I must be missing something. Make that several things.

Ever seen a Lotus Europa utterly ruined? Now you have. *Shudder*

Let’s kick it up a notch or two and look at more substantial marques, shall we? I found a garage that specializes in TVRs. A testament to the truth of the maxim “If you’ll fix it, they will come.”

Griffith roadsters like the previous ones are fine, but I have a serious soft spot for Cerberas.

Can’t say a Daimler Double Six leaves me cold, either. The Nardi steering wheel looks right at home in that cabin.

If you’re more of an XK engine aficionado, this Series III Jaguar XJ6 might be more your thing. Love the burgundy colour.

Though if it’s just the engine that gets you fired up, you might as well go for the O.G. and pick the XK120 coupé.

I think I’ve caught this DB6 before, but I’m not tired of seeing it. Hope you’ll concur.

We’ve reached the pinnacle of British motoring, I guess. Though not the absolute best in what R-R or Bentley had on offer for CC. For more information, see below.

There was something seriously wrong with this early ‘80s Bentley Corniche’s top, which was all plastic and seemed to be held together with masking tape and wood glue. How much would a completely new one cost? Well, how attached are you to this arm and that leg?

Now we’re talking. I didn’t dare trespass to document this sublime S3 from other angles, for fear of having the hounds released on me. But what a car. The two-tone blue was exquisite.

Pre-war cars are usually museum pieces, no matter where you live. So seeing this aristocratic grandma floating down the street was a bit of a shock. Not so much that I forgot to take a few pics and follow it for a bit, thankfully.

So we’ll end on a high (society) note with a stunner of a Phantom II Continental cabriolet. I’ve not been able to suss out the coachbuilder, so if you have an inkling, do let us know in the comment section below.

That’ll be all for today. But there will be more tomorrow.