CC Outtakes: T87’s Singles Collection (June-August 2023) – Part 2: Foreign Cars

We’re hitting the ground running with a race-ready E-Type for this second part, because we have a pretty extensive parade of imports to run through. Plenty of British, Italian and German cars as per previous editions, but fewer Detroiters than usual, for whatever reason.

Here’s a shout out to Jim Klein with another long-roof X-Type. These sold well in Japan, it seems. And is what’s parked just in front of it a foretaste of what’s to come (in its own dedicated post) on CC, if not the Klein garage? What do you reckon, Jim? Ready to tackle a flat-12?

Same street, opposite curb, different Sunday – an exceptional amount of classics, that time. Didn’t even bother with the red E-Type or the green Mark 2 saloon (it was really that crowded with exceptional cars!), but this utterly bizarre drop-top needed to be shared. The interior was predictably atrocious.

Looks-wise, this so-called Cooper was trying a bit too hard for its own good. Sounded absolutely gorgeous though.

This, on the other hand, is not trying hard enough.

That’s more like it! Two-tone 1950 Bentley Mark VI wearing a rare H.J. Mulliner coachwork. Doesn’t get much better, though the one next to it is a pre-war car. But that will get its own post someday. As will this black and white beauty if I ever catch it out in the open.

When you write for CC, what you see here is a fine MG A roadster. But it’s really a matter of perspective.

If you’re a traffic warden, what you see is a stupid red car that’s illegally parked.

Couldn’t tell if this was a 12-cylinder model, but that was sure a sweet-looking series 1 (1969-73) Daimler saloon. That shade of green was particularly fetching.

I’m not so blasé that I can just nonchalantly ignore a black Shelby Cobra. Doesn’t mean I really like them, but they do make themselves noticed.

If you want to blend in, better go for a Buick “Regal” wagon.

These are just everywhere, it seems. GM also sold the sedan version here, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one.

Very occasionally seen, the blobby gen 4 Camaro is not as popular here as the Corvette or the Mustang. This one needs a new front wheel, too. Meh.

The bowtie find of the summer was surely this mildly customized 1962 Chevy II wagon.

Barely caught this fleeting ’80s Firebird. I also found a truly incredible KITT lookalike, but that’s going to deserve its own post.

I think this red ’65 Mustang lives in my general area, as I seem to bump into it in smaller North Tokyo side-streets, not just out on parade in Ginza or Harajuku.

There it is again on a different day. The very definition of a classic, in many ways.

Nice and shiny schnozz and all that, but why the toy car wheels? That’s it for this very small selection of American cars. Better luck next time…

Not too many French cars either, but that’s more of a feature than a bug. This is my second sighting of a 1996-99 Renault Spider, built in Dieppe at the Alpine works. I’d really like to see one standing still, as they’re one of the most interesting European sports cars of the ‘90s.

No idea how this Super 5-based series 1 (1985-91) Renault Express made it to Japan, or why. They’ve been selling Kangoos here pretty well, but that was after the tie-up with Nissan. That’s it for the Froggies – only a couple, but oddballs nonetheless.

Onwards to the Italian stuff, starting with the usual red Lancia Delta HF. Have they all migrated here?

There are a few of these Lancia Thesis (Theses? Thesises?) about. Still hoping to see one that isn’t grey or silver. An acquired taste for sure, but at least they look different.

More often than not, when carmakers recycle a legendary nameplate after a really long pause, it’s a let-down. Think Lancia Flavia, Citroën DS, Rolls-Royce Wraith or Pontiac GTO. There are a few counter-examples, and the Fiat Multipla is one of them.

The third of these Dinos I’ve caught in Tokyo, including a gorgeous yellow one I wrote up a year ago. This rather more understated colour suits it very well too.

What? You want a targa-top 308 to cosplay your Miami Vice and/or Magnum P.I. fantasies? Get a Hawaiian shirt and grow a mullet, why don’t you. Much cheaper.

Same model, different roof. Not a fan of the gold wheels, but to each their own. We’ll have a closer look at that Alfa momentarily.

More Ferrari-and-Alfa duos showing up to the same street. Starting to see red here.

Not the best Alfa Spider maybe, but in a pinch, it’ll do. Fortunately, we have better in store. Right this way…

Molto bene. The interior alone is worth the trip.

Time for a couple Volvo wagons, starting with this 1993-94 940 Classic. I wouldn’t normally bother (there are just too many about), but this is the first non-Japanese car I’ve seen being used as a taxi here.

No idea whether this early-‘80s 245 GL is a legit ex-SDM car (those repeaters would probably blink to indicate otherwise), but a sexy Swedish sled it still is, to be sure.

Let’s end with the largest contingent (by nationality) – the German cars – and a very tasty early model US market 911, photobombed by an equally early Beetle, which we will have a look at in a minute.

Same day, street, maker and engine, different pretty much everything else: my second 914-6 sighting. Love the colour on this one.

If the rear end is any indication, this would be a Belgian market 1951 Beetle. They don’t get much better than this, in my opinion.

Not nearly as old, but the two-tone looks very nice.

On the opposite end of the production run, we have a Mexican-made example that, despite its pristine condition, is now at least 20 years old. Still buggy after all these years.

Hey, get some period-correct wheels for that Type 2 while you’re at it.

I cannot be 100% sure, but this sure looks like a Japanese market mid/late-‘70s Transporter. And it’s in the process of being saved, too.

Lots of rust, but tons of character.

I have issues with the Pagoda roof, i.e. this SL’s signature feature. With the top down though, these really look the part. And that interior…

I’m sure the inside of that Maybach would have been worth the visit also. Alas, ‘twas not to be.

Only one other Benz to report: a very nice late-model W114. The cloth interior, white steering wheel and column gearchange were also lovely, but proved too difficult to photograph.

The 525i Touring, ladies and gentlemen. Is this the best E30 variant? Serious question. Please answer below.

Hofmeister at his best, plus the big 200hp fuel-injected 3-litre – what’s not to like?

Final entry for this post is also a BMW, but of the flat-twin kind. I’m really no good at identifying bikes, but this looks like an R60 or an R69 (1956-69), with that famous Beemer flat-twin.


So that’s it for the Japanese finds of the summer. But there will be a part three with the stuff I encountered in Europe, so see you tomorrow for that lot.