If you can believe it, we’re about halfway through this edition of the Tokyo CC spring ’22 sightings. “About” because actually, there were slightly more foreign cars than domestics. And amongst the foreign cars, the nation that was clearly über alles, in terms of number of pics at least, was Germany. What better way to start than with the iconic Beetle, then?
This one looked better from the front than the back. Impressive pipes you have down there, Beetle-san.
Not sure about this one, to be honest. Looked promising, but a bit on the shy side.
This drop-top was much better in every way. But the rear-engined VW that took centre stage was definitely…
…the Transporter. No less than three T1s crossed my path. Conveniently, they were each of a different colour.
Fuchs wheels, really? On a Type 2? If you have to have those, get a Karmann-Ghia. But then, you can’t crack open the windshield on K-Gs…
Closer to museum-quality than the previous two with this sweet green ’65. Red, blue, green. The perfect trio.
But much as I love this (over-) restored T1 bus, the real find was a T2 I caught in traffic. Read on.
If you like patina, you’ll enjoy this! Plus, I don’t think I’d ever seen this body variant before. Ice-cool.
There are just too many A2 Golfs about Tokyo to document them all, so I restricted the intake to three. This merrily modded one had a weird trailer and an unusual colour, so it made the cut…
This one just seemed like it had left Wolfsburg last month. Uncanny.
And this rare 4×4 Country version, co-developed with Steyr-Puch, just had to be included.
OK, I lied when I said there would be three A2 Golfs. Because Jetta. So four, then.
There are two German marques that are usually poorly represented in these parts; one is Audi. All I could find on this occasion was this 1994-97 A6. Better than nothing, but still – what happened to all the oldie Audis?
The other rarely-seen German is Opel, which is more understandable. Finding one, like this Astra Cabriolet, is a once-in-a-blue-moon kind of thing.
Plenty of Porsches, on the other hand. We’ve seen this green 911S Targa before, I think, but a return visit is always appreciated.
This 1968 911S, sold new in Japan, is an exhibit at some Porsche trinket shop in Ginza. Just beautiful.
The very opposite end of the 911 scale, in every possible way? From a distance, this 2011-15 Carrera 4S was quite a grotesque apparition.
It’s a vinyl wrap, of course. Cars rarely made me laugh as much as this one.
But let’s not kid each other. There are German cars, and then there is Mercedes-Benz – the Kaiser among the princelings. Even hidden under a comical Honda badge, one cannot help being impressed by the ubiquitous nature of the three-pointed star in Japan.
So many Benzes, so little time. Yet this red W123 wagon managed to cross my path twice in this two-month period.
Finally, a good ol’ Tenacious D! Almost all W123s I’ve come across here are 280s, with the odd 230 thrown in. Nice to see an oil burner for once. Great colour, too.
In Tokyo, the most frequently-seen Benz is, without a doubt, the W124. It matter not which variant you are into, you’ll find one. Especially the wagons, but not only.
There are many saloons around, too. And not just the regular type, but Porsche-made ones as well.
Fancy a two-door? Can do. Would you prefer a 320CE drop-top…
…or the 300CE-24 Coupé? The one version I haven’t caught yet is the LWB limo, but I’m sure that’ll happen someday.
While we’re on the subject of late ‘80s Mercedes coupés, here’s a C126 with the 300hp 5.5 litre V8 to go with those AMG rims. The ultimate in Autobahn cruising.
There are quite a few W201s around, too. But they are nearly always painted in that oh-so drab dark grey that was fashionable back then, as seen on the W124s above, for instance. This welcomed dash of colour was the exception that proves the rule.
I found an interesting W201 (other than this one, I mean) that will have its day on CC soon. In the meantime, let’s move on to the cream of the crop.
By which I mean the Bracq-alicious W111 coupés. Not sure if this one had a V8 or a straight-6 under that luscious bonnet, but it was in a hurry to get somewhere.
This earlier 220SE, on the other hand, was stationary and eager to feature on CC. That shade of dark red suits it particularly well.
But the Benzes that really took the limelight were the SLs, and especially the 107s and the Pagodas. Didn’t matter whether we’re talking about the C107…
…which is a personal favourite of mine, as it happens.
Bit less keen on the R107, but a fine Euro-spec one with hardtop is always welcome.
Pagodas were also numerous, as stated earlier. This one was at the place where I found all those Bristols and Rolls-Royces. Looks like this collector also has a line in classic Benzes.
Sometimes, it felt as if they were desperate to get photographed. I saw this gold flash out of the corner of my eye as it went in this garage. The driver parked it and just sat there, as if waiting for me to take a pic. So I obliged.
And here’s a third one, in all its glory. I even caught a fourth, but it rendered enough material as to justify its own post.
My first capture of a 190SL in the wild! Sure, it’s no 300SL, but it has some of its big brother’s spirit.
To cap off this Benzfest of Stuttgartian proportions, we will turn to the top of the range and the Maybach sub-marque. Nowadays, they’re S-Class saloons, mostly. And the obligatory SUV, of course.
They still make a limousine, too. Not often seen, but pretty damn huge. This one’s in good company.
I do prefer the previous iteration, i.e. the Maybach 57. At least it had a little bit of individuality compared to the Benz-badged S-Class. Not enough?
Agreed. But in this 62 extended wheelbase version, they do have a stately presence. And that’s it for the German stuff. Danke sch… oh, wait. I’m forgetting something, no?
How could there not be a Beemer in the bunch? With a side-car, no less. I’ve no idea what model the bike is, but the sticker gives us an approximate date.
A real E28 M5? Could be. They weren’t sold in Japan when new, but when there’s a (few million) yen, there’s a way.
Finally, let’s end on a graceful note with this absolutely gorgeous pre-1983-facelift E23.
The biggest post of the lot is next: the Italian, French and British finds. See you tomorrow!
That’s a lot of German cars. Nice black beetle, it looks like it needs a little love.
Interesting that you find so many in poor condition. Most old cars here are hidden in garages, be they nice or neglected.
It’s not minty, but it has evidence to me that it’s babied and loved in its current condition.
The black one is not original; it’s got the ’65-up big front and rear windows, but older style tail lights and rear center license plate light, along with some other details (hub caps) to make it look older, a common set of modifications.
I’m sure it looks fine to normal people, but the mix of parts is jarring to me.
The motorcycle is an R100RT (well, probably a 100, ie 1000cc though maybe the RT touring version was offered in a smaller displacement in Japan) which was built and sold, with a brief break I believe, from the late seventies until the mid-nineties. Hard to believe when compared to modern BMW touring bikes, but this was the top of their flat-twin touring lineup then, and similar in features, other than powertrain, with the “brick” four cylinder RT’s which were supposed to replace it but never did.
Looks like a quality vinyl wrap on that 911. Had me fooled into wondering what tragedy could have befallen such a new car until I realized plastic bumpers can’t oxidize.
Really nice collection of cars here, I’m particularly drawn to the E23 and W111. Comparing the distinctive road presence of the latter to the current EQS is rather depressing.
I’m not sure I’ll ever understand the C107.
What is that thing behind the T1 in pic 8 ?
I think it’s a Toyota Alphard.
The T1s are of course all vastly overdone, looking unlike anything that actually was seen on the road back in its day. Even the green T1 you liked so much has been lowered.
The T2 “Dokka” (Double Cabin) has something curious going on with its rear wheels wells. It looks like once upon a time someone cut them open, for a big-wheel effect that was once popular, and now they’ve been welded back to original. I don’t know how else to explain the obvious cut-line and different color.
I continue to be amazing at the sheer variety and volume of interesting finds you are able to come across. Its must have one of the better CC per mile ratios of any place.
The yellow W123 wagon and BMW E23 are the highlights for me.
That T2 ute is identical to one a friend bought for an engine for his van, only thing really wrong with it was a minor hit in the front which caused a pinkslip (NSW) fail in the days when VWs were worthless, my how that has changed,
As Paul said that black Beetle is a mixture of parts domed hubcaps on small bolt patter wheels are a bit of a giveaway then when you look closer theres more and several models gave up pieces to build that, those must be US full red tail lights.
T1 VW Kombis far better than when the factory last saw them seem to be a thing now, and fuchs style hubcaps not even actual wheels LOL.
The California license plate style sticker on one of the vans, PL8HERO, caught my eye as something I’ve never seen here in the Golden State. Turns out it’s a Japanese thing, with lots of social media presence. Lots of interesting finds, T87, as always. I’m not sure whether I like (not love) or really hate the patina-wrapped Porsche. I’ll give it points for being different.
Who in their right mind would want to drive a Porsche that looks like it was pulled out of Tokyo Bay? I don’t care if it’s a wrap. It looks stupid.
Agree. The owner must get some strange looks from their work colleagues.
Gosh, I always wondered where my Dad’s silver 190-SL went after he sold it in Pennsylvania in the late ’90s. He had bought a white hardtop for it and we had it painted silver to match…
Perhaps we’ll see the blue Lotus Esprit tomorrow that’s behind the T2? Another excellent representation proving that Japan appears to be anything but the closed market that Detroit would have you believe, with plenty of cars from wild to mild and everything in between. In other words, gearhead heaven.
I can’t choose, so just gimme the whole damn box of chocolates…actually, you can keep the one that looks pre-chewed, the wrapped 911.
More amazing finds. You’re going to be quite busy with all the ones you’ve indicated you’re going to write up. 🙂
The silver W111 is timeless.
Just to show my age, wasn’t there a Matchbox version of this coupe??
It probably in lost in the backyard of my father’s house.
Sure was. #46 in the mid-late sixties. Was yours blue, green, the Superfast version in gold, or did you have the earlier, slightly smaller #53 in red?
Again lots of great vehicles and photography .
The Black Beetle is a 1968 > dressed to look older .
The blue crew cab TypII is a 1968 U.S.A. model .
I’d like to see a close up of the Beemer’s side car nose badge, in the 1970’s Bender F;lorin was making close copies of the earlier BMW ones .
Keep up the fantastic work ! .
Professor, you tempt us….first I go for the red VW Type 2, then you offer up the Porsche 9101 Targa. so I’ll take that, or maybe the red W123T and the 220SE W111, and then there’s the 190SL with a hardtop I’ve not seen before…
I’ll pass on the Maybachs (of all size and types) and the vinyl wrapped Porsche, but the right offer on that yellow 733 might work as well….getting expensive now….