CC Outtakes: T87’s Singles Collection (May-June 2022) – Part 2b: British, French & Italian Cars

The only way the 330-odd photos of foreign-made CCs I gathered over the past couple of months was to split them three ways: yesterday’s German chapter, today’s British/French/Italian cars, and finally American/rest of the world, which we will see tomorrow. But this second batch is a tad bigger than the others. So let’s kick things off in style with a Series 1 XJ6!

It took me quite a while, but I’m finally coming round to the XJS.

The reason why it took me a while to appreciate the XJS is because of the XK8 (and of course the E-Type.) I remember, when these sensuous machines first appeared in the late ‘90s, how outdated and gauche the XJS seemed by comparison. First impressions last a long time.

For whatever reason, most of the XJ40 saloons I’ve seen about Tokyo are branded as Daimlers.

That includes this extremely well-kept LWB model. I’m not usually too keen on XJ40s, but this was a pretty exceptional one!

Just because CC’s own Jim Klein has purchased one recently, here’s a couple of X-Type wagons. Your choice of bone-stock white…

…or a somewhat souped up black one? Ah, the agony of choice.

Who’s up for some classic Range Rovers? Yes, that a plural…

This white beauty in VandenPlas trim is missing a bit of its rear bumper, sadly. And it lacks the cool V8 badge (same as the one used on Rover saloons?) of the previous one.

Despite their reputation for fragility, these are real popular here – especially the later 4-door sort.

OK, excuse me as I have a bit of a Sprite moment here. We’ve seen this car before – it’s a 1959 model, according to the owner.

But when I wrote it up, I did not have that many pictures to go along with it. Situation well and truly reversed.

I even saw it a second time a few weeks later. It never rains, then it pours. Typical British roadster weather.

Let’s keep it Austin for a spell with a lovely pair of Mini Countryman, i.e. the woodie wagon variant.

There are a number of these about. I have caught a similar one (with a Morris badge) recently for a more thorough CC viewing. Watch this mini space.

This one looked pure ‘70s – the colour, the Leyland badge, etc. Nice to see some folks like these, too.

I guess this lovely VandenPlas Princess 1300 might as well be parked in this BMC-friendly area. Again, I was fortunate enough to find another one recently, so you can expect to see a post about it sometime.

I regularly see a pair of Routemasters around central Tokyo on weekends. They don’t seem to be ferrying any passengers though: they are just used as mobile advert billboards. Not that great from an ecological standpoint.

Of course, the same could be said of many vehicles in this post. Even splendid and far more modern ones like the Aston Martin Rapide.

Slightly older and rarer, but certainly not prettier: a 1999-2005 TVR Tuscan Speed Six. Please pardon the blurry photo (call it “artistic”…)

The Bristol 406 we’ve seen before made its way back to the business end of my smartphone camera. Strangely, the TVR Tuscan and this Bristol seem to have a curious kinship, from this angle.

The plot thickens: the Bristol / R-R collector that has been a great source of top-notch CC fodder has a new toy: a Bristol 410, one of 80-odd produced in 1968-69. Fingers crossed, this gem will come out of its cave and allow itself to be photographed someday.

Two notable Rollers in this edition – both blue, coincidentally. Starting with this Silver Spur.

And this rather loud Phantom Drophead. Even the wheels have blue accents! But the best Brit wasn’t blue, in this instance, but light grey.

‘Twas a balmy Sunday evening in May, near Asakusa, when I glimpsed the characteristic gleam of a slatted grille calling out from the darkness of a rather large private garage. I peeked inside; not only was the place deserted, but a gigantic Hooper-bodied Bentley S1 was ready to pose for CC posterity.

Strong contender for my find of the year. Let’s see in six months….

Back on planet Earth, a cute Morris Minor ute.

And a Minor 1000 saloon, for good measure, that was rusting peacefully right next to (how smooth is that transition?)…

…a very blue and very presentable (yet seemingly very dead) Renault 5 GT Turbo!

There was a bumper crop of classic Renaults. Let’s start with a little Renault 4 next to an R32 Skyline, as an appetizer. Is there anything more Tokyo than that picture?

I stumbled upon this nest of lozenge-badged vehicles (plus a yellow Peugeot 106 in the back there) – but the place was a bit busy. I made a mental note to return there in the early morning to take a closer look at my leisure.

It did not disappoint. This Renault 5 Alpine, though definitely dead, was a highlight. These were one of the original hot hatches (1.4 litre 92hp hemi engine, mated to a 5-speed) when they came out in 1976.

Nearby was this splendid black five-door GTL. These higher-trim models have a 1.3 litre producing 42hp only – the Alpine version really was the hottest. But this one is almost classy!

The five-door body only joined the range in 1979 – seven years into the R5’s career. The GTL version was sold from MY 1980 to 1984. Cannot recall the last time I saw one this nice!

The Twingo was kind of a reinvention of the R5 for the ‘90s. They never devised a RHD version for these, but in Japan, that just adds to the prestige factor. Now that I know a bit about the Honda Today though, the Twingo’s design doesn’t seem quite as advanced as all that.

The Renault’s 4-cyl. engine and slightly bigger dimensions do render it more user-friendly than the 550cc Today, though. Which probably explains why I run into quite a few of them around Tokyo. It’s cute, it’s small, it’s chic – like a French Mini, with better suspension.

Those present-day Alpines are really something. Best-looking French car of the ‘20s?

Well, it’s time to slow things down to a 600cc flat-twin’s cruising speed and examine some 2CVs.

This one was located nearby the W112 Mercedes coupé discussed a little while back. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum!

This one was making full use of the soft top, which enables it to transport oversized objects with relative ease, weather permitting.

Finally, one that’s not seen action in quite a while. Snailed to the ground.

The other Citroëns I caught this spring, aside from an exceptional trio that will have its own post shortly, were Types H. Food trucks are as popular here as anywhere else, and the Type H is ideally suited for the job. Here we have a later model (mid-‘70s, I reckon) – the most commonly seen of the lot, logically.

Here’s a much older model (pre-1964), as evidenced by the long chevrons and the split windscreen.

Still running into the odd C6. And it’s still a shape that I find attractive.

A couple Peugeot cabriolets to polish off the Frenchies? Who can resist a sweet little 205 soft-top? This is a series 2 car (1990–1994), in the requisite dark green. T87 approves.

But then check out this 306: genuine 4-seater, leather seats, power top – all pretty well preserved too, given it’s all 20-plus years old and built by Pininfarina in Turin. Oh, I feel another transition coming!

Yes, it’s time for the Grand Finale – the Italian cars. Warning: there were a lot. And they were sublime, like this Maserati 3200GT.

OK, I exaggerated a bit. Nobody ever accused the Fiat Multipla of being sublime. The epithets that come to mind include odd, misshapen, ugly and… practical, I guess?

We’ve seen this little red number before. I’m not 100% sure how genuine its Abarth credentials are, but it sure looked peppy.

Despite all the mods, this one has no Abarth badges per se, but the name is embossed and painted into something adjacent to the exhaust. Nice touch!

Another Fiat Punto cabriolet sighted! But the absolute Fiat di tutti Fiati was the one below, no contest.

I hadn’t seen an X1/9 in ages – very impressive and stunningly beautiful, compared to most wedges.

But while we’re on the subject, let’s keep it on the origami side while we look at Ferraris. There were a lot of sightings, starting with this 328 GTB…

And this GTS. Because one 328 just wasn’t enough.

OK, it says “Dino” on the front, but it still belongs here, right? Right?

The last Ferraris that still look kind of interesting (to my eye) are now pushing 20, like this 360…

Or the 612 Scaglietti; impressively restrained, compared to what they’re doing these days. Incidentally, the PF designer who is credited with creating the 612 is Ken Okuyama, who was born and still lives in Tokyo.

But really, for Ferraris as for most cars, the older the better. Anyone fancy a red head, by the way?

I’ve seen a few late ‘90s Lancia Ypsilons, as well as present-day ones (though some wear a Chrysler badge), but this is my first 2nd generation (2003-11) Ypsilon encounter.

Far more substantial first Tokyo sighting: the mighty Thema (1984-94), the last successful big Lancia. These were marketed via Autozam dealerships in Japan back in the early ‘90s.

And of course, the obligatory Delta HF Integrale.

No Lamborghinis to report, unfortunately, so we’ll just have to end this post on the Alfa Romeos. Many interesting ones cropped up, thankfully. Starting with the FWD GTVs.

There was an early model Twin Spark in silver. Everything looked fine, but that Alfa Romeo badge lost a bit of its surface. I thought that only happened to BMW roundels.

Alternately, a radiant and melodious red coupé presented itself, packing the 3-litre V6. Your pick.

Such a shame that this Alfetta was hiding behind a gate and a pair of bicycles. It needs to be brought out, given a bit of TLC and admired!

Back in the early ’90s, I had a school friend whose father drove an Alfa 75, so this does stir up some dusty memories. Never cared for the looks, but that engine note is etched in my brain.

Again, the 155 is part of that peculiar ‘80s/’90s era of broken wedge Alfa saloons that I’m still not keen on. But hey, it’s still a classic. Right?

I like the 164 better, personally. And they’ve all disappeared from European roads by now, I bet. Same platform as the Lancia Thema (and the Saab 9000), by the way…

“Enough with all that prim and proper, mint-condition, over-restored nonsense, T87!” I hear you cry. “Give us some grime, some rust and some flat tyres!” Your wish, as always, is my command.

I wrote up the restored version of this car a couple years back. This one has more character and brings forth more emotions. What a waste, but what a shape!

So here’s a much better-looking GTV to see us off. We’ve earned it!

We’ll be looking at the US-made stuff, plus all the rest, in the final installment tomorrow. See you there.