CC Outtakes: T87’s Singles Collection (May-June 2022) – Part 2c: American, Swedish & Miscellaneous Vehicles

Well over 500 photos in, we’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. And that light emanates from a set of quad square headlamps, set wide apart on either end of a retro-style grille topped by a hood ornament. No doubt about it, we’re going to be faced with some serious Detroiters, like this mid-‘80s El Camino. And whatever I was not able to fit in previous posts – Swedish cars, rest-of-the-world, and a few motorbikes for good measure.

No prize for guessing which American marque was the easiest to come by. It’s always the same one – the name is one the tip of my tongue…

I found and wrote up a K5 Blazer a couple years ago, but its wheels were all wrong. I like the stance of this one a lot more. Wonderful colour and interior, too.

The Chevy, which has of course been lowered, seems to be almost exactly the same height as the Porsche, from this angle. Forced perspective?

I keep running into these, though the absolute star Chevy van here is not this one…

…it’s the Astro. Among US vans, those have the most dedicated following. Still not sure why that is exactly, and I usually refrain from documenting them anymore, because they’re so common.

But this one had a pretty extensive amount of work done and was outstanding all around, earning it a place in this post.

Chevrolet HHRs are rare here, compared to PT Cruisers. People do tend to like the original better than the copy.

I bagged a couple of very presentable late-model C3s over the past couple of months, but those will get their own post. This rather peaky-looking one, on the other hand, fits here pretty well.

The most outstanding Chevy was, without a doubt, this 1976 Caprice with its striking purple people-eater get-up. Seeing that thing certainly gave me a bit of a jolt.

How considerate of this Caprice’s owner to add a splash of colour, a dash of humour and a flash of terror to Tokyo’s traffic.

Again with the Buick “Regal” wagons? Hey, they tickle my fancy. And you work with what you have.

I do think darker colours work better with the plastiwood sides, though.

Surprise: a pre-1991-facelift Buick A-body – the first one I’ve seen in the wild in this country. Still has the Regal name and everything else, just the older face. And a major paint issue…

Plenty of cool Caddies at the local GM garage/dealer, too. We’ve visited this place many times before – it’s part of my regular CC hunting route now. This blue Eldorado Biarritz (1979 or 1980?) was briefly on display at their fancy showroom – wish I could have seen it up close.

Same deal with that gorgeous 1962 Sixty Special. If only they could leave it parked on the street for a few minutes one weekend…

I’m not 100% sure if this is the same black ’59 sedan we’ve seen a previous episode of the Singles Collection, as this one has a different license plate. But it could be that they sold it and it came back for one reason or another.

The garage was uncharacteristically open on a Sunday morning and someone was detailing the ‘59, so I got the opportunity to take a look inside. Sweet, though the wildest interiors of the period were definitely not the GM ones.

And just beyond the Cadillac, I spied something ancient hiding in plain sight. If that license plate is accurate, that ’26 Model T would be the oldest car I’ve seen in this city – by a long shot!

So bring the clock forward 65 to 70-odd years, which Ford could be said to be the Model T’s most direct descendent? The tenth generation T-Bird

…or the “OJ” Bronco? There could be arguments on both sides. Or I might be comparing apple seeds to apple sauce.

Crown Vics are an unusual sight in this country. With those searchlights and dog-dish hubcaps, this one looked even more interesting. I’m sure some CC readers can let us know what we might be dealing with here…

That Crown Vic’s a bit puzzling, but this turn-of-the-Millennium Lincoln Continental’s amber turn signals means it was most probably sold new here.

Lots to report on the Jeep front, as per usual. Any US-made CJ is a relative rarity here, where Mitsubishi dominates this particular niche, so I was pretty glad to have scored one, even a highly modified example.

This CJ7 (1976-86) was under a tarp for a very long time – I kept tabs on it, as I figured it might be worth a photo or two. Definitely worth a bit more than that!

Maybe it was an effect of springtime, but the Jeeps were certainly quite green, this past couple of months. I love all classic Wagoneers, as I assume most of us CCers do, so I’m not complaining.

Far from it, in fact. With its period-perfect paintwork, lack of Di-noc and, in my view, second-best nose in the model’s production run (after the early ‘60s one), not to mention those wheels and that interior, this is probably the best-looking Wagoneer I’ve seen here.

Quite the scruffy Chrysler-era Grand Wagoneer!  At least, it must be original, which I understand it can be only once. So onwards to the Mopar products we go.

The Internets suggest this would be a 20-ish year old Dodge Dakota Quad. First of these I’ve seen in Tokyo and perhaps ever, as I really don’t know where I’d have seen one up close in the past couple of decades.

Something about this 2011-15 Charger made it stand out. Can’t quite put my finger on it. Because I’m pretty sure it would be bitten off by that beast!

A new PT Cruiser variant: the two-door delivery wagon! But to end the Big Three section on a truly CC note…

…how about a gorgeous 1967 Barracuda notchback?

So, it’s back to the European stuff, I suppose. Care to guess which country?

A second yellow Volvo 850 T-5R! I found this car’s identical twin (with a more recent license plate) last autumn, but this one is definitely one of the 749 sold in Japan back in 1995-96.

There are so many 240s around here that one can afford to be very picky. This one ticked almost all boxes: chrome mirrors, original wheels, generally flawless blue paint… They don’t get much nicer than this. Pity about the aftermarket steering wheel.

We’ve had the pleasure of seeing this 780 Coupé in quite a lot of detail, but it went on its merry way. Then I saw it again in June. Still in near perfect nick.

What a superb colour for a C70. It’s not necessarily the first thing that is asked of a Volvo, but it really stood out of the crowd.

Which specific model do you picture mentally when you hear the name “Saab”? For me, the 900 saloon is not merely a Saab, it is the Saab.

And yes, that’s the 900 saloon, as opposed to the convertible, which was a rare sight in Europe. Seems they have a following here as well.

Similarly, these 2nd-gen 900s, Saab though they may be, lack the earlier 900s’ uniquely odd set of shapes. It’s all a bit too smooth and too GM. But much worse was yet to come and, as we all recall, it all ended in tears just over a decade ago with cars like the 9-5 below.

At least, the design of the front end, with those chrome strips surrounding the headlights and grille, do impart a Saab identity to these cars, so you can spot one even from far away. Just like you could the Edsel, I guess.

After stumbling upon a 20-ish year old Octavia RS, this is the second Škoda I’ve uncovered in Tokyo What we have here is a 2006-11 Roomster, an MPV based on a subtle mélange of VAG platforms.

Another known unknown in motion! It’s known because we’ve seen this specific UAZ on CC before, but what’s unknown is how sustainable a Russian-made AWD vehicle would be in the long term, especially when it comes to parts access.

That’s it for the cars, vans and trucks, but there were a lot of bikes caught as well. Well “a lot” is relative – more than usual would be more accurate. Starting with the above contraption, which looked properly ancient, but thwarted my ill-informed efforts at identification.

There are plenty of bike shops in Tokyo, but most cater to domestic marques – and not usually the older stuff, either. This one had a very different array on display.

This included a 1970 Electra Glide – something even a non-biker like yours truly can appreciate.

Not that there aren’t other ancient Harleys about that occasionally catch my attention.

We’ll end things on a Star, i.e. a Yamaha made in the US – and over-decorated in Japan. Guess anything called Star should be shiny…

That’s (finally!) all folks. I’m still baffled by the amount of brief encounters that took place over the past couple of months, but I doubt that the next edition of the T87 Singles Collection will be as huge as this. The high water mark has been reached!