CC Outtakes: T87’s Singles Collection (November 2020) – Part 2: Foreign Cars

There were a considerable number of fine foreign cars about in Tokyo this month. Let’s kick it off with the British stuff, because why not, starting with this delectable Austin-Healey 3000 sports convertible — either a MkII or an early MkIII. I could only get a single shot of this one, but I caught another A-H on the curbside this month, which I hope to write up soon.

Pity this MG A was fenced in like that, it was impossible to get a clear shot. Unlike other places in Asia, you don’t see MGs often in Japan, though admittedly the ones you see in countries like Laos or Thailand are almost invariably of the Chinese variety.

But this month was to provide a second sighting – I had not seen one of these MG Fs in a long while, so seeing this one in traffic was a very pleasant blast for the past.

Two Minis this month – starting with one of the sorriest ones I’ve ever come across. Even the iconic Mini can be treated with neglect. Mayfair, may not be fair, but it’s not like they are wanting for Minis in this country anyhow. There are more examples of the polar opposite, as evidenced below.

That “Morris Cooper S” is just crazy, chock full of cheeky add-ons and details. Sure, the Monte-Carlo Rally plate, the roof rack and the wing extensions, not also…

And absolutely mad interior and that “Oops” script. I rarely laugh out loud when I’m photographing a CC; this is one time I actually guffawed. And it’s an automatic, to boot!

This is the second FX4 Taxi I’ve managed to capture here, but there are certainly many more. Must have been quite a fare from Piccadilly Circus to my present neck of the woods. I saw a few in Thailand, too – they got around, didn’t they?

Love the license plate on this relatively recent Defender, but what really caught my eye was that retro grille. Pretty nice and quite fitting to add this classic touch. My question is: where did the owner get it? Is this some accessory you can get in the UK, or is it a Japanese kit?

Another sweet Mk1 Range Rover – apparently from 1994, if the license plate is to be believed.

And as per the previous ones, this was yet another improbably well-preserved example, both inside and out. Just amazing.

This Jaguar XJS, on the other hand, looked quite tired. Where have all these gone? They used to be everywhere not that long ago, but it’s been a long while since I’ve seen one.

Finally, a couple of Rollers. This all-black monstrosity was just ridiculous. So much money wasted. Ugh…

Not that the ‘80s Silver Spirit is such as wonderful design (“overgrown Euro-Ford Grenada” is an apt descriptor here), but compared to the square-cut 21st Century Horrolls-Royces, this is tasteful and restrained.

And at least the Spirit of Ecstasy isn’t stashed away in its own mini-elevator shaft, though it is able to duck and cover if disturbed. It’s up there, standing proud and staring down the peasants, come rain or shine.

It’s an abrupt transition from Rolls to the Panda, but that’s the way the biscotto crumbles. There were two very nice Pandas this month – this 1100 Super looked as perfect as a late ‘80s Italian tin-box could.

But it was almost overshadowed by this one. I’m not having much luck on the Interwebs finding anything about the Panda Abarth, so I’m guessing the scorpion-themed decoration is just a bit of extra foam on this little espresso.

White doesn’t really work on these, but I still have a soft spot for them. Never noticed that some tridents looked like they were dipped in blood. Whodunnit? The Maserati did!

The artist formerly known as Saab, last legally on the road in 2016. I scored another sweet Swede (albeit of the Volvo persuasion), but it was so nice it merits its own post.

Transitioning to the German side of things, starting with a nighttime W123 wagon sighting.

I actually found a couple late model R107s of the 560SL variety this month, but one was more amenable to being featured in its own post than the other, i.e. this one. Still a very nice car by any standard, but it was just difficult to photograph the rear end, so it’s ending up here.

As I wrote in last month’s T87 Singles edition, W124s are still borderline common here, particularly saloons. But this was a 500 E – only 10,000 of these exclusive cars were made, all wearing the four-door body. So I kind of had to snap this one up.

Only one BMW this month – and only one pic of that, too – but not just any old BMW. This looks like a 1985-88 M535i saloon. The real McCoy, or just a tarted up regular E28 535i?

I had more luck with Volkswagens, for some reason. We’ve seen a few Mk2 Golfs in this Singles series already, but they just keep on coming, so I’ll keep on posting.

It’s also the first Type 14 Karmann-Ghia I’ve caught in Tokyo, though I’ve seen a few in traffic. Awesome colour, very early ‘70s. And those whitewalls finish it off brilliantly.

Type 3s of any stripe are less common and this is certainly the first wagon variant I’ve encountered in this country. Shame that passenger door met with something that didn’t agree with it…

Crossing the Rhine into France, Schlieffen style, we find another Citroën C6. Yet again, this is a teaser for an upcoming post, as I caught another one last week and will write it up.

The 406 saloon is not the most commonly seen of the early ‘00s Peugeot range in Japan. I remember seeing these more often in Bangkok than here, which is kind of strange. But it seems Japanese folks do prefer smaller cars, which is a market Peugeot also cater to, so that probably explains things.

Always with the Renault 4s, huh. This one is looking a little worse for wear and might well be abandoned. Does anybody know what country this license plate belongs to, by the way?

Finally caught the elusive Alpine A110! The marque has a solid fan-base here, so I’m actually surprised I haven’t run into many of these – this was only my second sighting. Very nice design, paying an appropriate homage to the A110 of the ‘70s while looking pretty and modern.

Genuine rarity! Even as I photographed it, I figured this was an MVS Venturi, but I had never seen this particular model. This is a Transcup convertible, one of 65 made (including 20 in Japanese spec with automatic transmission, which I assume this one to be) between 1990 and 1995. The engine is the infamous PRV V6, mounted amidships and producing either 180, 210 or 260hp.

Let’s end things on a satisfying V8 burble (pardon me!) with the American stuff. I’m sure some of you will work out what is under this tarp. We’ve seen it before.

SHO and tell, but this one ain’t talking. Which is a pity, as I for one would like to know how it got RHD and then ended up abandoned in someone’s yard in the Nippori area. That should be quite a story.

Couple of nice Jeeps this month, starting with this rather extreme CJ pickup. Not sure where it hailed from originally, but definitely not one of the Mitsubishi variants.

Dusk was falling when I encountered this lovely late-‘80s Grand Wagoneer, so it was difficult to get anything is focus. Let’s be generous and call it artistic.

Another one of those Japan-only Buick so-called Regal wagons, photobombed by a Golf GTI. This one’s a little out of commission, but I’m sure that’ll get fixed. Nothing can kill these, right? Hehehe…

The A-Team have made it to Tokyo! Not sure why that Kansas AMC-Jeep dealer sticker is on there – did they sell Chevy Vans alongside their Le Cars and Concords, back in the early ‘80s?

When the usual limos aren’t big enough, there are stretched Hummers. When those are too small for your purpose, you just have to scale it up to a Freightliner bus. Most people would rather slum it in a Lincoln, though. See where this is going?

Brophy-san will doubtless be glad to see that his favourite marque was sighted not once, but twice this month. This 25-year old Town Car seemed not to be in active service, unfortunately.

Unlike this much more recent one. Horrid rims and all. Stick to Navigators for that sort of thing – it really looks all kinds of wrong on a Town Car.

See, this Escalade isn’t any worse for it. Nor is it any better to be honest, but then it’s an Escalade. Why anyone would consciously pick this in Tokyo is beyond me, yet there are a few around.

I had not seen anything proudly proclaiming “V8 Northstar” – or a “Seville” script, come to that – in years. There were a few of these in Geneva when I used to live around there in the mid-‘90s, but they were gone by the 2010s.

Saving the best for last, of course. It was damn near impossible to photograph this gorgeous 1958 Coupe de Ville. It was nightfall and the car was parked too close to its prison bars to be able to get a decent shot. Close-ups were doable though…

Then I found an angle that worked – snap! Lovely. Went back the next day, hoping that garage would be open, but the Caddy wasn’t there any longer. Glad I took the opportunity when it came.