CC Outtakes: T87’s Singles Collection (November-December 2021) – Part 2: Foreign Cars

Welcome to part two of a bumper crop of brief CC sightings that took place in and around Tokyo over the last couple of months of 2021. We’ll kick things off with the US steel, which was not quite as riveting as some editions, but still, there are always plenty of American classics around. Old Wagoneers like the above, for instance, have a dedicated following here. Which is a good thing, I’m sure we can all agree.

Mustangs of nearly all generations are also pretty widespread. Although I don’t think I’ve seen a Fox one, the earlier generations and the more recent ones are very popular here. This circa 1969 drop-top seems to be packing a serious engine under that scooped hood.

Late ‘70s Firebirds are not as common, but this is not the first one I’ve caught. Weirdly shod, this one though…

Don’t know why I keep running into restomodded ‘63 Chevrolets. This Impala coupe wafted past me in Yokohama rather briskly, so all I could manage was this barely passable shot.

Sometimes, red Corvettes are just impossible to resist. Yes, even C5s.

If there is a theme in this edition of the T87 Singles, it’s multiple occurrences of the same model. This happened several times over the past couple of months; the first example we’ll see today is the Chevy G Van.

It helps that they made these for eons, of course. But still, running into several of these was a strange coincidence.

The most handsome (and most cooperative) one was probably this pristine blue Beauville.

The Chevy G was not the only noteworthy US-made van seen this past couple of months. I can’t date this Dodge Ram that accurately, but it seems like a late ‘80s example. And a very fine-looking one it is, too!

For balance, here’s something with a blue oval. This is the first F150-badged vehicle I’ve seen here, by the way. Funny how one country’s number one seller can be another country’s exotic oddity.

Moving on to a gray area, located somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, with this “AC” Cobra.

I’ll leave it to the CCommunity to determine if this car has any genuine appeal to it – and whether that signature is real or not.

With that, we transition over to the British chapter of this Outtakes tome, starting with the more recent end of the spectrum. Aston roadster in baby blue? You might consider that, but then if you see one, you realize: no, it’s really not a good idea.

Someone obviously thought that bright green would also look good on a MacLaren. Makes it the most frog-like British car since the Austin-Healey Sprite.

Speaking of green Healeys, someone was busy wrenching on a mid-‘50s A-H 100. Hope to see that one out and about sometime…

Great attitude from the driver of this 1962-65 Triumph Spitfire Mk I. The car’s had a fair few mods, but still looks great. The single-digit number plate means this Triumph was likely sold new in Japan.

The Mini of the Month is a lovely Morris-badged example, driven by another happy customer.

It just wouldn’t be a post on foreign classics in Japan without a Lotus. A truly great car, that Elan. This one has a rollcage, too…

But for my money, the English rose of the whole bouquet was this Ford Cortina. Looks like a 1964-66 saloon with a few obvious mods to make it look like a rally car, although those were always two-door versions. Pity I had no way to check this one out in more detail.

Last British vehicle of this T87 Singles edition: the legendary AEC Routemaster! I used to ride on these pretty often back when I was a student in London. Seeing one trundling down the street two decades later and half a world away was a strangely pleasant experience.

Over to the German cars we go. Another black Beetle, but this time I’ll refrain from attempting at guessing the year. Just to say that those wheels are… er… interesting.

From black Beetles to Mk1 Golf cabriolets – black also, because they look so much nicer like that.

And I mean “they” because I happened to find two of them. See what I mean about multiple iterations of the same model?

A white Mk2 Golf to pace ourselves a bit… before we tackle the Bimmers…

Three grey E30s to be precise. How’s that for a troubling trio? Starting with this M3, because of course.

Then this mint condition 4-door 320i – not too shabby either.

Not sure if this is the most important one of the bunch, but it’s certainly outstanding: this one is left outside, slowly going to seed. I’ve seen a fair few BMW roundels that lost their face to the elements, but with this one, even the metal foil started to peel off. Yikes.

In front of the E28 was an equally imperiled Kawasaki Estrella. Just a brief Japanese two-wheeled intrusion in this post about non-Japanese cars…

This C107 was also looking pretty peaky. But not irredeemably so…

On the other hand, the solid following behind the W123 is evidenced once again with this very fine-looking wagon

And this second one, almost inevitably, followed soon after. Lovely cars.

Last German car of this post (but certainly not least), to end things on a flat-4 note: a sublime red Porsche 356.

Only one Volvo to share this time. I did think that this 850 wagon looked mighty beefy when I went past it, so I quickly took a pick of the rear end as it went by. Pay dirt: it’s a 1995 T-SR, made in collaboration with Porsche. Only 7000 T-SRs were made, both saloons and wagons, in 1995 and 1996, and 749 went to Japan.

There were several interesting French cars sighted, for once. Strictly speaking, this is a van, but it counts. The split windshield means this Type H was built before 1964 – well beyond retirement age, yet it’s still hard at work.

Keeping with the Citroën vibe, this red Xantia is an obviously well cared-for later model (1997-2001). Not sure you could find a better-looking one in its home country.

Still finding the occasional C6 here and there. And they are still a joy to behold, even though few people ended up sharing this sentiment at the time.

Renault 4s are often found in this country. That is a well-known fact that I’m about to prove to you yet again.

Second Renault 4 sighting. OK, I know these are popular here, but damn, this is getting creepy.

Third and fourth R4s, together at a stop light: you are now entering the Twilight Zone.

The dark green car was a very rare early ‘70s Sinpar 4×4 model, too. Quite a sight.

The green one was a bit less special-looking, but still and always in perfect nick.

The most outstanding French find, by a kilometer and a half, was this Simca 1000 Rallye 2, made between late 1972 and late 1975, caught in the exact same place as the Cortina seen earlier (I will be checking this spot regularly from now on). This would be a rare sight even in France. The Rallye 2 is rear-engined like all Simca 1000s, but they moved the radiator to the front for that particular edition. The 1.3 litre twin carb mill out back pushes out 81hp (DIN), propelling this little box to about 100mph.

Let’s end things on a sweet Italian note, starting with this classic of classics. I caught another Fiat 500 in great detail recently – very similar to this one, but in a different colour. Watch this (tiny) space…

This pre-1982 Fiat 124 Sport Spider has seen better days. Here’s hoping it gets back on the road in due course, and with better wheels than the one that can be seen here.

Always had a thing for these. The front end of this particular one was uglified by an aftermarket grille and other changes, but that rear end is just perfect. Pininfarina at their best.

Another Lamborghini Countach caught in the wild! Sadly, it’s a later model, and I was only able to do one decent photo. Ugly, yet impressive.

This purple people-eater shows us that Lambos are now ugly, yet ridiculous. Progress, in other words. In case you’re wondering, this is an Aventador SVJ. Made since 2019, these pack a 759hp 6.5 litre V12 and can reach 200kph in 8.6 seconds from a standstill. Yours for the low, low price of US$517,000.

The craziest thing about this past couple of months was the sheer amount of Alfas, though. A golden FWD Spider, seen early in November, might have been a sign of things to come.

This black late-model RWD Spider is a rarer find. But I think we can do better.

Always keen on the Alfa 2000, though this one went by a bit fast by me. Still caught one usable pic – and ended up finding an old Giulia berlina later, which I will be able to feature in its own post sometime in 2022.

I saw this Bertone 1750 coupé twice (!) during this period. The above shots took place very close to where I live…

And here is the very same car a couple of weeks later, three train stops away. That Burgundy colour really works well on these.

The dazzling crown jewel of this edition is doubtlessly this Fiat-Abarth 750 Zagato berlinetta, made sometime between 1955 and 1959. Appropriately enough, it sat in a kind of glass case, aloof and otherworldly, defiantly pointing its oversized tailpipe at the rest of the world.

On that exhaust note, best wishes from me to all of the CCommunity for 2022!