CC Outtakes: T87’s Singles Collection (November-December 2023) – Part 3: British, Swedish & German Cars

Welcome to what will hopefully be the last part of this triptych. Indeed, were it not the final instalment, the very notion of triptych might well be in jeopardy. Let’s start with the MGs, why don’t we. A nice one like this B roadster does make for an eye-catching title pic.

But what some folks do with their Bs can be a little unconventional. You want that red with that grey, really? And sans bumpers? And those… ahem… duct-taped headlight covers?

Not really convinced, if you couldn’t tell. Ah well, there are plenty of those in original or near enough decent nick to sacrifice the odd volunteer.

The same ailments (minus the hardtop, mercifully) seem to have befallen this poor Midget.

But this one escaped its fate… for now…

First TF sighting in Tokyo! Excellent example, as one might have expected.

I don’t normally bother with Caterhams, but this one was quite old (23 at least) and the pics were decent enough. A local kei-engined variant is making a killing these days.

I guess we’ll get into the Lotus part of the seminar now. Lots of encounters – there are many Lotus lovers in this town.

The early model S4 Esprit’s odd rear spoiler, planted on the rear window (and rendering it near useless), was gone by 1995, making the late ‘90s Esprits and V8 Esprits quite the looker.

Of course, one may prefer the S3’s more origami early ‘80s feel. The somewhat brutish silver Lotus wedging its way past a horde of crimson Alfa spiders. It’s those little moments you live for.

A pair of Elans to keep Lotusing about. BRG is a favourite colour of mine on these.

As explained in previous episodes, I chanced upon a classic car rally going by on a rather dreary (but quite fruitful!) December Sunday. So you’re going to see a lot of this crossing.

A new Europa enters the fray. Never seen a dark blue one before. I like it better than the JPS black and gold.

The 2-Eleven is not a rival convenience store, it’s the hardcore Exige-based street-legal racer of some people’s dream back in 2007-11. Very few people, as it turned out.

Lotus are still around, lest we forget. They are now selling dolled-up Geely electric SUVs made in China, but they still have a more traditional British-made offering in the Emira seen here. Produced since 2022, this is to be the final ICE model of the marque. This is the first time I’ve typed this sentence, but it surely won’t be the last.

In Thailand, where I am presently writing this, there are a fair few of these later model London cabs around. Not so many in Japan, except the odd one…

Frogeye Sprite alert! Frogeye Sprite alert! Notify the Man from A.U.S.T.I.N immediately.

Where Austins go by, Morrises are not far behind. Even Minor ones.

Timmmmberrrrr! Get your strictly ornamental but still-a-pain-in-the-neck-to-keep-in-decent-shape timberrrrrr! For your Mini wagon, good sir. Trust me, it’ll be iconic.

I guess the Mini itself was the icon. Still is, flying the Union Jack in front of a parade of Jags. Amazing.

Not sure what to say about the first one. Letting that one slide.

After seeing so may Mitsuokas, one tends to forget what a beautiful design the Mark 2 Jag was.

That night blue ’63 was probably the best of the bunch.

Less keen on the white. Makes Jags look a bit more louche, or like a miniature wedding car. But it looks like it’s attracted a throng of E-Types in its wake.

Lots of them, in fact a little too much for my imperfect camera work. The lack of natural light meant a higher number of blurry results.

Pop quiz: what was the first 100% badge-engineered Daimler model? The 1967-69 Sovereign, based on the Jaguar 420 (itself a slightly bigger S-Type). Around this time, the Daimler V8 sighed its last and the Majestic Major was replaced by the (Jaguar-based) DS420 limo.

Lucky I saw all those Jags at that Ginza event, because all I found otherwise was this XJS cabriolet. Not that it’s not a fine car, but…

There was also the back end of a Daimler Double Six on offer. Can’t complain about that.

That’s a well-groomed Princess, that is. And a genuine one, too. That’s not always a given in Japan, is it?

A couple of Morgans for your viewing pleasure. Looks turn of the century to me, but which century and which way did they turn?

If that license plate is any indicator, this would be a ’77.

Aaaah! At last, the reassuringly datable narrow-mouth TR3 (1955-57).

Classic Astons are few and far between, so sometimes, the more recent ones have to get a turn. Especially when they come in pairs.

Waiting to find a Rapide out by the curb, someday… They are around, it’s just a matter of luck.

I found a rather vague production number of “about 3000 units” made from 2010 to 2020 – many of them manufactured in Austria by Magna-Steyr at the start of the model’s life. Quite a let-down for Aston, who were banking of 1000 units per annum. But what a car.

Not nearly as complete a failure as the Cygnet, though. With fewer than 800 made, it’s one of the least popular Aston of the new Millennium.

This is the second one I’ve caught in this city. Perhaps the Toyota-ness of the vehicle gives it a certain appeal over here.

Bentley made 73 Continental SCs from 1998 to 2000 – including 25 in RHD like this one. It’s essentially a Continental R Coupé with a glass roof. The panels above the driver and front passenger can be removed, giving it a bit of a sedanca de ville feel.

Guess we’ve only got the Rollers to go. Corniche II, if I remember correctly.

Were earlier Japanese market Silver “Spur-its” sold here with US-style sealed beam quads, or was this one imported later from there? Nearly all of the Spirits and Spurs I’ve seen here had Euro-style lights, but you never know.

Kind of like this one. Even for a Tokyo Rolls, it was really immaculate.

We’ve seen both of these lovelies individually, I believe. On the right, the 406 was the last Bristol with the legacy BMW 6-cyl. engine, upped to 2.2 litres. This one is a 1960 model, as was the one I wrote up a couple years ago. The slightly boxier 410, made eight years later, had a 5.2 litre Mopar V8. It will have its day on CC at some point, too.

Could only get tail shots on that one, but what a tail the P1800 has.

Volvos are popular in this country, and 240s are the classic Volvo one sees almost every day. Most (like 9 in 10) are late ‘80s/early ‘90s wagons, so this was a pretty nice surprise. I’m thinking 1981 or 82, but I’m no expert.

Better lighting conditions would have made for a decent CC post. Some other time, some other place?

Let’s transition to the German contingent via the rear engine with this autumn’s air-coolest of the bunch, the one, the only Porsche 356 C.

Ok, so it wasn’t the only. Ah well. Question, though: given the choice, would you rather have this, the last and arguably best version of the 356, or a 1949-50 coupé that would showcase the original design, but be perhaps less user-friendly?

Ah, but then, there is the 912. Serious salivation on this one – as far as I’m concerned, good 9-series Porsches are old 9-series Porsches. The ‘80s weren’t kind to that shape.

Good thing the older air-cooled 911s are often on the menu, on these little Sunday jaunts.

This one was on some other rally-type event recently. Or on its way there.

We’ll end it on a fine little 911 Targa – a ’71, if the license plate is any hint.

Tad of a fumble on that rear shot, but what an impressive restoration. Worth it on a Beetle that old, of course (Please insert MY here:  19 _ _ ).

A little more recent, but still a whopping _ _ years young (Please fill in)! Another higher end restoration.

Rudolf the Flat-Four Reindeer here claims it’s from 1967 – what do we reckon?

I respect the venetian blinds as a 100% period-perfect aftermarket item, but I hate them. There, I said it. Fussy, ugly and obtrusive. Love the rest of the car, though. Of course.

It was getting dark when this Squareback came into view. A wee bit fast for my camera to focus properly.

Lovely Golf 1 cabriolet – looks a lot like a rather early model, too. Hope to see it again.

Onwards to the Mercedes chapter – always a long one, this. Kicking things off with the SLs. Couldn’t decide which Pagoda pic to use, so went with both.

Yes, there will be 107s. There always are, aren’t there? They just cannot be ignored.

C107s are always more intrinsically interesting, being rarer. And (to my eyes) prettier than the roadster.

Another fine 450 SLC, this time from Bangkok.

Quite a find, as older cars have rarely led an easy life in Thailand. Someone must love this one very dearly.

Mercedes’ decision to make a 4-cyl. roadster SL – something they never reiterated, as far as I know – was inspired. And the 300SL also inspired it, of course.

The amount of W124s in daily Tokyo traffic means one must be a little drastic in selection criteria. An incredibly clean jet black coupé? Yeah, that’ll make the cut.

I had forgotten that W124s were also pretty ubiquitous in Bangkok. But over here, the 220 was the more usual find — a model never seen in Japan, where the 300 is a minimum.

Must do a proper W116 post one of these days. I found a good one not too long ago that would illustrate things quite nicely. This one only had but a couple of angles to work with, but I like them in this colour.

Assuming the license plate is the original one, this W114 would be a 1970-73 model. Fun Mercedes-Bends math trivia: these traded their 2.5 litre for a 2.8 in 1970, but kept the “250” badge. But the higher trim 280 also existed. Go figure.

Same deal with the V8-engined W111 two-door: they kept the 280SE on the decklid (and on the grille, for this particular one!) regardless.

As advertised in yesterday’s edition, the sole semi-decent capture I could manage of a (very rare) W180 Ponton 220S coupé.

The Ponton coupé shared a small forecourt with about six other vehicles, the dominant one being this beast of an Unimog.

Final chapter: the BMWs. We have to start small. Like 4-cyl. E30 small.

Let’s add a green cabriolet to balance out that red four-door.

Don’t know why that circa 1968-72 red 2002 has those wart-like repeaters (at least, that’s what they look like). Maybe a requirement for Japanese market cars for a couple years. Or a slightly modified US model imported more recently?

Let’s finish on a high with one of the best shapes of the ‘60s, first in its later, beefier years as the 3.0CSi.

And we come to the end of our little tour with a 2000 C Automatic – one of only 3250 made between 1965 and 1969. Most people, I think, prefer the later 6-cyl. cars, with their more conventional nose. But I am firmly in the minority on this one: these earlier cars are much better, in my eyes.

Yes, they’re a bit odd, but I really think the design looks more coherent that way.

Well, that’s it for yet another edition of the T87 Singles Outtakes. We’ll see if this feature will continue in the same fashion for 2024, as the amount of time these take to make is consequential.