CCs In Israel: August 2019 – From Mundane To Exotic

Here’s another batch of CCs and the like, captured in Israel mostly with my trusty dash-cam, with some added stills in the mix.


The earlier August findings were rather unassuming, save for the X-body Skylark:

This Suzuki Swift is on its final hurrah, being one of the last of its generation to be imported, and therefore dubbed by the importer “EuroSwift”. As you’d expect, those are being driven by elderly gentlemen who appreciate the Swift for its endless reliability, even if by all other accounts it’s well past its sell-by date.

The Chinese push-cart\ disabled\ something electric vehicle, no doubt sold by Ali-express off the shelf, is yet-another nameless thingy- you’ll have to excuse me, I failed to discover its manufacturer or model. Those are becoming more visible every day, and take to the streets mixing it with “normal” vehicles – not a good idea. This particular one has the local council’s sign on its rear window, hopefully it’s not an official vehicle.

The X-body Buick Skylark is the best CC here, really caught by a stroke of luck- I managed to just notice it and press the “save” button on the dash-cam. You could argue about its owner’s taste, adorning the car with chrome add-ons, “sporty” wheels and privacy curtains, but no doubt this is a well cared-for example and a survivor of a once popular car in Israel.

The last one is still a Buick, though much different, of course. This owner is another one of the pensioners not likely to let go of the car, being “American”, as they would put it. The clientele type is described here. Onward to the next video:

One of the comments in June-July’s post mentioned the Nissan Terrano II. Those are still relatively easy to find, despite their agricultural origins (or just because of those). They are sought after also for their diesel power, which is heavier on torque but lighter on the wallet, and mostly are considered a great alternative for owners who do not have the money for other, more expensive off-road diesel-powered off-road vehicles like the LR Defender, Toyota Land-Cruiser or (newer) Mitsubishi Pajero, and on the other hand, a Suzuki Jimny (inevitably petrol) is too small for them. I pass this particular Terrano everyday on my way to work, and never saw it change place – maybe it’s on its way out.

The same could be said for the Mazda MX-5 (Miata) NB, but for different reasons. If you want a second-hand roadster from the early 2000s, you simply have no other choice in Israel – hence ratty examples like the featured one in the video still thrive, despite looking less than a sports-car and more of a hairdresser’s ride. I particularly “like” the luggage rack, reminiscent C3 Corvettes’ galore.

The Honda Goldwing Aspencade is a another capture I just managed to save – this was when I was being passed/ re-passing the MX-5. It is an early-to-mid 1980s model, imported to Israel recently, and on a collector’s license. Although made in the 1980s, it has a clear 1970s looks all over it, right down to the color schema.

The Volvo 242L was seen not far from my home, but is a visitor, as it comes and goes frequently. That gives me the chance to see changes it undergoes – it used to be white/ yellow, but I guess the owner got tired of this color combination. Although Volvo of late 1970s are still to be found in Israel (because of their large following), this specific car is rather rare, being a two door. Those were so scarce when new, it’s a miracle it survived, and rather well.

The Subaru DL (Leone) Wagon is another car that sold like hot cakes when new. The entire Leone range (called DL in Israel) was best selling cars in the country, from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. That wagon DL is the successor to the one featured here, and was even more successful. No wonder many survived, and are used regularly.

The Oldsmobile Alero was marketed here as a pseudo-luxury car, supposed to be an upmarket automobile, but predictably, nowhere near as good. The local importers tried their best, choosing to bring them into Israel as Oldsmobile and not Chevrolet but to no avail. Still, as you can see, some survived, being owned by punters much like the one driving the LeSabre above.

The Hyundai Terracan is yet another example similar to the Nissan Terrano II, being an old, classic-style SUV that is a good alternative to other, more expensive SUVs, which is why you can still see many on the roads of Israel.

A day after this video was taken, on my way to work I happen to come face to face with this:

This has to be one of the ugliest vehicles ever produced. It’s so horribly styled, it has become weirdly endearing (in a bad way).

I mean, try as I might but I couldn’t find a single view angle that’ll do right by its shape. To top it all, the Rodius is huge, so it’s not like you can hide that figure.

Maybe from the back? No. but I have managed to find an important detail which is the “SV 270” emblem.  SV reminds me of Lamborghini, and I suppose it reminded SsangYong marketeers the same.

Same day, returning from work, I saw this:

Well whaddya know, it’s another Honda Goldwing Aspencade, same era as the one featured in the video above. Once turned 30 years old (and over), those have increased in numbers in Israel, being imported freely as collectible vehicles.

The first gen. Accent may not be all that exiting, but best remember this has passed the twenty years mark and still going strong, especially while harried in the style of “drive it like you stole it”- every time I encounter three door Accents, they’re being driven the same way. Maybe their owners know something that eludes me. It is also a good example of yesteryear Hyundai, and a reminder of the giant leap they made over the last ten years.

The Renault R4 is my absolute favorite of this month’s post. I remember seeing plenty of these back in the 1980s, as they were everywhere. The IDF using these as officers’ rides in the 1970s-1980s was another catalyst for its popularity, and here is where I write “where have they all vanished to?”. The last time I captured on of these is posted here, with more details about the R4 in Israel.

The second Volvo in this post is the 242L’s predecessor, the 144. This is another very popular car that managed to survive, and for a fiftie-sh years old car, it’s not uncommon to view a 144 now and then. As you can see in the video, I just managed to snap this one up, even if some lanes apart.

It seems this post holds more than a few off-roaders, and the first gen. Mitsubishi Pajero falls right into place. Those are again, great alternatives for die-hard owners, who usually preserve and maintain them. This one is of course another diesel-powered SUV, as you can tell by the clouds of smoke omitted from its rear.

Around mid-August it was the Civic’s turn to pass the MOT test. You already know how it’s supposed to go from the Astra’s MOT. This time they were a bit messier, two testers arguing and forgetting to test for emissions, which was carried out at the end of the run. The argument, by the way, was amusing because they were Arab and Jewish testers; the Arab cursed the Jewish in Hebrew while the Jewish cursed the Arab in Arabic… Who says the two nations don’t get along?

The Civic passed with flying colors- just. I was sent to the “accessories department” to re-attach an out-of-place dipped-beam bulb, where the worker struggled to reach behind the headlight. That chap arriving to the left, watching over the worker is me, and it was again comical because it looks as though I’m reprimanding/ instructing the guy. I was simply replying to his comment about the Civic’s hard-to-reach headlight ergonomics- I said all new cars are the same, with extremely difficult work area. Evan the simplest task such as replacing a bulb has become a chore. In the end, through mutual efforts we completed the job.

Later down the month, I found this next to where I work:

Way before the current BMW maxi-scooters, this C1 was a rather revolutionary foray into the scooter market. BMW thought this would entice car drivers away from their vehicles, hence the encapsulated cabin. It was meant to be ridden without a crash helmet, as you were protected by the “roll bar” and strapped with a four-point harness.

Inside it’s really just a regular scooter, save for the windshield and overhead canopy, which makes you feel as though you’re wearing rather than sitting on it.

As you can see, the pillion rider is delegated outside the protective roll-bar, so will need a helmet and on the go, will constantly face the rear of the driver-rider’s headrest. Oh yes.

At the front it’s arrow shaped, and I particularly like the pantograph wiper arraignment. Sadly, the C1 was a sales’ failure. I mean, freeing one from wearing a helmet and (partially) protecting him from the weather, is not enough to entice a person to trade his car for what was essentially a scooter underneath. As for two-wheeled users- well, it was too expensive compared to other scooters, and the criss-cross harness slightly limited rider movement, which was not to anyone’s liking. Production ceased after two years.

As it happens, I came across a second Mazda MX-5 NB towards the end of the month. This one is much more preserved than the luggage-racked one above, and it shows.

The Chrysler PT Cruiser is another car that was relatively successful in Israel, if you count the fact that not many were imported here to begin with- and this for only three years or so. Maybe because of it’s unique shape, most PTs that survived are cared for so they’re not that hard to spot.

The Aston Martin Vantage is added here not for its classic value- it’s certainly exotic and rare- but because only a few year ago it was unheard of that you should find yourself face to face with such a car, parked on  the street among the lesser vehicles. And judging by the response of the people walking behind it, not drawing all that attention.

The month ends with rather sad images of a stricken Renault Caravelle cabriolet, no doubt malfunctioned and left at the side of the motorway to wait for rescue. I must say I can’t remember ever seeing one in classic car meetings, than again I haven’t attended one for a long time. Anyway, the next day it was gone, so hopefully restored to a driving state.

See you next month.