Another post in this bi-monthly series is on, and this time I’ve amassed some serious CC percentage. All of this does not even include the Oldsmobile Starfire I posted earlier, which should have been part of this post but was so wonderful it posted on its own.
As usual, lets start with the video:
First capture of the video is a 1991 Mitsubishi lancer. I’ve discussed this generation of Lancer’s importance in Israel, plus added some family history related to the car in this post, so I won’t elaborate- just mention this specific Lancer looked extremely well-preserved, and has just come up as eligible to be registered as “collectible vehicle”, having reached thirty.
Next up is quite a common sight in Israel (but probably less elsewhere); a Merkava main battle tank Mk. 4 being carried by the rudimentary Volvo FH puller. Tank carrying in Israel has come a long way, and I think, more than one commenter on CC can shed more light upon its history far better than I could. Suffice to say that today, much like trucking itself, it is a comfortably modern experience- gone are the days of the Scammell Contractor or the Diamond T 980, or even the Mack DM800 (which I can clearly remember being used right up to the late 1980s, possibly later but much toned down). Here is a photo from the IDF Tank Museum I wrote about previously, of one such DM800:
Next up in the video is the immortal Mercedes-Benz TN van, forefather of the Sprinter dynasty. Those were absolutely everywhere, in all types, shapes and forms of body-styles. As it’s captured from the side, the license plate is unreadable and so I cannot tell the exact year model- but I guess this TN is late model and of the early 1990s. It looks remarkably well for its age, and even includes the correct stickers that it sold with originally (although I think this was applied locally by the importers and not from the manufacturer). More on TNs in Israel can be read here.
Onward in the video to a lineup of mostly US sports cars, with a single Merc infiltrator. They are headed by a nice Corvette C3, which I believe is a 1976 example, followed by a modern 2014 ‘Vette, a 1990 Mercedes-Benz R129 (quite early in this generation’s life) and in closing, a brand new Dodge Challenger. This was on Saturday so they are probably headed for a driving trip of some sort. I included the entire entourage but of course, the most interesting for me are the C3 and the R129. I’ve covered both here (Corvette) and with some words, here (SL), so I will finish off by saying this convoy epitomizes classic (or indeed, any type of) motoring in Israel- eclectic stuff rules. Oh, and just as the video transitions to the next section, you can spot an early, round headlights Mk. 4 VW Polo exiting the roundabout. Wonder if he’ll catch up to the convoy…
Next you can see the tail-end (literally) of my Honda Civic Tourer‘s MOT yearly test. More on that MOT run later, but as you can see in the video, just as I was coming out, there was a Suzuki Carry in need of assistance- apparently its battery died so one of the MOT center’s personnel was on hand to assist. Later they wheeled it outside the center’s gates, presumably because it was about to close, and you can see the owner gesturing his thanks to the MOT center’s personnel. The Carry was Suzuki’s tool in its (lost) war with the Subaru 600 (Sambar in various markets) of the 1970s and 1980s. In Israel, the Subaru beat the Suzuki hand over fist- not that both sold in vast numbers- yet some Carrys managed to survive, as you can see, and this example is actually a working vehicle, judging by the text (apparently selling “natural lemonade”, “original Turkish coffee”, “hot corn”, “cold muhallebi ” and the like). It’s prime product is börek, as evident from the business’ name: “Moshiko’s Bourekas“. And a good business it is too, as this type of food is well loved in Israel, much more than that Suzuki Carry which this example, by the way, is from 1987. It is mad that not only it isn’t running on a “collectible license” but also a working vehicle (or not, in its case). Much younger and just as cheap vehicles are available instead of relying on such a brittle old van.
Next up there’s a 2002 Ford Fiesta, and a post-facelift one. Maybe uncharacteristically, this didn’t sell big numbers in Israel at the time, so seeing one is quite a rare occasion. Contrary to the UK, this generation of Fiesta was never cheap enough to prefer it over say, that Polo mentioned above. And they were always poverty-spec’ed. Thus, if you were hell-bent on a Ford than you’d just go for the larger, much more accomplished Focus (and that was very successful in Israel). Besides, you always got the sense that Ford were heavily revisioning the Fiesta and referring to this as the next generation- they did it with the first and second generations, and then did the same with this fourth and the previous third generation (of which an example will follow down this post). Whichever way you look at it, that featured car is almost twenty years old and thus deserves to be included here.
Captured next is a majestic Mercedes-Benz C126. This one is an SEC 420 and looks so period, with that champagne color. The Coupe versions of the W126 sedan did sell here when new but naturally, much like today, with very few numbers, as they cost similar to a small flat. Sedan W126s were much more common- well, obviously relative to the small car market that is Israel. You can read more about the W126s in Israel here. Also, in this clip, I included a giant Soilmec SR-65 driller being carried by a Scania puller, for the “Johannes Dutch inclined” of the CC community, much like the tank carrier above or the Mercedes-Benz Arcos (to follow) below- if you’re like me (or Johannes), you’ll find these interesting enough to be worthy a mention in this post.
I actually had to chase the next CC in the video, with a slight detour out of my way- I was returning with my family from a visit up north and as everyone were asleep in the car anyway I figured they wouldn’t mind. This 1979 Camaro is a recent import and registered as Z28, which may well be but who knows. Basically, you can register a new classic import as whatever you want, so I wouldn’t bet on this as being a legit Z28, but who cares? Nowadays I’m happy seeing any form of second-gen Camaro. Again, as with other similar sporty vehicles, in its day the Camaro was imported into Israel with such low numbers that it’s hard to call this an official import. Firebirds, by the way, were much more common (and I use that word sparingly) for some reason, which could be down to the difference in importers (back then GM products were not all sold under one umbrella). Or maybe it was that Pontiac had better credentials in the eye of the period Israeli pony car lover- who knows. With their spoilers and winglets, Trans-Ams certainly had more street-cred than Z28s, at least locally. Here are some photos of post-5 MPH bumpers Camaros I snapped throughout the years:
That last red Camaro is a well known example in the local classic scene, and is a genuine Z28, unlike the cars in the other photos, which had had some kind or other of modification done. Mostly aftermarket wheels’ replacement (as expected), but also further, such as a fascia transplant the yellow 1974 Camaro has done.
Moving on down the video and onto a 1986 Subaru DL (Leone). After some months without spotting these, normality has resumed and so here’s another example of that massively influential car in its day (for the Israeli market). As all was said in that link, I’ll add that this is far from the last DL/Leone captured, probably in that beige color also.
I almost did not include the next car in the video but after mulling it over, I succumbed to the fact that E38 7 series BMWs are now at least twenty years old, and could be as old as 27, as the first cars were introduced in 1994. Weirdly, despite this E38’s quite usual license plate, it’s missing from the DMV’s open database, so I cannot tell its age- it does look as one of the late cars. In Israel, E38s took BMW pricing (which was never cheap) to a higher level, so much less common (again, I hesitate using that word) than its predecessor. But as you can see, they did survive as their owners remain faithful to them.
Next up we have another BMW, this time a motorcycle; filming angle is such that I cannot identify the license plate, but the fuel tank looks to me as an R100GS item, so I’m calling it as such. Of course, the R100GS is the replacement to the R80 G/S, ancestor of the entire BMW GS family. I’ve already captured an R80 G/S, and this is the first R100GS I’ve come across. Figures, because this has now also crossed the 30 years mark and able to be classified as Collectible Vehicle, so few are being imported as such. They were few and far between when new, and seeing one back in the day was not a common sight. Good to spot one.
Previously I’ve come across a ratty 2000 Nissan Maxima, and now I’ve found an example some years older- from 1996- but looks much better than that other beater. You’ve read (or have you) the Maxima’s connection to my father, so moving on down the video.
Only recently CC published a series of posts by David Saunders of The Great Beater Challenge 2021. Such an event runs in Israel also, named Grootarally (Groota’a = beater. Rally = you know…), and it so happens that I stumbled upon one contestant on my way back home. Understandably, this event is held over a much smaller scale than its US equivalent, yet that 1995 Mazda 323 seems to be well equipped- and sponsored too. Of the 323 in Israel I wrote in the last post, and you can see more of the Grootarally here– all Hebrew, but still enough visual content is there to be enjoyed- I even discovered our 323 in action:
Next car of the video is a late model Audi 80, right before they moved to the A4 designation. Evan if this is referred to as a new generation, most can see it’s essentially a facelift of the previous B3 (although major). No info would come up in the related data base, so no exact year can be decided. These were moved upmarket as was their price, hence not many were purchased (compared with the previous B3)- which earns it a place in this post.
We come now to the oldest CC of the video, or indeed the entire post- a 1966 Dodge Dart. In the past I’ve written about the Darts in Israel as part of the COAL of my dad’s car, but that was about the younger generation. This specific Dart is unknown to me, and could have been imported recently. The usually preferred Dart in the local classic commune is of the 1970s, hence this mid 1960s featured car is very rare, and the only photo I could find in my archives of a similar car is of a 1965 convertible:
We end the video part of this post with yet another Subaru DL/Leone, this one a wagon and and a very late one from 1993, right before they moved to its Impretza successor. That traffic island is a well known popular spot for the locals to park their cars on, and not a traffic warden in sight. Don’t ask…
Now for the stills’ section of this post, and we start off with a 1995 W124 Mercedes-Benz:
This has some signs that suggest in previous life, it served as a taxi. Predominately the white color, but also the license plate and the naked trim, not to mention that it’s a Diesel- the absolute must in the local Taxi market (nowadays also hybrids but those are new).
A look inside affirms this, as this is not leather, but the all too taxi driver’s favorite vinyl upholstery so resistant to, well, bodily fluids… The rest is poverty spec at its best. This MB is a great example of one way you can own a used Mercedes without it being too costly- get an ex-taxi one. When new, these cost less because of reduced tax, so when it goes into the private market the buyer pays an installment of the relative tax (to the state) and becomes the owner of a car which indeed may had a tougher life, but is still a Merc. Worth it? Maybe, as this is still an immortal W124 that can take on most challenges.
You may think this E100 Corolla is nothing special, but Toyota only entered Israel in 1991, and would you believe it took them more than a few years to get a hold of the market, which back then was in control of Subaru and later, Mitsubishi. Hence, the E100 was nowhere near as popular as in other countries and although it did sell OK, not many enough survived.
This one keeps in touch with the famous Corolla reputation, and looks remarkable for its age. Yes, the plastics are not what they used to be, but I remind you this has lived under the relentless Israeli sun since 1993, when it was new.
Black bumpers’ spec was the most common- probably because it was cheaper and also, in the early 1990s, not that different than other cars surrounding it.
Yes, it’s dusty and you can tell it hasn’t moved for at least a week- cats’ paws are a giveaway. But it does move from time to time, as this is an ally behind my flat so I get to see it a lot. The Alfasud I posted here also lives there, and now I’m wondering if it’s the same owner- could these two cars be anymore different?
Onward to this 1978 Oldsmobile Omega I stumbled upon whilst visiting Tel-Aviv. I say “visiting” like this is some far away country, but since moving to the suburbs AND Covid-19, I found myself less in need to go there. But as you can see, on the one occasion I had to, I found this:
Not much to say about it other than this looks like a stuck (or mid) project; there are missing parts, trim, paint fix-ups and those wheels appear to be on for tryouts. The Omega, alongside its Chevy Nova sister, sold quite well in Israel back in its day, as sort of Dart/Valiant rivals (but much less successful then the Mopar twins). Things improved for them after the Dart/Valiant gave way to the Aspen/Volare, but by the early 1980s they were declining rapidly (and anyway, were never a massive sale’s success in a small country such as Israel, where US compacts were considered big). In any case, both the previous generation posted here and this one did not survive well enough, but still, few can be seen here and there, such as these two coupe examples from a few years back:
Right across the street from the Omega, and a double CC effect, I found this 1989 Brown GMC Vandura 2500:
By Vandura standards, this one is practically new, given the original was introduced back in 1970. It’s been with us for so long but suddenly you realize that more than thirty years have passed since this was new and all these vans that used to roam the streets have just about vanished. These served just about everywhere in Israel, as EMT vehicles, in the IDF, and of course, doing all sorts of jobs in private hands- mostly as plumber’s work horses (This and the Ford Econoline can hold long pipes on their roofs, as I was explained once by one such expert). Their spirit lives on in their Savanna successors, which continue to service much the same jobs.
Have a look at this unnatural pair of off-roaders I found one Friday morning after dropping off my son at preschool:
But hang on, I’m not too sure there ever was a 4X4 Volvo 245 Wagon back in 1985, and if so, chances this has reached Israel are slim to none. No choice but to go low:
It could still be a 4X4, but I don’t see it. So what’s the deal? Does the owner think this has improved the wagon’s looks in any way? Unanswered questions.
The license plate says this is an original import from 1985 (you can even see the last two digits as this was the numbering system from 1980 to 1989). Highly doubtful that the improvements, such as they are, were part of it when new.
I’ve discussed Volvo in Israel before, so only left to say that I get “for each his own” and all that, but all I can see are four heavy wheels needed to be carried by a tired power unit- sorry, I fail to see the logic or the appeal.
No matter, onward to another Ford Fiesta, this time yet an older generation from the one captured in the video:
This is a 1996 car, and sporting an older fascia than the new face-lifted oval one. I quite like it, certainly much better than the newer version.
Inside, tired old seat covers are used to cover probably tired old seats. You can spot the period Israeli lock on the gear lever, which was the local market’s version of an ignition immobilizer. As for the interior, it doesn’t look too run-down, no dashboard cracks or loose door cards could be seen.
By now you’ve probably noticed this Fiesta serves as a billboard. For the Hebrew-challenged among you, this is all to publish a students’ learning center, specializing in psychometric tests (the ones you do to get accepted into university- at least that’s what they’re called in Israel). That’s why it’s showing all kinds of high marks and “100” is the largest… Not sure about the power stripes on the bonnet/hood.
This car has been circulating around my home town area, doing its advertisement work in various parking lots for some years now, and as you can expect, manages to deteriorate throughout time. Of the four wheel covers only one remains, and that broken bumper, along with the bent left front panel weren’t part of the Fiesta when I saw it previously. At the time of writing, it has already moved on to some other spot.
Last car of this post is yet another used BMW, in line with others that turn up near my home, as transportation for a BMW center employee I wrote about previously:
As classic BMWs go (and any old cars), this is relevantly new, from 2005. But in Israel, the first generation X3 is extremely rare, because it sort of fell between chairs. Most clients would fork out and go all the way to the much more accomplished X5, and at least the first X3s didn’t offer anything particular you couldn’t get in a series 3 Touring- which was also prettier, and certainly handled better.
Inside the perhaps-mandatory cracked leather driver seat, but the rest is just fine (if dirty). It does look extremely naked in modern specs, not to mention just one cup holder! Unthinkable in modern terms.
For me, its biggest problem is that it’s nothing special to look at. The rest of Chris Bangle’s styled BMWs were at least interesting, even if (some) polarizing, but this has maybe interesting head and tail light clusters.
To end this post and as a bonus, here’s the Civic Tourer’s MOT annual test which has also taken place during August. You get to see that stuck Suzuki Carry again, plus a 2019 Mercedes-Benz Arcos following my test run.The usual MOT center happenings also apply, and you should be used to these by now: