CCs in Israel: January 2021 – Gleam vs. Rust

Porsche 924, Honda HRV, VW Beetle, Citroen 2CV

Here is the past month’s edition of classics or (maybe) interesting cars, captured in Israel either with a dash-cam or on stills. Some of the takings were actually chased down A-La paparazzi style.

on with the video:

Last post I discussed a DMV data query app I discovered, which provides a few details according to license plates (if the records are present which, concerning classic cars, sometimes not). In the case of this Porsche 924, the plate attests to it being a recent import, thus I could find that it’s a 1978 vintage. Obviously old Porches used to be very rare in Israel, mainly for the fact the manufacturer only arrived in the country some fifteen years ago. I’d wager this particular car was imported from the USA, as most classic Porsches are these days.

A plain Fiat 127 is a rare sight these days, not to mention a 127 Sport, as this (barely) captured red car might be. Of course, trying to decide anything from that distance and this angle is unwise, but I’d like to think that it is a 127 Sport. The 127 was very successful in Israel, as it fit the small country perfectly. However, 127 Sport is an entirely different matter; I do distinctly remember very few of these making their way into Israel, and jealously maintained by their owners. Despite what appears to be a roadside breakdown, I hope this particular car hasn’t suffered anything terminal.

Weird how the same XJS convertible I found not far from my work and posted here, was spotted again- this time not far from my home! Maybe that’s a sign from the universe, telling me I should get one (no chance). Good to see any classic driving about rather than being hidden in some storage.

Moving on to more modern stuff; driving with the Civic out of its service center (more on that later), I found this BMW E46/5 Compact, of a second generation. Turning to the DMV data app, I discovered this was registered as a “318 TI Compact”, and originally from 2003 which, if memory serves, is around 18 years ago- yet it feels like this BMW is much younger than that. These were very scarce in Israel, being extremely expensive for what they offered. People didn’t really need a rear wheel drive hatchback and could settle for a Golf, which did fine and was much less costly.

Further down the same drive, I stumbled upon this Volvo, which (again using the app) is a 945 GLE with a 2.3 liter engine, from 1996. Now that’s respectable, being 25 years old and still hauling stuff around- although I must say, most of the Volvos I capture seem to have become work horses in their old age. Funny, as these were ministers’ cars in their day and you would not dream of using it in this manner, as seen here.

I just managed to save the 2CV clip from being deleted, and this car was also seen before– it’s a local resident, apparently. This is the first time I see it in driving mode and once again, could a 2CV be any more different than modern traffic surrounding it?

Well, probably much like a Beetle, if you look at the next photo:

White Volkswagen Beetle

This VW Beetle is parked near some small preschools, not far from my flat, and I think it was there when I moved to this neighborhood some 7 years ago. Essentially it hardly ever moves, but is still licensed of course. Records show this is a 1971 1.3 model, and was probably an original import back in the day. However, all this sitting outside with almost no care takes its toll on this car’s condition, as you can see:

White Volkswagen Beetle Wheel

White Volkswagen Beetle Door Rust

The rear wheel’s rust is probably negligible, but just look at the state of the door, complete with worse-for-wear hinges.

White Volkswagen Beetle Rust

Volkswagen Beetle Wheel Trim

I don’t think he’s going for a RAT look on purpose. Inside you can see some “spares”, mostly recognizable is the wheel trim. But judging by the condition of the Beetle I see no possibility of other spares stashed somewhere.

Volkswagen Beetle Running Board Rust

I think the entire car could be summed-up with the state of the running-board, so rusty it just crumbled under itself. Well, at least he’s got a single screw to hold the rubber onto the rust- safety first!

One day on my way to work, I caught a glimpse of something weird yet familiar inside an office high-riser’s lobby. I entered and received the security guard’s blessing for some photos:

SSK Roadster Replica - Classic Motor Carriages Gazelle

When was the last time you saw an SSK replica by that 1970s company, Gazelle? Having the ability to import anything older than thirty years into Israel transpires even to the most outrageous motors available.

SSK Roadster Replica - Classic Motor Carriages Gazelle Interior

SSK Roadster Replica - Classic Motor Carriages Gazelle

Obviously, it’s all a matter of taste (or lack of), but sorry- I wouldn’t have strayed inside one of these when they were new, let alone now. Evan a mid-1970s LTD looks appealing compared to this.

SSK Roadster Replica - Classic Motor Carriages Gazelle

Now here’s a funny thing; as said, that useful DMV data app connects to data and displays it, including mistakes, should there be any. Imagine my amusement when, after entering the license plate number, the app returned…: “Studebaker Lark 6”, dating 1961. My guess is that this is one rare occasion when the DMV used a retired plate (of that Studebaker) for the newly imported Gazelle. Such things almost never occur, as the DMV does not like to re-use any of the older vehicles’ identities. I suspect someone with close relationship to whomever at the DMV, convinced them to supply a 5 digit number (they don’t do that commonly), for historical affect, and the old Lark, by now probably part of a bridge or even some silver-ware, had to relinquish its plate… This Gazelle is very preserved, as you might expect, and looks show-ready.

Oddly enough, I actually have another photo of this Gazelle form a classic car meeting, some years back (which is why I wrote it was familiar):

SSK Roadster Replica - Classic Motor Carriages Gazelle

And I found yet another photo of a similar SSK Gazelle, from its unveiling event back in 2014, as part of Israel’s premier classic car club, the Five Club:

SSK Roadster Replica - Classic Motor Carriages Gazelle

Now it’s time to return to a bit more affordable motoring, and this first generation Honda HRV:

Green Honda HRV

Green Honda HRV

Green Honda HRV

You may notice a change in parking spot for the car in the last photo- I took another picture about two week later, as I couldn’t get a good angle of the front when the first two pictures were taken. Here is another car you never think of as classic, yet this one is well past the twenty years’ mark and is of 1999. As I recall this was a weird left-field car for Honda, and although I commend them for trying, I never warmed up to it- and not just me, judging by the low sales in Israel, hence the rarity of the HRV in the country.

Black BMW Compact

Black BMW Compact

Black BMW Compact

In the video above you saw the E46 based BMW Compact, and now you can be impressed with its predecessor, the E36/5. As you can see, this one was treated to some BMW aficionados’ goodies, such as alloys and (blackened!) exhaust tip. All in all, not too Max-Power. These actually sold better in Israel than their replacement E46/5, but both much less than any Series 1, of course. Curiously, “no data” came up searching the DMV data app, but it is for sale, if you’ve noticed the sign at the front window.

As promised, here’s an update about the Civic Tourer, which had had its rear brakes done:

Honda Civic Tourer in service

Honda Civic Tourer rear brakes

The fronts were done during the Civic’s usual service last year, and I postponed the rears because they still had meat in them, but no more. Above you can see the old unit on the car before removal, and below- old disc vs. new:

Honda rear brake disks

Honda Civic Tourer rear brake disk

I decided against refurbished discs, and went for original items all around (also pads), as the price difference wasn’t too big. And thus ends January.