As you’d expect, Corona-virus hit Israel as well as any place in the world. At the time of writing, early steps the country took seem to keep the situation (still) within control, but it came with a hefty lock-down price-tag (of almost all of Israel), which has now turned more than one million people to unemployed. This number might seem low for all you living in the US, or anywhere similar, but in a country with about 9 million citizens in total- that’s a hell of a lot. I am one of those fortunate enough to still have a job, being that I support a verified Vital Business (eligible to continue working, albeit with many restrictions). Thus in march, I was still coming regularly to work and so was able to capture some CCs on my way. I fear April will be very different.
So here’s what I managed to bring you, starting off with a first generation Seat Leon:
Judging by the paint, this car was parked outside all its life. Funny how small it is, or maybe, how the world got larger around it. These were fairly successful in Israel in their day, being a cheap, “sporty” alternative to the sister Golf. Amazing to think that compared with the large numbers they sold, not many are still around- and it is not THAT old, possibly an early 00s car.
On with the video:
I know the Alfa Romeo 4C is not a classic by any means- perhaps a future classic. But those are still too rare to pass upon when encountering one, thus it is brought to you here. It might well be this very car:
Which I photographed while attending the Israeli Alfa Romeo Classic Club meeting, posted here.
As for the C3 Corvette, it now seems I find one just about every month- including last month. This particular example is visibly a mid-seventies car with an early eighties nose. And curiously, the old-style graphics actually look as though someone painted them back in the seventies. Also notice the couple sitting in the Civic behind me, obviously paying attention to the re-styled ‘Vette.
It seems inevitable that there will always be a representative of 1980s Subaru DL (Leone) creeping up in these posts. And just as captured before, I’ve got two DL Pickups; the first has got the closed bed with the very popular fiberglass canopy that was almost mandatory back in its day. They were sold with this option along with longitudinal benches either side of the bed, so essentially you got a passenger car in disguise, that could sit more than five in total. I remember riding in the back of these when offered a ride during my time in military service (early 1990s), and even before- such was their popularity. The other black Pickup is just an open example, but the owner has managed to obtain the oh-so-desirable original Subaru alloys, which enhance those cars significantly. This one belongs to a builder working in a never-ending renovation of a house the Subaru is parked next to, which I pass on my way home everyday.
Next up is my favorite of the month. Transits were, as might be predictable, extremely popular in Israel back in their day. Certainly in the 1970s (the first generation and its heavily restyled “1.5” successor) and in the 1980s (the second, mid-1980s generation). Of the first generation, nearly none survived, and finding one is utterly impossible. So imagine my surprise when not only did I capture a 1980 model year Transit, but it was also a camper, which I cannot remember being sold here. Obviously they were, because- wait for it- in 2012 I came across a “retired” identical camper parked in a parachuting experience center (don’t ask):
Now, I’m no expert in campers, but this one looks exactly like the videoed Transit, and even though they are both from 1980, I don’t think this is the same car, as small details (such as indicators or “bull-bar”) are different. I’m thus led to believe these were probably imported somehow to Israel or maybe even constructed here. Either way, they remain rare as unicorns and for me, a jolt back to my childhood.
The Cadillac Coupe DeVille was just spotted while I was accelerating out of the roundabout, no doubt helped by its turquoise paint, which you don’t see anymore on modern cars. Similar to the Corvette above, Cadillacs have been growing in numbers in Israel during the past fifteen years or so, being imported into the country by those who decided to fulfill long-time dreams. And this mid-Seventies Coupe DeVille is a great example, of which many were imported. Here is another car found at a classic car meeting (back when you could hold such events):
Although photos in such events are not of pure CCs found at curbs, they do provide images of size comparisons, as the giant Cadillac dwarfs the Opel GT driving the other way.
I think by now, I’ve covered most Ford Anglias running free on Israeli roads. The featured car in the video joins a previous catch (and can be seen in one of its photos). Here’s a better view:
This was one of the last drives to visit my family north of us, and as I stopped for fuel, all sorts of meetings were taking place in this centrally-located gas station. The Anglia stopped briefly and while its lady-driver went off into the convenient store, I left my car at the pump to snap some photos up. And did not fail to miss this, parked nearby:
The bullet-proof Mercedes-Benz W124 is, in my opinion, one of the best three cars MB has ever produced. The other two are its predecessor W123 and the larger W126 S-Class. This, being the youngest of the three and an improvement all round, is possibly the best in total. Either way, it has become immortal and naturally, you can still find more than a few examples of a car that was not cheap by any means back in the day (as most Mercs are). This one is an early car and I suspect a new import into Israel, as the really early models have vanished long ago.
The Lincoln Town Coupe Convertible is yet another example of a new import and much like the Cadillac above, was never brought into Israel regularly. I think people who found the Cadillacs too common were drawn to Lincolns, of which mostly the “Marks” (IV, V) were imported, but some were also Towns:
Of course, these are all four doors, but I have found a couple of two doors as well:
The videoed Town Coupe (again was noticed at the last moment) is the first convertible I’ve seen in Israel, so no earlier examples to show you. Still, it’s unusual to its surroundings, and a reminder of a world that is no more.
Last car of the video is the Daihatsu Materia, a weird off-shoot mini MPV, included here for its rarity (in Israel) and unique shape. It’s also quite cute, so I’ll let it in. And thus ends March, which started normally but ends as grim as could be. Let’s hope for better times.