CCs In Israel: October to November 2019 – From Hatchbacks to Land-Yachts

Here is another batch of would-be-interesting vehicles, captured in Israel during the two recent months. That’s because CC captures were slow, as I had my second son born on October 1st. Therefore, not much time for driving around gathering classics. Thus November added to the post.

Starting off with the first batch of dash-cam captures:

The first capture is actually a caravan, which looked right to include in this post, both for its classic 1960s looks, and rarity in Israel (the country is not big on caravaning). In all fairness, I might not have noticed it had it not been for this Cold Chisel album that’s on my playlist these days (great album, BTW). And come to think of it, the LR Discovery it’s attached to is getting on in years also.

The CJ-6 is one of those vehicles you never wasted a glance upon back in the day, but has now become very rare. I suppose in Israel only die-hard fans would still own and maintain classic JEEPs, that were agricultural even back in their day, with enough up-to-date competitors around.

The Ford Anglia is the best of this bunch, a proper classic. Weirdly enough, this one was captured at the exact same spot where I captured another Anglia in a previous “CCs in Israel” post. Perhaps they all have a meeting point nearby. As Israel is such a small country with a small classic car commune, this Anglia was photographed by me before in some meetings:

As you can see, there’s another Anglia present in this photo. So all in all there are several examples still running around, mostly attending meetings, of a once popular car in Israel.

Hard to believe more than twenty years have passed since the introduction of the first Toyota RAV4, and as popular as it was abroad, in Israel this first generation, especially the shortened three door, never sold much. Besides being ahead of its time (if you recall the SUV craze wasn’t even in its infancy), the local importers priced it too high for most buyers. So not many took to the streets in the first place, certainly three door models. The one in the video is a post-facelift RAV4, and the likeliest to encounter- should you encounter one.

Going back home that same day, I stumbled upon this W126 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It is one of my all-time favorites by the German manufacturer, and a testament to its durability, this particular car is from 1987. Many survived, and it’s not uncommon to find an example here and there. In my book the three best cars MB has ever made are the smaller W123, its replacement the W124 and this W126.

As for the Subaru Leone (DL in Israel) Pick-up, well, by now this has turned into an icon in the country. I’ve elaborated about Subaru and this particular generation’s success in this post, so let me just mention that those pick-ups are held in such regard in Israel, that they still serve as work horses, as is evident by this video. And I’ve included the Mk. 4 Golf following my car as a bonus, being that the newest cars are now over fifteen years old.

But on the second half of October, I came across something truly special:

No, not the SsangYong Kyron, although included here for its rareness in Israel. It was the larger Rexton that was much more popular in the country, despite being more expensive, perhaps because it ticked all the right boxes for the Israeli buyer. Still some would stir towards the Kyron, as you can see with this rather early pre-facelifted example.

But it was an unsuspecting drive through my town that had me encounter this magnificent 1967 Chrysler New Yorker hardtop. From a distance I saw this shape clearly out of sync with its surroundings, and duly followed. Obviously this is a new import, recently arriving in Israel, but I won’t hold it against it. Such cars were non-existent at the time in the country, so once again this is probably a fulfillment of its owner’s dream. And the scene is almost period-complete with the orange Beetle driving the opposite way.

The video ends with a nice, original 1982 BMW E23 7-series that I’ve seen around my town previously. Certainly I’ve seen it among BMWs parked near the place mentioned in this post. Here is another car that although not purchased widely, survived more than most, obviously kept and preserved by mindful owners.

As it turned out, November was slow enough to include all dash-cam captures in one video:

Those of you who follow these post series, would recall the Giulietta spider from an earlier sighting. This time it was driven by the owner himself, seen here reversing down his driveway. Undoubtedly the best among the month’s captures, this is one rare Alfa, displaying a style that belongs to a world that is no more.

The Mk. 2 Golf is, according to its license-plate, of the last ones from 1990 or even 1991. Once very popular (as all Golfs are), the second generation is almost spent. Prime examples are hard to come by, and owners hold on to their cars despite crumpled rear ends like with this particular Golf. Another matter is the insurance, that will have undoubtedly written off any classic with similar impacts, its value simply too low to repair. So owners take it upon themselves to mend such injuries if they want to keep their cars going.

From one hatchback to another, this Peugeot 306 is again a very late model from the turn of the millennium. Aside from the usual PSA red paint-pigmentation it looks complete and preserved. I used to own an earlier model, a 1995 1.8 liter 306 that was so much fun. This was back when Peugeot were masters of handling and virtually all cars of their model lineup were the same. It has to be said that they were much more fragile than previous generations with tough credentials. How they lost it completely moving on to the replacement 307 is beyond me, but I guess it was inevitable, Peugeot wishing to move upmarket into VW land.

Another Subaru Pick-up was spotted one day, this one obviously serving recreational use rather than work loads, and is yet another late model (1992/1993) of a Pick-up that was produced for some twelve years.

The two small Kia Bongo trucks were spotted at the exact same place, and I included them for their weird looks if not for anything else. As you can see, the first one is a minimal single-cab version, whilst the second is a crew-cab closed-bed version. Also note it gets into a confrontation with the VW Passat that tries to push into the Kia’s lane (and finally forces the issue once the turn opens up).

Sometime during November, I did stumble upon a reminder from my teen years:

The Opel Ascona C was sold in Israel with much success, Opel having made the J platform work much better than the US Cavalier. This is a 1984 pre-facelift car, and at least on the outside, looks great.

Although in Israel Ascona sedans sold much better than 5 doors, it is this body style that I’ve taken to in recent years. Nice to see this car survived with its original wheels and not some too modern alternatives that owners usually cannot resist installing.

Inside it’s a bit different; the interior seems to have suffered more than the exterior- the plastics were rather ratty, or shall I say, crispy. And never mind the seat and wheel cover colors, but I wonder if the array of dials mounted atop the dashboard is all that necessary. I mean, they’re probably vital, but I’m sure there was a better way to implement them.

I think the Ascona has a simple yet effective design, that held up through the years- not sure if the same can be said regarding its arch-rival, the Ford Sierra (certainly the earlier models), despite the latter being revolutionary styled in its day, whilst the Ascona’s style was a simple evolution of the previous B.

This is again a car I never paid much interest when in my teens back in the 1980s, thinking it looked heavy and “respectable”. But now I’m amazed to find how airy it looks, with slim pillars and large glass area. Just look at the rear quarter window- it simply cannot exist on a modern car, where it’s usually downsized to a shooting-hole size or vanished altogether. This Ascona is a 1.3 liter and if you’re interested, is for sale. I must say I’d be tempted had it been a 1.6.and I had time. Oh how I need spare time…

I will end this post with a Beetle I just managed to capture with my phone, as it was driving by. Of course, bumping into Beetles now and then is nothing special, even in Israel. But this one is an early 1960s model, judging by its narrow license-plate light housing (Post 1963 cars had a wider unit). Such cars can no longer be seen so commonly, thus earned its place in this post.