Traveling is one of my favorite things to do, but going to work everyday sure interferes with that ambition. Thus the next best thing is to live vicariously through others. In this case, it was my parents. Instead of some souvenir, I have been asking for car pictures on their various jaunts around the planet. So, have a SEAT Leon, we are going for a ride around Spain and Portugal.
While it likely doesn’t affect anything, these pictures have not been cropped for two reasons: first, the background scenery is generally quite nice and, second, seeing palm trees when it is 25 degrees Fahrenheit outside does warm one’s soul.
This sure plays into the title; it’s a SEAT Léon. This Léon appears to be a second generation model, a Typ 1P, which ran from 2005 to 2012. These had gasoline engines of 1.2 liters to 2.0 liters with available LPG and diesel offerings. Auto-motor-und-sport named it best compact import in 2009 and it won 2006 Car of the Year in Denmark.
Since this is Spain, home of SEAT, let’s take a gander at a couple more. This Toledo was not named for that town in Ohio; it was named for that city in Spain – just like the Léon.
If I have identified this correctly (why, oh why, do reference websites so rarely show the tail of a car?), this is a Typ 5P, introduced in 2005 and produced through 2009. It has the same chassis as a Volkswagen Golf Mk 5 and it utilized a variety of VW gasoline and diesel engines.
Enough of this newer stuff; let’s look at an older SEAT.
Does this 600 E help quell the cringe of seeing newer cars? A derivative of Fiat, SEAT produced just under 800,000 of these between 1957 and 1973. When clumped with the Fiat and the related Zastava, there were just under 5,000,000 of these built in eight countries.
Engines ranged from 633 cc to 843 cc.
It’s a safe guess that neither of my parents were the ones to lift the hood on that 600 E. They would never dared to do so for fear of riding in one of these official vehicles. Why do I say this? In 1984, my father adamantly refused to cross the river from Ottawa, Ontario, into Quebec as he vehemently insisted all the road signs would be in French thus guaranteeing our being in a cataclysmic wreck five meters into the province and (presumably) his being carted off to prison. My inconvenient observation that our proximity to the river allowed us to actually see the bilingual road signs in Quebec was completely irrelevant.
They wouldn’t have ridden in one of these either. For some reason, my parents are always able to find the most eccentric and erratic taxi drivers so they have grown to prefer walking or taking public transportation.
With Mercedes being a premium brand in the United States, I have seen a grand total of one Mercedes taxi. It was a 240D in Kansas City.
If memory serves, it was a shade of bronze not too far removed from this SEAT.
In a post by the late Kevin Martin, a commenter uploaded a picture of what appears to be this same car from about the same angle as the previous picture. Given the Audi sign in the background of this picture, I suspect there is some significance. I do not know specifics on where any of these pictures were taken, so if you are familiar with any of these locations, or can add more knowledge to anything you see, please speak up for the benefit of everyone.
For those in Europe, you may have seen examples of these cars so far in your day, yet for North American eyes these are unfamiliar territory. Seeing and learning about cars such as this Aixam has been a treat. There is simply so much automotive knowledge to learn.
The Aixam website proclaims this French car to be “The leader in quadricycles in France and in Europe”. Looking further at their website, the new City Pak features a 400 cc diesel engine that makes 5.4 horsepower at 3,200 rpm. For one whose Kawasaki powered riding lawnmower makes 18 horsepower, I am truly in awe of the packaging and efficiency of this car. Estimated fuel consumption is 2.96 liters per 100 kilometers.
The Opel Rekord P1 was available from 1957 to 1960. The “P” stood for panoramic, given the wraparound glass front and rear. Soon after its introduction in Rüsselsheim, the P1 was dubbed as being the Peasant’s Buick. Power came from engines having 1.2 to 1.7 liters and making 29 to 40 kW.
North American Chevrolet styling influences are quite visible from some angles. The two-door sedan was the most popular Rekord of this generation.
Since I have mentioned Chevrolet, it’s time to show one. This 1931 Chevrolet is perhaps the most CC worthy of the bunch.
While my parents did not ride in this car, they were quite smitten with it. In talking to the driver, this car is still working hard at 84 years of age.
The current owner bought the car a number of years ago and had it restored. Since then, it has been showing tourists all the local sights. I would love to know its history. In 1931, Chevrolet used the Independent moniker for its cars; for 1932, the name changed to Confederate.
Taking a tour in the Chevrolet, one is able to enjoy an unimpeded view. It certainly has a better view than this rig!