February 29, 2008
February 25, 2008
Clios are everywhere and aren't particularly interesting but this one has a mid-mounted V6. It's to the standard Clio what the R5 Turbo was to the standard R5 back in the 1980s. They were produced in very limited numbers and are bound to become collectibles.
February 23, 2008
This Romeo 2 is a rare find. They were produced in limited quantities in the 60s. The drivetrain is similar to the Renault Estafette: front wheel drive with the motor derived from a production car (the Giulia/Giulietta in the case of the Alfa).
Some went to the Italian military, some were used as ambulances, while others were used by Alfa dealers and racing teams. Few (like this one) were ordered by private owners who used them as campers or work vans for their businesses.
February 22, 2008
In reality, it wasn't a Porsche engine but it had a Porsche designed intake and "PORSCHE" displayed on the valve cover. It was available in either a 1.5 or a 1.2 liter.
February 19, 2008
February 18, 2008
Do barn finds have to be parked inside of barns? I'm sure this vintage VW bus would disagree. It's located (or it was located) north of Ann Arbor, Michigan, on one of the numerous scenic and winding roads of Washtenaw county. Not too much to say about it - there's little to say that's not better told by the photos. The last two shots show my old 1975 BMW 2002 parked in front of the barn. That's one of two cars that I wish I'd never sold... the other was a very rusty '86 Alfa Romeo Spider Graduate, my first "fun" non-daily driver (though I often used it as such).
Though the van shows a 1979 Michigan plate on its front bumper, the one on the back is much newer.
The photos should speak for themselves. These old Cruisers are rare sights and it seems that fewer and fewer are preserved. Those that don't wind up as hacked up four-wheeling monsters rust away into nothingness. At least these colorful 4x4s are being used, I suppose.
February 17, 2008
I've got a lot of good memories from this car, playing it in as a kid and all. But, my great uncle is now dead, my great aunt is tired of looking at it and his son (who inherited the DSuper, which is in like-new condition) has pulled just about everything worth pulling from it so it will be scrapped within a few weeks. There's not much else we can do with this one.
February 11, 2008
February 10, 2008
February 7, 2008
It's a very spacious car inside. The dashboard is neatly layed out and everything is easy to get to and operate. The glovebox doesn't lock which is a small concern when you leave it in a parking garage every day. The cloth seats are a touch on the firm side but very supportive. The build quality inside is surprising for a Fiat. The trunk is much larger than you'd expect, you can fit a fair bit of stuff back there. The back seat is adequate as well-- two full size adults can sit there comfortably. The C pillar creates a huge and potentially dangerous blind spot, it would have benefitted from an extra window.
All in all they're a good value in the used car market but they're hard to find in decent shape and their resale value is next to nothing. But if what you're looking for is cheap and relatively recent point A to point B car you can toss around every now and then, the Fiat Brava/Bravo duo is worth a look.
On the freeway it's iffy at best. Unlike the Fiat Brava, this is not the kind of car you would take on a long freeway trip. Even at 110km/h it doesn't feel very stable and because of its height, you're at mother nature's mercy should there be crosswinds.
To sum it up, it's an average at best car if you're planning on doing mostly city trips and if you get a new car every couple of years. I don't see it as a viable option as a long term car or if you do a lot of freeway driving. As mentioned above, it's not a comfortable car for long trips and the mediocre-at-best built quality ensures this car will be plagued with issues in ten or so years. I absolutely adore Renault and I'm a big fan of a lot of cars they've made in the past but for the most part they messed this one up.
Note: this is now the last generation Modus. Renault barely came out with a refreshed one which I have not yet driven. A long wheelbase variant of it is now available which should help it gain some needed trunk space.
February 6, 2008
The first one is a late 1960s Renault 4. What's special about it, you may ask? Renault 4s were produced by the hundreds of thousands in the late 1960s. Well, two things. One is that most of those have been driven into the ground and scrapped. Two is this particular car has a VERY rare grille. It was a factory accessory that you bought from the dealer, much like a roof rack or something of the sort. I have never seen another one in real life, just in magazines and such. It was meant to give the car a more upscale look and was probably modeled after a Simca grille (look at the 1100, for example)
The second one is a late 1960s Renault 6. An interesting car because the Renault 6 came out in 1968 and the lisence plate (blocked out here out of courtesy to the owner) puts it in the 1969-1970 range so it's a real early model. Much like 4s, a lot of these have been scrapped. It's ending its days watching modern Renaults made out of plastic drive past at 130km/h on the freeway.
February 3, 2008
The first- what appears to be a 1990's 300 GE that is a definate grey-market import. Complete with tacked on side marker lights that look as if they came off of a 280 SE and a substitute VIN number plate tacked to the inside of the A-pillar. This was found at the local Saab, Mazda (and other US made crap) dealer.