Monthly Archives: December 2011

1983 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur: Made in England by the English

With the inbreeding that has run rampant through the automobile industry for the past couple of decades, what looks like one brand of car is really something else. For example, Mazdas and Volvos are Fords, Saabs used to be GM, but now they’re nothing, Minis are BMWs, and an Indian car manufacturer now owns Jaguar. Perhaps the most disconcerting of all is that Bentleys are now Volkswagens and Rolls-Royces are now BMWs. Yup. Messrs. Rolls and Royce are turning in their graves at this very moment. The Rolls Silver Spirit/Spur/Dawn and comparable Bentley Eight/Turbo R/Mulsanne were the last of the big cars from Crewe actually designed and built by real British people. They still build them, but now the engineering is all German, and for my money loses a little in translation. Find this last of the old-school Rollers here on eBay in Franklin, Kentucky for $14,500 or best offer.

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1985 Honda Accord Hatchback: Love the 1980s? Have I got a car for you!!

For some, the 1980s were a time of opulent excess, Reaganomics, and Gordon Gekko. For the vast majority (or as we call them these days, the 99%) they were a time of high interest rates, a substandard American automobile industry, and inflation out the wazoo. For those 99%ers, automakers like Honda provided some relief from other stresses in the form of well-engineered, solid, reliable cars some of which were fun to drive while others started down the path of luxury that would ultimately lead to entirely new brands like Acura and Lexus that would end-up taking huge market share away from the German luxury leaders. This 1985 Honda Accord is simple – it has no AC, no radio, no sunroof, manual locks and windows – but is also in amazingly clean condition that would suggest mileage more along the lines of 40K than the still-low 73K it has. Find it here on eBay in Auburn, Washington with a buy-it-now price of $6,500.
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1984 Toyota Celica GTS Convertible: Rare, Especially in This Condition

We’ve discussed before how convertibles were very much a dying breed going from the 1970s into the 1980s. While there were a handful of holdover cars from another era from Alfa Romeo, Fiat (badged as Pininfarina or Bertone due to Fiat’s official withdrawal from the U.S. market), and the like, it was widely believed that convertibles would soon be consigned to the history books thanks to ever-increasing safety standards from the US Department of Transportation and other safety Nazis. Still, a few mainstream manufacturers kept the torch burning for the convertible in the form of special, low-production convertible versions of their sporting coupes. Today’s case in point is the attractive Toyota-ASC collaboration on the Celica GTS Convertible. They were only produced for two years – 1984 and 1985 – with just 250 1984s hitting the streets, making this clean red car for sale here on eBay in Katy, Texas for just $4,200 especially rare. There were about 4,500 produced for 1985.

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Garage Corner: Satisfaction in the form of an iPod install for the 2006 Honda Accord Hybrid

Although I decided not to purchase a Kia Optima Hybrid after the test drive a few weeks back, I have to admit the newer car had certain features that left me envious. Don’t get me wrong: the Accord Hybrid has power everything from windows to sunroof to seat heaters, along with automatic climate control and even side view mirror defrosters. In fact, the Accord is at least as well-equipped as my wife’s Mercedes E320 4Matic wagon, save for the navigation system, and to tell the truth my TomTom is better than the 2005 Mercedes COMAND system.

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1997 Porsche 993: Last of the Air-cooled Porkers

An occasional TTS reader, who is also a Porsche 911 fanatic, told me he likes the blog but asked when we are going to cover some “real” cars? Considering some of the very real cars we have covered, I can only take that to mean that down there in Oak Ridge, Tennessee where the scientists glow green in the dark (also, incidentally, where my the aforementioned reader lives and works) “real” must somehow equate to squat, rear-engined, and German. If I were to accept that definition, in my world it would also mean “air-cooled” – as nature intended. But alas, he’s a water-cooled Porsche junkie. Nonetheless, the dialog reminded me of a sad chapter in my own life – related to the last of the Porsche 911s – the 993 – a car just like the car featured here which can be found on Cars.com here in Marin County, California for a very reasonable $31,555.

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I Might Like You Better If I Knew What This Car Was

Romeo Void rocked a blend of new wave and proto-alternative with “Never Say Never,” a song best remembered for the eminently quotable line, “I might like you better if we slept together.” Sure, the sax work sounds like the immoral love child of Huey Lewis and the News and the late, great Clarence Clemons. And the lead singer, the fabulous Debora Iyall, has the strange appeal of Rosanne’s Barr’s slightly deranged doppelgänger. Don’t worry, though: Your confusion as to what this has to with cars, like a girl in trouble, is a temporary thing. Continue reading