When I was in elementary school as an expat living in Hong Kong, I had a friend whose dad worked for the U.S. Consulate there. What I always envied about consulate kids, apart from their diplomatic immunity and ability to score Dr. Pepper by the case, was that the U.S. government would pay to ship their cars over there. It was all the more interesting to me as a young Car Geek because HK is a right-hand drive market, and those were left-hand drive cars. My friend’s parents had two station wagons, a late 1970s Toyota Corolla and an early 1970s VW Squareback. I always loved the sound and smell of old aircooled VWs, and I like the Squarebacks as more practical alternatives to the standard Bug.
Monthly Archives: May 2012
It’s no secret that we really like Euro market oddities for sale on U.S. shores. The problem is that the owners usually think very highly of them due to their uniqueness, or they are rusty. Really rusty. So when a reasonably-priced Euro-market car comes along, we pay attention. When a really cheap one comes along, we keep going back to the listing, send multiple questions to the seller, and try to figure out why. This 1984 Mercedes-Benz 230E
available on eBay with a buy-it-now price of only $1,400 is just such a car. If not for a lack of space and not wanting to explain myself at home, I’d have bought it already.
Like many of us, I was indoctrinated at a very young age into the Cult Of Car by my father. He probably didn’t even know he was force-feeding me the Kool-Aid. Regardless, I’m pretty sure my first word was ‘car.’ Which is good, because it could have been a lot of other things.
Occasionally here at TTS we’ll feature a guest columnist. Usually, it’s someone we know, or at least someone we like. Here’s one from our buddy Dale. As he continues to wrench on his new toy, we’ll chronicle the progress.
Passions about cars can be a funny thing. Some people get very involved with a certain type of vehicle, like a two-seat sports car, regardless of make, while others become fixated on a particular marque. While I have a passion for older BMWs, the family daily drivers tend to be more along the lines of an appliance, our Chevy Malibu being about as much of a Kenmore washing machine as they come. But occasionally a little karma falls into one’s life. Continue reading
I drove a second generation Honda Prelude through much of my five-and-a-half years of college, after the Alfa Spider rusted away and I managed to trade-in the VW Quantum wagon of death on the happy little Honda that Could. I loved that car. Call them boring, call them soulless, but those were the days when Honda made fabulous-handling, well-balanced, reliable front-drivers with some of the best manual transmissions I’ve ever felt in a FWD car. As graduation loomed I started thinking about what I’d buy once I found that big, high-paying job that comes with every bachelor’s degree in communications. The then-new second-generation Acura Integra was the logical choice.
This Craigslist ad is a terrific example of precisely how not to sell your car. The Audi Coupe GT was the poor man’s Ur-Quattro and was the foundation upon which the Coupe Quattro was based. It is the Porsche 924 to Audi’s 944 – separated by driveline differences and more importantly big, bulging fender flares. Still, the Coupe GT is a worthy car in its own right and while not a sports car in the traditional roadster, rear wheel drive sense offered a very 1980s GT driving experience in the same market niche as the Honda Prelude, Toyota Celica, and arguably the Alfa-Romeo GTV but with a distinctly Germanic flair. In any case, there is no excuse for someone – clearly an enthusiast – who owns this car not to take the time to present it properly to his potential customers.