Tag Archives: Japanese Cars

Fleet Update: Turning Japanese

IMG_4205

Anyone who has spent any time perusing TTS can tell that we are generally partial to German cars – or at least European, as I do like the occasional Italian.. That said, we are also geeks for engineering and technology. I recall all too well when my father – Mister PhD in mechanical engineering – went from being a tried-and-true Mercedes guy (The Best or Nothing) to a Lexus guy. Price played a small part, as we were shopping a W126 300SE against an LS400 because the V8 Mercedes were substantially more expensive, but it was really about the quality of the machine. The Japanese took a great formula and made it their own, and the industry never looked the same again. I can still hear him saying “there is really no comparison.” At the time I was heartbroken, but as I’ve gotten older (and wiser?) I understand it – and him – a little better.

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Five Cars You Can Buy Today that Your Neighbor Doesn’t Have

Neighbor - 1

Part of being a TTSer is coveting the strange, unusual, abnormal, underappreciated, etc. – automotively speaking. One of our favorite pastimes in the TTS offices is to peruse classified ads from the UK, mainland Europe, and even the Far East and elsewhere in search of whacky cars that whet our appetites. A particular favorite website for this colossal timewasting is Germany’s www.mobile.de. So on the tail-end of buying another car this week (details forthcoming) and then tripping on another car I’d wanted to buy only to have the seller take his sweet time getting back to me, I thought I’d distract myself by looking for fun cars that one could conceivably buy for credit card or home equity money – including shipping – and which you’d be 100% certain your neighbor wouldn’t have. Unless he or she is more interesting than you are..
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Top Down Fun: Nine Convertibles for Ten Grand or Less

1993 300CE Cabrio

So spring (or summer, apparently) has sprung – at least in the Mid-Atlantic region, but also throughout much of the rest of the country, from what I hear. What that means to me is that it’s time to dust-off your convertible, change the oil, pump-up the tires, put the top down, and head-out for a relaxing drive in the country, or the city, whichever is your pleasure. What’s that? You don’t have a convertible? We would argue that there is a convertible out there for nearly any budget or anyone with a credit card that they’ve given-up trying to pay off and therefore don’t mind piling onto. Who among Car Geeks doesn’t relish the wind in their hair, the sun on their face, and the sound of the exhaust bouncing off the trees? Now is the time before prices jump-up for the season. What we offer here are some thought starters…

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1985 Honda Prelude EX: Disposable Sports Car #10

1985 Honda Preslude - 1

One of our favorite sayings around the TTS offices is that “nostalgia is a funny thing.” Meaning, often times we recall the cars of our past with a special fondness, often focusing on the parts of them we enjoyed – looks, smells, handling, colors, you name it – as opposed to the parts that made us sell them or otherwise move on. Of the TTS crew, I am the one who repeatedly drinks from the same well. I’ve owned multiple Mercedes W123s and W126s, two green Alfa Spiders, and even a pair of grey 1985 Honda Preludes. With the Mercedes I seem to be on a never-ending quest to find the perfect example. With both the Alfas and the Hondas I think it’s some subconscious effort to reclaim a part of my youth, the first of each having been my first and third car, respectively.

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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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Find them for Yourself: Where do the Cool Cars Come From?

My wife and I were married fifteen years ago this year – the happiest years of my life. We’ve had two wonderful children, seen each other build healthy careers, and we’ve had about 80 cars. That’s right, 80, eight-zero, EIGHTY. Suffice it to say, we tend not to get too attached to cars around our house. Well we do, but everything has a price. Having written about many of these cars here and in other venues along with those cars that I’d like to have but for my lack of the funds, the space, or the guts to buy them, a lot of people ask me where I find them. It’s not rocket science, but timing is key.

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