Use your words

Question of the week – 01/09/15


QOTWUnusualholidaycarWhat was the most unusual car you saw on holiday this summer? 




  1. A De Tomaso Magusta on the German Autobahn, whilst being on the way to France.
    Only about 400 were built of which 200 survive…

  2. Just back from a tour of Europe, seen some lovely stuff but the two that really stick out are a BMW Z1 and a Pontiac Solstice. Oh, and a Lada Niva 4×4 in the Czech Republic.

    The one that would have been weirdest back home was the new Lancia Thema, but there’s actually quite a few knocking around on the continent.

  3. A Volvo 780 (that´s a 2 door coupe 740) on the Autobahn between Stuttgart and Munich. I didn´t even know such a thing existed. Actually looked very 80s cool.

  4. In Spain, a SEAT 1200 Sport, the original ‘bocanegra’, as well as a second generation Ford F150 Lightning.

  5. Beautiful blue Opel GT in my village last week, first one I’ve seen for ages.

    Also an early Esprit in JPS colours, admittibly on a recovery truck, but what a lovely looking car.

    The most unusual was a pair of carver 1’s wired looking things, especially mid corner…

  6. A Fiat 500 Giardiniera in the land of it’s birth.

    I know that quite a lot were produced but I hadn’t seen one until a few years ago when I was living in Italy. My partner didn’t believe they existed until we saw that very same one again this year.

    It appears to be still in regular use and looks to be in really good nick in that nice caffè latte colour that works well on Fiat 500s but turns into OAP beige on old BL cars.

    Lovely, want one…

  7. And, just for the record, I hate iPhone autocorrect…

    Admittedly & weird where the words I thought I’d typed…

  8. An Outspan Orange …. or a road legal sofa … but then I was at Car Fest!

  9. A Pagani Huayra.

    I wasn’t on holiday, but it was.

  10. I only got a blurry photo from a great distance, but I swear I saw a rust-free Austin Maestro on the Isle of Wight.

  11. According to the badges on the back, “Citroen BX GTI 4×4 abs” in Coventry.

  12. A whole bunch of chopped, resto-modded, hot-ratted VWs, in Southern Sweden, early June.

    There also was a stream of 50s and 60s American iron.

    Funny tastes, those Swedes.

  13. An SD1 Vitesse twin plenum in immaculate condition.

    Blatted past me on the A1, I saw it again at blyth services where I chatted with the owner.

    80s Retro cool.

    Also saw an MG RV8 on the same journey.

  14. I also say an Audi A4 which wasn’t being driven like a WankSpangle was at the helm.

    But I put that down to an optical illusion.

  15. Bright orange Renault Caravelle in Montmartre, Paris.
    White Peugeot 404 Cabriolet in Fontenay-le-Comte.
    Various on-off racing cars, Le Mans 24 hrs Museum.
    BMW something-or-other in the slow lane. (You did ask for unusual, right?).

  16. A Wartburg 311 cabrio on a ferry across the River Elbe in what was East Germany and an Open Rekord B 3 door station wagen in a back street in Stralsund – also former DDR. But then I was driving a ex Belgian Post Office 2CV six window van which was almost certainly the only one on the road that week in Germany, if not Europe…

  17. A Toyota Sera near Kings Cross in London, notable for its butterfly doors and glass canopy. Very much a “home market only” car. I’d never seen one before and this example was covered in dust and didn’t look like it had moved since the day it was dropped there by whatever brought it from the docks, after its grey market importation to the UK.

  18. Spotted a Mercedes-based Hymer-Mobil (ancient campervan), parked in the same spot for a fortnight during my recent family holiday to Majorca.

    My less than charitable kids dubbed it “the murdervan”. Still, at least they know not to talk to strangers in beige campervans.

  19. A Jeep Grand Cherokee wrapped in pink velour. Oh, and half a Berlingo which had been converted into a trailer.

    This was also in Sweden.

  20. Current generation BMW 550i…

  21. Not sure what it was, but it was actually ‘moving’ on the M6 northbound on a bank holiday Monday. Most unusual.

  22. Simca 1800 coupe. Never seen one before. Really good looking.

  23. Not seen it for a while so arguably I am off topic as usual but our village was home to an Austin Montego 2.0i Vanden Plas which had been converted to a soft top. This had been done by cutting out the roof and back window and replacing them with a recycled frame tent. It was simultaneously intriguing, pointless and fugly.

  24. A 1929 Blower Bentley parked in an unguarded parking lot at the 24h, like it was somebody’s daily driver…

  25. A bit off topic but Land Rover used to claim the only country it hadn’t sold a vehicle in was Albania but I have a photo I took of a Series estate on local plates parked in a town street while on holiday (yes, really!) long before the old regime collapsed.

    More recently, I was in a small Welsh town in the middle of nowhere and two dodgy blokes appeared in a totally original/unrestored 1920’s convertible Bentley, leaving it in the street while they popped into the local shop – must have been worth a fortune but I doubt it had been anywhere near an MOT garage in years.

  26. An Isuzu Vehicross, in Alanya, Turkey

  27. ….and lots of Tofus Dogans

  28. A Bongo Frendee in Reading, not that I go to Reading for a Holiday… as that would be odd.

    But the Bongo / Mazda / Frendee was being driven by a man in Reading who looked just like the ‘bloke that always did it’ in Scooby doo, or just a pervert.

  29. A Lancia Thesis in France. And no, that’s not an autocorrect mistake!

  30. I was in Porto Cervo and saw something I’d never seen before – a Fornasari RR600. It looked like an off-road Lotus Elise/Exige. A 600 horse Chevy V8 under the lid, the Internet tells me.

  31. The 1980 Ferrari Pinin concept in a workshop in Maranello.

  32. Simca 5 Convertible in Domme

  33. An immaculate Jensen-Healey in Tesco’s car park in Ludlow.

  34. Opel Corsa with no aftermarket spoilers

  35. Audi R8, middle of Mumbai during rush hour in rainy season. Even if the road was clear, 2nd gear would never be used do to the pi55-poor roads and driving standards.
    Plus all the Dacias are badged as Renault there, just like S.America, speaks volumes that.

  36. Gits. I aten’t been on holiday yet. Roll on Saturday.

    @Jochen: put the word “Raggare” into a FWSE for an explanation of the quantity of old Detroit Iron in Sweden.

  37. Lancia Delta Integrale. Blue and beautiful. Almost stole it.

  38. A Morris Traveller AND a Morris Minor Convertible – on an Italian autostrada. A scruffy Alfa Romeo Montreal on the back of a lorry. Three Ferrari test cars in the hills west of Modena.

  39. A 1960’s Ford Taunus in perfect condition in Kefalonia.

    later that day I saw an immaculate Renault 19 Chamade which I promptly reversed into in surprise.

    My hire car was pretty unusual – weird Hyundai Accent thing. Apparently “i30 or equivalent” means any old shitheap that fits five in Kefalonia

  40. @ Dr Technical

    I did. After putting FWSE into a FWSE to find out what FWSE means. We Germans are a bit behind the curve, sometimes.

    Now I understand the meaning of “may I show you my Detroit iron?”

  41. I wasn’t on holiday and it wasn’t summer but I’ve seen an Aston Marton Cygnet driving around here on a handful of occasions. The first time I thought I just imagined it but after seeing it a few more times I can now honestly say I’ve seen one out in the wilds of south west Hertfordshire.

  42. A Austin Maxi, Dedham, Essex.

  43. Your company is very impressive .

  44. A Ssangyong Rexton. Despite being built for years I have never seen one in the wild.

  45. In Mendoza saw lots of old but restyled VWs (Gols etc.) but the absolute stand out was the VW & Audi ringed updated Chrysler Avenger. Thought it must be a fake until I saw another.
    Had to look it up….
    So VW did actually make an Avenger. Love to turn up in one to a VW owners club meet to freak them all out.
    Also saw the Ariel Nomad out for a drive on the way to the Eden project which impressed me nearly as much as boys 5 & 7 in the back of the car.

  46. James D – South America has quite a history of unusually-badged cars. Ford Brasil used to build the Corcel, which was based on the Renault 12.

    Meanwhile, not on holiday (and it isn’t either), near where I used to live there is a Quantum H4. One of 215 built, so that makes it unusual.

  47. Had a double-take on holiday in Dundee last week – what looked to be an immaculate black DAF 77, (sorry, Volvo 340) towing half of another black one that had been converted into a trailer, both of which had been lowered

    – I’m really not sure why on both counts…

  48. Best so far: home-built camper on a 4×4 Peugeot van chassis. Registered in Berlin. In a rest area off Highway 1 in British Columbia.

  49. Two cars stick out from this year’s travels …. First was a LaFerrari seen at the petrol station on the French side of the Channel Tunnel. Secondly, and I may have been dreaming, was a Bugatti 57SC Atlantic seen in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic ( either that or some kind of whacky pre war Skoda ) .

  50. Turns out is was a 1937 Skoda Popular Sport Monte-Carlo Coupe. Oh well, pretty car anyway just not worth £30 million.

  51. @Adamski – I’m calling “Cayenne clone” on that Fornasari RR600 you saw.

  52. @JimH: Lucky you

  53. @ Jagsplat: the Skoda you saw is a real rarity, with only 70 produced from 1936 to 1937! Congrats!

  54. This summer I have seen on the road (IE not at shows) Rover 75 V8, Passat W8, LaFerrari and Daytona, Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0, an apparently rally prepared Lancia Fulvia HF, Maserati Bora and Khamsin, E39 Alpina B10 V8S Touring, Lamborghini LM002.

  55. In the wonderful wilds of Sunny Sunderland…. a Red Matra Rancho….. the proportions were different to the toy car I had 30 years ago. I always thought they’d be big and beefy.

  56. Today I saw a trio of MGAs registered in Victoria, Australia.

    Heading northbound on the M5 just past Gloucester.

  57. I have NO idea what this is:

    but it was lurking on the verge outside a front garden in Stewart BC on Tuesday.

  58. I saw a BMW with working indicators.
    An actual real life BMW with blinking lights on the corners of the vehicle which actually worked by flashing and indicating to other roads users the intentions of the driver whilst turning corner and making other manoeuvres.
    A very rare vehicle. I’m sure Munich will have it recalled to remove this technical fault immediately.

  59. @ Dr Technical

    Don’t know what’s underneath, but the body that’s based on is a Lloyd LS600.

  60. Whilst lost in a French forest I saw a rust bucket White Renault 5 with the tailgate held down by a bungee, being driven by an old man wearing a beret and smoking a bent fag (I like to think it was a Gauloise) I knew at that moment that I really was in France despite what the satnav said.

  61. @ Austin & Dr. Tech
    I had to look up the Lloyd LS600, and in the inevitable internet wanderings it appears there is quite an active Lloyd restoration movement in British Columbia! Who knew

  62. @ Simon & Dr Technical

    Maybe we should start a fan club in the UK? We could call it “Lloyd’s Register”. Oh, wait…

  63. I saw a camouflaged prototype of the new big Alfa on the Turin bypass near the Mirafiori plant.

  64. @ Chris Hooper: I got this one in DETH Valley last year:

    No idea what it is but creeping along a road with a 60 mph limit at 25 mph is not the best way to be inconspicuous.

    Also this:

    outside the hotel in Las Cruces NM. A different DeLorean from the one I encountered at the Cadillac Ranch in 2012:

  65. A Tesla on the A30 in Hook last Saturday. Didn’t know there were any in captivity here. It looked very ordinary, could have been a rebadged VW.

  66. A Fisker Karma parked in a DIy store car park in Kaarst, Germany.

  67. A Rover Streetwise in Novi Pazar, southern Serbia – on local plates! I would have love to have gone to a Serbian Rover dealership…

  68. @Dr Technical – Could even be a Lightburn Zeta by the looks of that picture. Very rare indeed if it is!

    My contribution – a white VP HSV Clubsport (factory modified Holden Commodore) today. Very few around, even in 1991-92 when they were being made. Also, FG X Falcon XR8. The last of the V8 Falcons.

  69. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR (W196S, ex-Hans Herrmann) and a 1969 C111-II. (OK, I was on the Colorado Grand.)

  70. I saw an Alfasud in Sardinia a couple of months ago.

    Ultra-rare, because as you know only just over a million of them were ever built. Out of tinfoil. Badly.


  71. In Japan this weekend I saw a GP2 car trying to be a McLaren. Not just the car, but the entire team.

    They even had someone dressed up as Ron Dennis, but you could tell it was an imposter, as he said words that ordinary people could understand, like ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and ‘Jenson will be driving for us next year.’

    I mean when did Ron ever call a spade anything other than ‘a manually operated, cast iron, earth inverting device.’

  72. Yesterday, I saw a right hand drive Opel Astra here in Rome. I always thought these were either left hand drive or badged as Vauxhalls, Holdens etc.

  73. Not on holiday this summer but it’s not the week beginning 01/09/15 either so…
    In Budapest a Renault Symbol, that’s a Clio with a boot (saloons are more popular than hatches there, Jettas outnumber Golfs & I saw several 3-box variants of hatch-only UK models), a matt black Lada Riva with chrome bull-bar & massive Chelsea FC badge on the bonnet & an obviously well used & heavily laden Wartburg Knight Estate in a lovely shade of beige & primer, seen both parked in various locations & smoking round the city centre.
    In Prague a Moskvich Alero,(a lookalike of the worst car I ever owned, the Talbot Alpine), a pre war streamlined Jawa sports coupe (in the technical museum)& in Mladá Boleslav, at the Skoda Museum an astounding display of historic Skodas, including a croched early 60s Skoda Octavia Estate!

  74. Just re-read above post, it was a Lada Niva (the 4×4), not a Riva. Many apologies, I’ll get my coat…

  75. Bit late to the party on this one, but I saw a Nissan Murano convertible in the car park at Johnson Space Centre, Houston 2 days ago and it freaked me the f*** out that something so ugly could make it out onto the road. Seriously. Had to double take to make sure it was what I thought it was! Makes a Pontiac Aztec look positively handsome…

  76. For sale is mine unfinished project.
    VW Scirocco CL 1982 1.5 carb
    Originally car been black, been resprayed to metallic green(TOYOTA racing green, paint code will be provided to new owner)
    As car been early CL model, it hasn’t got body kit, but I put body kit from 1986 GT(on pictures door sills and body kit cups missing but I got them)
    It have original 102020 mileage, which i can proof…
    Welding job been done under body kit, as well been sealed to keep it in good condition.
    Car passed MOT, so it got remaining of 11 months.
    Stickers which go on rear glass will be given to new enthusiast who buys this car…
    It is really barn find now, as it is early version of MK2
    and got single wiper…
    As benefit to buyer car will come with original steel wheels, which been widened from 4.5′ to 8.5′ (almost new tires)
    Lots of time been spend
    Needs tiding in and out, some pieces done, probably polishing required…

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