Saturday, 19 July 2014

Autoholics Anonymous

Welcome to Autoholics anonymous. Thank you for coming. It is good you are here.
Finally, after all this time, you have taken the first step towards being classic car free. To come here is to admit you have a problem. Don’t worry you are amongst people who care and understand you. People that have conquered and overcome this affliction and now live happy normal lives. Believe it! People do overcome autoholism! You can be one of those people. Just by doing our 12 step program, we can help you achieve your aim of seeing cars only as daily transport!
We know you’ve been obsessing about that cute little European coupe, fantasizing about the ride of that long wheel based V8 while still wanting turn-in without excessive over steer
  We know how bad it’s been for you! We know how obsessed you’ve been, how it’s ruined relationships, destroyed families and taken it’s toll on work, friends and acquaintances.
So many people who have passed through our program have asked “Why can’t I just have a normal hobby?” Well now you can, by doing our program soon you won’t even care if the 1964 and half year model mustang is a better bet than the ‘66 year model or if the Alfa selespeed gearbox will give you as much driving satisfaction as a manual. Or that the wingnuts on a 1972 jag rearview mirror are the same as ford ones. Imagine to be free (once and for all) of these problems. Imagine how simple your life would be  if you didn’t have have 3 classic cars, or that that rust did actually sleep or that Ferrari was only the name of some Italian shyster sleeping with your wife?
So lets get started!
 You now officially on the bottom dweller 12 step program to a successful classic  car free life.
No1. 1965 Humber Supersnipe
At $4k it’s a bit out of bottom dweller territory, but it goes which is the main thing, (these cars are notorious at seizing up when stored) These elegant saloons are weathering well, still without much interest. These days there’s nothing like them and they look expensive.  A lot better on gas than a yank, surprisingly fast, with a beautiful hemi six (courtesy of Armstrong-siddley) under the bonnet. Like many Rootes products a lot better than the sum of its parts, and much more long lasting  than it’s smaller brethren. Not far off a Jag in terms of performance . Which only goes to show Rootes should have developed it further. By 1968 it was all over and Volvo swooped in and not only dominated this market but developed as well.
For: Elegant, refined, more like a 1960s Armstrong Siddley than a humble Humber. They had the wrong badge!
Against; if you join the club you will be the only one so you will have to talk to Imp owners of whom you have nothing in common..
Bottom dweller status: 2/5 A  bit expensive? But a better car than than it’s BMC equivalents.

No2  Austin Princess
In the sixties the public probably weren’t ready for the lack of grill on the Super Snipe. BMC  though, perceived the threat and hyped things up with one of the best traditional grills of the period, adding the Van der plas name to give bespoke presidence! ( Incidently the Humbers where also coach built by Thurpe and Mayberly through Rootes didn’t make a song and dance of it – fools they where!)   and even later gave them a cheap Rolls Royce engine.
For: Happiest of the Westminster, Wolseley 6/110 Farina designs. Interiors wonderful, Pretty spesch!
Against: Looks a bit podgy next to the elegant Humber and it’s no Lancia Flaminia in the performance stakes despite the looks:
Bottom dweller staus:4/5 pretty good at this price.

No 3.  Fiat 128 Coupe
Fiat replaced the 128 Coupe (see two weeks ago) with this updated modified version (for a short time in New Zealand) To be honest I’ve never seen one on the road here yet the earlier ones weren’t uncommon. Still has than mini exotica feel to it and as such is quite glamorous.
For: A Fiat coupe at a cheap price.
Against: Was it a coupe or … a hatch?  for too much money? - hard to tell!
Bottom dweller status: 1/5  Lancia Deltas are cheaper and better.

No 4. Toyota Crown Coupe
New Zealand was lucky enough to get a small amount of large Toyotas in the 1970s (to fill the gap left by the Humbers, Wolseleys and Austins)  the stylish saloons where nice but surely the pick of the bunch where these very groovy coupes. (Why didn’t the british do these? Another  lost opportunity there) Still Toyota Crown did later to become the Lexus (now there’s a clue), still are in Japan. Half Mustang,  half Wally-Cressida;  an unhappy mix when new but now pure style for the 21st century boulevader!
For: Legendary Toyota Reliability (even now) Drive it to work. No one else will have one, and they do look good in a slightly ugly stylish way.
Against: It needs a paint,  It’s yellow, the bonnet is stuck in the air.
Bottom dweller status: 3/5  Some boy racer interest, moving out of contention?

No5  Volvo 360 GLT
In the 1970s Volvo needed a small car to leverage it s brand into the profitable sub 2-litre market. So it brought Dutch car maker  DAF and made this cute little hatch. Which did us a favour by making  DAFs available in NZ. Not much like it at the time. A  high quality small saloon to replace the ailing British Triumph 1500s before being killed by the 80s infusion of the 3 series.  But Volvo quality and safety at a cheap price. Or so it seemed. Now these sedate and stylish cars prowl the bottom dweller markets of the world refusing to die.
For: Better than an Escort, nicer than a triumph,  Well built with quality 70s interior. Good road manners and different.
Against: Slightly ponderous styling, not sexy.
Bottom Dweller Status: 4.5/5  Tasty little number on which a bottom dweller can feed on.

No6 1966 Ford Mustang
I don’t know if I should be reviewing cars costing $9.5 K but it’s great to see the start of the adjustment of American car prices in New Zealand and these 6cylinder coupes are certainly stylish bottom dwellers of the Mustang world. Got to remember: most sold where 6 packs. Instead of the lumpy V8 you get a well balanced smooth as silk 6 cylinder. The best thing is they handle better because the car is not over-powered  like its more expensive siblings. These cars where built for these motors, it’s a perfect combination. America as it should be! not hyped up perverted and oversold.
For: The sixties, notchbacks rule, convertibles and fastbacks only half as good. Everyone drives the V8s slowly anyway so why bother?
Against: Plus $2k to bring it over.  Are we stupid?

Well you  only got to step Number 6. Really you can’t be helped, You’re terminal, a lost cause, Give up now. We sound kind and caring but really we don’t give a shit.
But please fill out our evaluation form so we can improve our service to you. Cross out what doesn’t apply. Thanks!
 This course was very helpful, I’m completely cured and am going to buy a Corolla.
I bid on the Austin  I needed it to make my life more complete.
You are a fag!  You choose weird cars. Real Mustangs have V8s! End of story!