Sunday, 6 July 2014

It never rains, it pours!


After a long drought, it just seems to be getting better and better for lovers of bottom dwellers on Trade me. I just could’t resist adding these delectable beauties available this week.
Sunbeam Talbot 90
The Subaru WRX of the 1950s this silk purse from a sows ear was one the great rally cars of the immediate post-war era. Far more than the sum of its parts (Humber Engine and Minx underpinnings) these Sunbeams  behaved like  thoroughbreds. With a big engine in a small responsive chassis these cars were the drift cars of their day. Monte Carlo winners in 1955 and 2nd in ‘52, Sunbeam (both well passed its use by date) were unlucky not to win it all the time in this era. Amazing robustness and stamina the motor was all torque, nicely clothed in one of the best bodies of the era courtesy of Raymond Lowey.
For; Gorgeous looks, Rallying  pedigree, Gorgeous to drive.
Against : Nothing except some Imp owners will think they’re in the same league as you. (they’re not!)
Bottom Dweller Status: 2/5  Though underappreciated , unfortunately rapidly rising out of our league. (there I’ve got through another post without insulting Imp owners)

Lancia Prisma
Talking of rally winners. With baby ‘Gamma like’ styling,  the booted version of the Delta is pure delight. Smaller than a 3 series (its only real competitor in the small quality saloon market of the time) these boxy Lancias are subtly exquisite in shape and taste. Like the Sunbeam, built from a bunch of standard parts and sharing a platform with the Fiat Strada and Lada Samara, these  Lancia ‘s are never the less dripping in character. The twin cam motor is a ready performer, Economy is 21st century standard. Small,  tight and fun to drive. Luxurious to boot.
For: Toyota-like reliability, Italian Brio , cheap parts
Against: They don’t make anything like it now.
Bottom dweller Status: 5/5 as long as they don’t all rust away.

Fiat 128 coupe
Not quite as pretty as an 850 coupe, these 128 coupes have more than a hint of the Dino about them. Really a far better prospect than an 850 as the dynamics are a generation ahead of it’s rear engine cousins’. Front wheel drive; the concept wouldn’t go astray in today’s market. So well ahead of it’s time.  In fact there was really nothing like it for the time. (or since, Alfa Sprints where some way away yet) these coupes gave Grand Turismo Brio at a cut down price. Like all Fiat coupes of the time; lovely to drive and far better than Escorts and Marinas. This lovely Blue example seems very well cared for and a bargain at $3k. He wont and shouldn’t go below that.
http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=748311017
For: Lets face it ; You will never have a Dino, you can afford this.
Against: Only now, when they are all gone are they appreciated.
Bottom dweller Status: 4/5 Just out of our league, You probably wont find another, certainly not on this condition at this price.