Friday, 4 July 2014

Just when you think the classic car market has gone west

 There turns up on trade me a whole range of cheap desirable classics. its just like the old days!

The Wolseley Twins
Ok I admit I’m a sucker for lashings of veneered burred walnut dash boards, black dials with chrome rims. And upright chrome grills. You’ll definitely tempt me with the Baubles of power. Well Baubles any way. I also think the Morris Minor chassis was very good. (Rack and Pinion in the 50s what more can I say). Still the last thing I ever want to be seen is a Morris Minor. But the Wolseley  twins,  that’s my sort of style. For once the Brits weren’t afraid to put a large (ish) engine in a small chassis which transformed these cars into  everything a good British car should be.  I would dearly love the Riley with  it’s 3 lovely gauges but the Wolseley isn’t at all bad  and has it’s own brilliant charms Fantastic to see these at bottom dweller pirces
For: Patina! Brilliant interiors, lovely grills, Compact shape, Great chassis, Perfect small British sports saloon.
Against: You  have to buy a pipe, string back gloves and a tweed cap.
Bottom dweller Status; 5/5 The golden age!

DKW Junior
DKWs where quite popular once in New Zealand, I suppose they (as Audis) still are. When I was young there where lots of the Beetle shaped variety around. These Anglia shaped ones were rare. Everyone liked the beetle shaped ones. But time has been kind to these. Slightly out of bottom dweller territory at $2,500, this is never the less charming little car, Never short of go, from it’s two stroke engine (belies the diminutive engine size), the front wheel drive handling was a real eye opener for those used to badly performing rear wheel drive understeer common on every other car of the time. German quality and austereness, But shape points to happier times to come. Soon to be squashed  as everything German styling became dour.
For: Wonderful! Excellent design, German quality, Style
Against: An oil burner from new, but not a diesel, don’t ask about CO2 emissons.
Bottom dweller Status; 4.5/5  Surely won’t be around for long at this price.

MG Magnette
Arguably one of the finest  British Sporting saloons ever, Superb chassis and gorgeous Gerald Palmer styling, A  mini Jag in every way, but won’t cost an arm and a leg to maintain or get going. (Patch it up don’t restore it) The right badge and suitably different to Wolseley model the Magnette was hard to fault. Lots of wood, strange shaped dials. Why they didn’t adapt this fine handling chassis as standard BMC midsize saloon I don’t know. (but then the Brits had it all they just lost the plot didn’t they) Engine went on being made for another 30 years. And the shape could have lasted a lot longer than it did.
For:  One one Britains really good cars. If 1970s Jap cars had handled this well a lot more people would be alive today!
Against: They stopped making it.
Bottom dweller Status; 3.5/5  A rare fish in this price territory

Borgward  Goliath Hansa Kombi
Back in the 50’s BMW struggled to approach Carl Borgward’s exquisite quality and car design. But once they’d delt to him they stole his idea and made their name producing quality small saloons like the 3 series. Well Borgward did it back in the fifties. Fine German engineering and metallurgy perfect for post WW2 war vets who had faced Messermitts and realised how reliable they where. Still they sold here in very limited numbers.
  All German station wagons are collectable and these 3 door estates had a nice integrated look quit e uncommon at the time. With a bit of a clean up would be a stylish little number.
For:  Few did things better in the 50s, Quality and engineering way ahead of massed produced Brits of the time. A far better car than a Morris Minor Woodie.
Against: Glad they didn’t make Panzers
Bottom dweller Status; 5/5  No one has the sense to grab it.

Renault Fuego
Descended from the the 15TS and 17TL coupes there was nothing around like them at the time. Front wheel drive stops the  Boy racer element despite the turbo. Still a bargain for the bottom dweller fan. Great high speed performance with excellent stability over the ton. Great handling, surprisingly good on dirt roads. These gorgeous French coupes have a style of their own – that never caught on!  Originally seen as a wanna-bes Porsche now the Porsche is a wanna-bes Fuego!
For: Like watching a good Eric Rohmer movie, full of subtly, and conversation
Against: Very 80s and Subtitled, the 15TS even better! If it was Italian it would be way more.
Bottom Dweller status: 4/5 Becoming increasingly hard to find