Rare and interesting car sightings

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scott
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by scott »

A mid 1980's Ford Spectron, still looked good and was still stock.

A Mazda T3500 bus still being used as a bus by a school.
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Swift
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by Swift »

I recall the futuristicTV ad for the Spectron and it's luxury features.
I remember thinking how awesome this people mover was at the time. It was basically a Ford Econovan painter's van with the lot.
I always thought those Mazda minibuses had an attractive rear to them. The taillights were the same as the early front drive 323. Clever reuse of them by Mazda.

Get a load of this dealer newspaper ad from 1975. I didn't know the Centura came out that early.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by scott »

They were launched in March 1975, according to Wikipedia there were delays as the CKD parts kits sat on the wharfs for a while due to industrial action brought on by protests against French Pacific island nuclear testing.

Parts could be difficult to source due to union bans and Chrysler's European division being taken over by Peugeot and also factory strikes in France. There was a long wait for French sourced parts and Mitsubishi ceasing all parts support in the early 1990's, auctioning off stocks of parts and throwing out the unsold parts after the auction.

The Centura gave way to the Sigma, with its Japanese/Australian underpinnings, that was a lot easier to support. I saw a fawn GH Sigma running around Bentleigh, still on it's old early 80's issued plates.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by Swift »

That's a sad story on Mitsubishi disposing of NOS parts for the Centura. I bet there are owners who wish they were available now, not that there are many left out there anymore. I guess storing inventory of parts for a diminishing model makes no financial sense.
I believe they were only offered with the 3.5l six to begin with until they offered the 4.0l as an option. I guess Chrysler deemed the considerably more powerful 4.3l as ridiculous for a body designed with a four cylinder in mind. Maybe they didn't want it stealing charger sales with such a high power to weight ratio overshadowing the Charger's sporty image.
It would have been nice to see a Centura get the ELB system if it had remained in production during the CM model run.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by Swift »

I found this V8 XC panel van at my local mechanic.
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boronia
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by boronia »

That's usually the most common place to find Fords :lol:
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by Swift »

Plenty of vehicles from Gerald's Motors make appearances too and do you think they don't exchange designers between them behind the scenes, not to mention the same parts suppliers?
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by scott »

A nice blue XE Falcon GL spotted yesterday in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, these were everywhere back in the good old days, I helped change a rocker cover gasket on a neighbour's XE when I was 10, was bloody easy.

I have recently acquired another batch of Motor Manual car magazines, the market analysis in an early 1983 issue mentions the XE Falcon and Fairlane/LTD, and Laser/Meteor helped Ford to knock Holden off for market leadership in 1982. Holden tried desperate efforts to chalk up sales, registering everything with wheels(without a buyer attached) and giving cars away (buy 1, get a chance to win another of the same car), but it did not get them over the line, just look at Holden now, can't give anything away.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by Swift »

Sadly the XEs were rust prone and were known to rot in the vent chamber below the windscreen CL/CM Chrysler style. Weirdly the first series XF didn't seem as bad as as the series II or XE. The pre alloy head XDs fared well also.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

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An ex WA Police VL Commodore, with the first of the unleaded V8's

https://www.australianmusclecarsales.co ... bt1-243553
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

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An unusual choice of delivery vehicle, in Melbourne last week.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by Swift »

Came across this VB Commodore at Ettalong recently, near my home.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by boronia »

It's not a 30 Ford Wagon, but he calls it a woodie.

And it does have a back seat and rear window.
And it gets him where he wants to go (just)
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by Swift »

Goodness me :shock: the car that taste forgot.
That look is best left to the Americans.
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boronia
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

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It was a very amateur job once you get up close. The framework looks like it had been made from 100 year old window frames that had never been repainted. The filling was more like rusted metal that had been dyed. The rear view mirror has been attached to the body with a liberal dose of silastic. Might have been a nice Ford once, is that a Fairlane front?
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by Swift »

boronia wrote:It was a very amateur job once you get up close. The framework looks like it had been made from 100 year old window frames that had never been repainted. The filling was more like rusted metal that had been dyed. The rear view mirror has been attached to the body with a liberal dose of silastic. Might have been a nice Ford once, is that a Fairlane front?
Unfortunately the fleet special e series Fords are worth next to zero at the moment (I guarantee that will eventually change), so owners treat them roughshod and don't care about how they go about bastardising them.
That's a Fairlane grill that's been added.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by Heihachi_73 »

Saw a red Holden Apollo (SV21 Camry type) last week. Probably not worth a cent value-wise, but you just don't come across the 80s/90s badge-engineered cars these days.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

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I saw a red VR Lexcen in a car yard yesterday, much like the one I used to have, price $2,500. The Lexcens (and the others) tend to be in better nick as a lot of them did not start off in fleets, I remembers some fleets that did grab Lexcens when delivery times for Commodores were long and Lexcen's could be picked up ex stock and in most cases cheaper.

If you like nice old Aussie cars saved from the scrappers, Survivor Car Australia magazine is a good read, most good newsagents have it or you can subscribe at survivorcaraustralia.com.au, just renewed my subscription. I also subscribe to Unique Cars and it is good too, but some of the prices people want for thier classics are stupid.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by Swift »

scott wrote:I saw a red VR Lexcen in a car yard yesterday, much like the one I used to have, price $2,500. The Lexcens (and the others) tend to be in better nick as a lot of them did not start off in fleets, I remembers some fleets that did grab Lexcens when delivery times for Commodores were long and Lexcen's could be picked up ex stock and in most cases cheaper.
If it wasn't in Victoria I would go take a look. The Lexcens are more likely to have been treated better as Toyota has a more conservative and sensible buyer base that are less likely to mistreat their cars.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by scott »

A KF Laser hatchback of 1990 vintage seen today, with badly faded light blue paintwork and badly faded original 1990 issue number plates. I remember these when new, because I had the brochure with the same blue GL hatch pictured.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by Swift »

scott wrote:A KF Laser hatchback of 1990 vintage seen today, with badly faded light blue paintwork and badly faded original 1990 issue number plates. I remember these when new, because I had the brochure with the same blue GL hatch pictured.
I saw a you tube vid showing a KF Ghia and the interior took a backward step. It didn't look quite as nice as my KE Ghia's interior. I found it disappointing.
I (and plenty of others) wasn't taken with the exterior looks either. I believe Ford Australia was forced to adopt the U.S shape due to some convoluted reason.
The lift back body was immensely practical though and a better selection of engines were available (though I quite like the torquey 8v engine in mine), but why would you bother with the awkward afterthought looking sedan version?
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by odie8888 »

i too have seen the ads and it didn't have the good looks of the mazda original from that year.the model that came after it was better and i almost had one as a first car twenty one years ago on p plates.kj series 3 on runout in 98.you don't see that many lasers around anymore to be honest.there are a few but more focuses are present.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by scott »

A 1992 VQ Series II Statesman up for grabs for $30,000

https://www.australianmusclecarsales.co ... man-243982

Although not fitted to this example, you could get a Holden dealer accessory fitted brick car phone.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by Heihachi_73 »

scott wrote:I saw a red VR Lexcen in a car yard yesterday, much like the one I used to have, price $2,500. The Lexcens (and the others) tend to be in better nick as a lot of them did not start off in fleets, I remembers some fleets that did grab Lexcens when delivery times for Commodores were long and Lexcen's could be picked up ex stock and in most cases cheaper.

If you like nice old Aussie cars saved from the scrappers, Survivor Car Australia magazine is a good read, most good newsagents have it or you can subscribe at survivorcaraustralia.com.au, just renewed my subscription. I also subscribe to Unique Cars and it is good too, but some of the prices people want for thier classics are stupid.
And because the bogans don't want to be dissed for owning a "Toyota" instead of a proper Commodore, even though they were made in the same Holden factory. VR/VS Lexcens (T3/T4 under the Toyota naming) have Statesman guards and different head/tail lights (and a different interior, seats etc.), the rest is plain old V6 automatic Commodore (no Lexcens had manual transmission or V8s). And due to the indicators being in the front bumpers (because on a Lexcen, the "indicators" in the Commodore position are actually parkers), you cannot put a regular Commodore bodykit on them, although some places did make knockoff HSV kits with the indicator holes.

As for somewhat rare cars these days, yesterday I saw an EA Fairmont Ghia heading up Bond St near Eastland. Plenty of EB2/ED/EF/EL Falcons still out there, but EAs are becoming harder to find in the wild (as are series 1 EBs). There's also a yellow Morris Minor that I sometimes see around Ringwood, it has VW Beetle tail lights retrofitted to it, and first gear seemingly has a top speed of walking pace.
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Re: Rare and interesting car sightings

Post by boronia »

Heihachi_73 wrote:and. Plenty of EB2/ED/EF/EL Falcons still out there, but EAs are becoming harder to find in the wild (as are series 1 EBs). There's also a yellow Morris Minor that I sometimes see around Ringwood, it has VW Beetle tail lights retrofitted to it, and first gear seemingly has a top speed of walking pace.
This was a common feature in most pommie 4 speed cars of that era. Seemingly designed for cold starts and steep hills, most of them would happily move off in second gear without drama in most circumstances.
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