Saturday, January 12, 2019

2006 Jaguar Super V8 Portfolio - Grace, Space, Pace, 21st Century Style

“Grace…space…pace.” That was Jaguar's slogan in the 1950s and 1960s. Back then they used it to describe their entire line-up; the Mark 2, the Mark 10 and the E-Type.

They could have brought that slogan back in 2006 to describe just this one car, the Super V8 Portfolio.

The 2006 Jaguar Super V8 Portfolio a limited edition version of the long wheelbase Jaguar Super V8. How limited? Jaguar planned on building 145 of them. I'm not sure of that's a worldwide number or a North American number. Either way, that's not a lot of cars.

In 2006 the Jaguar Super V8 Portfolio cost over $115,000.00. For that money you got a beautiful sedan with a supercharged 400 HP V8 that propelled it to 60 MPH in just over 5 seconds. Inside you found virtually every luxury feature available on a car in 2006.

Visually, the most notable difference between the standard Super V8 and the Super V8 Portfolio are the vents on the front fenders. I'm not sure if they do anything, but they let the world - or at least Jaguar aficionados - know that you have something special.

Inside the car the most notable difference is the rear seat, or seats in this case. The standard Super V8 seat has been replaced by two bucket seats and a fixed center console. I'm not sure why more car companies don't do this. When was the last time you had 3 people in the back seat of your sedan? The bucket seats look great and are better sculptured and therefore more comfortable than a bench. Unless you have young kids - and if you do you're probably driving an SUV or minivan - there really is no reason for a 3 person back seat.

This car has just 63,200 miles on it. It looks to be in immaculate condition. The asking price is just $19,995.00. That's less than a new Kia Optima.

But this is not a Kia. It's a Jaguar. While Jaguar's reliability and build quality has improved greatly since the early 1990s - it really had no place to go but up - it never got to Japanese or German standards. When things do go wrong, the repairs are almost always expensive. Regular, routine maintenance is the key to keeping a Jaguar happy.

If you buy this car prepared to spend some extra money on maintenance you'll be getting an incredibly cool British sports sedan at a fraction of its original cost. I would go so far as to say this is better than a Rolls or Bentley as its just as classy but not nearly as pretentious. If I had the extra cash and storage space, I would buy this in a heartbeat.

Located in Palm Springs, CA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

Friday, January 11, 2019

1978 Aerocon Boa - Fun To Drive, Not So Fun To Look At

Here's an oddball. The Aerocon Boa was a kit car. Sort of.

Unlike most kits cars, where you got a body and boxes of parts that you needed to put together yourself, the Aerocon Boa came completely assembled except for the engine and transmission. It was recommended that you use a Porsche or VW engine.

The Boa had a fiberglass body and a monocoque aluminum frame. Pretty advanced stuff for any car - let alone a kit car - in 1978. The interior - which has some obvious Lucas parts - is as nice or better than many production sports cars of the time.

Weighing just 1800lbs, I assume this was a very quick car.

In 1978 the Boa - without the engine and transmission - cost $17,000.00. That's about $65,000.00 in today's money. That is probably part of the reason they only sold 15.

But I suspect there is another reason the sales were low... This is just not a good looking car. It looks OK when viewed from the side, but the rear looks like the kit car it is and the nose is just plain ugly.

With its advanced design, build quality, nice cockpit and light weight, the Aerocon Boa is probably a lot of fun to drive. It's just not a lot of fun too look at.

This car looks to be in very nice condition, needing little or nothing. It has a Porsche 914, 1.8L engine in it. The seller says "there are only three left in existence in this condition." I believe that.

Located in Sacramento, CA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

1973 SEAT 600L - Fresh Off The Boat

This is a rare bird in North America. The SEAT 600 was a Fiat 600 built under license.

This was an incredibly successful car for SEAT. From 1957 through 1973 they built just under 800,000 of them. SEAT successfully exported them to Argentina, Poland and Finland.

The SEAT 600 originally came with a 633cc engine that produced 19 hp. The interior was simple and functional. It was far from being the most exciting car you could buy, but with a relatively low purchase price it was the right car at the right time for Spain in the 1950s and 1960s.

By the 1970s the 600 was growing old. SEAT made one last update to the 600, with this, the 600L.

The 600L has a larger engine (767cc, producing 21.5 hp) some upgraded trim and a nicer interior. It made the car somewhat better, but wasn't able to compete with the modern front engine cars and was discontinued in mid-1973.

SEAT continued its partnership with Fiat through the early 1980s. After a messy divorce from Fiat, Volkswagen took control of SEAT. Today they build very nice looking, modern cars based on current Volkswagen platforms.

This 600L is "just off the boat from Spain." It has been very nicely restored. I can't imagine that there are many SEAT 600s in North America, especially a later 600L. Buy this one and you'll most likely be the only person at any car show with one.

Located in Berlin, MD, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

Monday, January 7, 2019

A Renault Fuego, A Dacia Pick Up, David Bowie and Peter Frampton...

If you were one of the handful of people who read this blog back in the day, you know that I once owned a Renault Fuego. It was a car that to this day I haven't decided whether I loved it or hated it. It had traits that brought out both emotions. I won't go into detail in this post, but if you're interested in my Fuego thoughts, you can read my 2009 post here.

The seller says this 1983 Fuego has just 50,000 kilometers on it. That's about 31,000 miles. That's seriously low mileage. Too low in my mind. The first question I'd ask is why it wasn't driven more, or more importantly, how long has it been sitting after it was no longer being used.

Despite the car sitting in snow in the pictures, the seller says it has no rust. Like most car manufacturers, Renault had improved its rustproofing by the 1980s, so that's possible. However, any car that sat outside for any length of time will have some rust, so the car's storage history would be good to know.

Mechanically, the sellers says it ran great but it doesn't run right now. He seems to think its related to the coil and something to do with the ground wire. Coils and wires are cheap. Few people stop driving a good car because it needs a coil or a wire. They just fix it. Again, there are some questions to be asked here.

To my eyes, the Fuego still looks good today. It looks classic, but not old fashioned.

A Fuego will never be worth a lot of money. Restoring one is a labor of love. But, there weren't many sold in North America and few survive, making this a very rare car today. While the Fuego is not the fastest or best handling car you could own, the seats are incredible and with the roof open on a warm summer night there is nothing like it.

Located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, click here to see the Kijiji ad.

Dacia is a Romanian car manufacturer. They have been around since 1966. They got their start by building Renaults under license. First the R8, and then this, the R12.

What was cool about Dacia - and what set them apart from many of the other manufacturers building cars under license - is they created unique models. Dacia built the R12 sedan and wagon - which except for some trim was identical to the Renault version - but they also created and built a unique R12 coupe and this, a pick up truck. Introduced in 1975, the Pick Up (that was its name) was a very successful vehicle. Dacia built them through 2006. Dacia is now owned by Renault and are building some very nice modern cars.

There is not much I can write about this pick up. It appears to be a long bed version, or King Cab as it was known in Romania. It also looks like it was converted to run on LPG.

I can't even tell you the condition its in as Google Translate is one of the more useless tools on the internet. When I try to translate the text to English, this is what Google tells me it says: "I sell / exchange Dacia slipper with glossy gloss looks good enough for her vartsa, has no insurance or it used us for about 4 years, pull the girl. Negociable price". Okay, whatever.

None of that really matters, though. As cool as it is, importing this particular Dacia would be insane. There are might better ones out there somewhere being sold by a dealer who could help you with shipping. (Then again, there might not be.) I'm just pointing this out because its so odd and really cool.

Located in Slatina, Romania, click here to see the OLX ad.

Below is a 1987 video of David Bowie and Peter Frampton walking around Madrid, Spain, searching for a place to get a beer. Nothing special about that, except for all the cool old cars, especially Renaults. Check it out!

Friday, January 4, 2019

1994 Acura Legend - Close To Stock

Acura.. The one that started it all. Acura was the first Japanese luxury car brand.

When I was growing up the Japanese were known for building incredibly reliable cars. At at time when a car lasting more than 100K miles was a rarity, Honda, Toyota and Datsun (Nissan) were building cars that would go twice that, and do it with minimal repairs.

But they had a bit of a problem. They were known for inexpensive reliable cars. When folks wanted to move up they bought a BMW, a Mercedes or an Audi.

I don't know who came up with the Acura idea, but it was brilliant. If you grew up with a Honda but it felt it was time for something more, you could buy an Acura. An Acura was everything you loved about your Honda, but with the luxury and performance of a high-end European brand and a prestigious name. Toyota and Nissan introduced their Lexus and Infiniti brands shortly after the Acura launch.

The Legend was designed in conjunction with Austin Rover. Its that partnership that most likely made the Legend feel more European than Japanese. (Austin Rover called their version of this car the 800 in most of the world and the Sterling in the U.S. - The Sterling was a wonderful car to drive when it was running and things weren't falling off of it, which wasn't very often.)

This is a relatively rare Legend coupe. The Legend sedan was nice looking, but nothing special. The coupe, however, looked sporty and still looks good today.

This Legend coupe has a 6 speed manual transmission. It has 134,000 miles on it. The seller and the previous owner have done quite a bit of work to it, including a new clutch and timing belt.

This car has a few issues, but they are all cosmetic and do not interfere with how the car performs.

The seller is asking $9000.00 for this car. That's a boatload of money for a Legend. But, it's a rust free, well maintained car. That counts for a lot. Best of all, its a basically an unmolested Legend. Think about the last time you saw an Acura Legend of this vintage. It was most likely slammed, bagged, sprayed with some sort of god awful matte black paint, had a trash can for a muffler and a stereo system that was rattling the welds apart. This car is very close to stock. That alone may make it worth the premium price.

Located in the San Francisco Bay area, click here to see the Craigslist ad.