Sunday, January 1, 2012

Just A Car Geek - Top 10 Cars of 2011, Part 2, 5 - 1

5.1994 Alfa Romeo 155 Q4 - This car would have been higher on the list if it were legal to import it into the US. It was being offered by a seller in Canada, where it is perfectly legal to own.

The 155 Q4 has permanent AWD and an engine sourced from the Lancia Delta Integrale. It's quicker to 60 than than an Audi A4 and has an electronically limited top speed of 140 MPH.

It's cars like this that make me want to move to Canada.

4. 1970 Renault R16 - This is a sentimental choice. A Renault 16 was my introduction to French cars. I was 18, living on my own and driving a Corvair wagon I had set up with a 140 engine and a Spyder dash. One night I came out of my job at a mall record store and found it gone. Someone stole it.

My landlord had a Renault 16 that was her "second" car. (A Mercedes-Benz was her main mode of transportation). She offered to lend it to me until my car was found or I bought another. (My car was eventually found... In a lake. It was totaled.) I loved it. Column shifter, funky looks, great ride. I was hooked on French cars.

This one was in incredible condition. With so few R16s having been sold in North America, it was really great to see one still around and in such nice shape.

3. 1985 Innocenti De Tomaso Turbo - Another car in Canada. Unlike the Alfa above, this one could be imported into the US, as it's 27 years old.

As I mentioned in a 2009 post about a similar car, I got to drive one of these during a trip to Canada. It takes 10 - 12 seconds for this car to hit 60, but behind the wheel they feel like milliseconds. It's like a go kart on amphetamines.

This car was in great shape and looked great with its "European body kit".

2. 1970 Intermeccanica Italia - This is just an incredible looking car. That's the reason it makes the Top 10. Pure and simple.

The Intermeccanica Italia might not be the best known car to come out of Italy, but to me it is the sexiest.

How much do I like this car? One of the pictures from the original eBay ad is now the wallpaper on my home computer.

A reader pointed out that this car doesn't have its original rear taillights. Who cares? It's still sexy as hell.

1.1992 Mercedes-Benz 400E - I was prowling around the internet a year or so ago and found a forum that was talking about this blog. Someone called it a "low budget Bring a Trailer." I was pretty flattered, as I'm a fan of BaT. But, if I were to describe it, I would call it sort of a blog version of the British car magazine, Practical Classics. While I love the oddball, rare cars, the cars that I'm most impressed by are the older cars that can still be used as daily transportation. This car is the perfect example of that type of car.

This is a 20 year old car that you could drive everyday. It's fast, comfortable and reliable. It's body, while not modern and round, is still great looking and classy in ways that many newer cars will never be. The seller had taken care of all of the problems that often pop up on these older MBs. As I wrote in the original post, there is no reason to believe you wouldn't get another 100,000+ miles out of this car.

The asking price for this Mercedes-Benz was $3750.00. That made this car not only a practical classic, but a genuine bargain, too.
Those are my favorite 2011 Just a Car Geek cars. Feel free to post your own, argue with me, call me names, whatever...


Maxichamp said...

Your blog rocks. Thanks for all your time and effort. I'm going to the Anti-Football Rally today. Cars have to be 25 years old or more. Bring A Trailer usually brings a logo festooned Porsche 356. Next year, you should bring an SD1 and festoon it with Just A Car Geek stickers!

rrshadow2 said...

I owned several Renault 16s years ago including a Canadian assembled R16 TS which had the crossflow head, Dunlop alloy wheels and the Euro Headlights, it was originally owned by Renault of Canada, I also had a pristine R16 Automatic that we called The Couch because it was like driving your Sofa down the road it was so damn comfortable

cc-rider said...

My friend still has the #1 400e for sale. He has lowered the price to 3 grand even. It is advertised on the peachparts benz forum and a couple of the other benz forums.

Love the blog and keep up the good work in 2012.

Opel Rekord A + B said...

Happy new year car geek!

Anonymous said...

yeah, when you have JaCG stickers I'll be ordering mine. I like Bring a Trailer a lot, but Just a Car Geek is more my personal style. Thanks and Happy New Year!

85BLKVOLVO said...

It's a great blog. As an old Volvo owner, my car's quirkiness has nothing on the obscure rides you find. Appreciating Peugeots even more now because of JACG. Happy 2012 to All.

Bill said...

Thanks again for another great year of JaCG
Bill Giltzow

Blair Russell said...

This time around I do not have the time to come up with a list of the vehicles from 2011 that I liked the most, but I'll thank you for still keeping this blog alive despite some distractions that at times made posting not as frequent. Hopefully 2012 will have less bad things happen.