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The Carchive – The DeTomaso Pantera L

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Some time in the late ’90s, I wrote to the exotic sports car manufacturer DeTomaso and asked for a Pantera brochure. I wanted to get something as a present for my brother, as in those days I did do some Haininging myself, and as a result there’s a few brochures taking up Expedit space in my apartment even today. Back then, I was very fond of the Pantera and the ’90s DeTomaso products that were slowly churned out really caught my attention.

Weeks or months later, the brochure arrived in the mail. Surprise! It was an older brochure from the early ’70s, when the Pantera initially came out under the watchful eye of the Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the first batches, after being introduced in the 1970 New York Motor Show. My 15 years of not-too-careful admiring have torn the four-page leaflet in two, but it’s definitely scannable – and that’s what I did to hi-jack the Carchive slot for today.

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Project Car SOTU: The 1990 Ford Sierra

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The call came in: we’re doing a project car post series. In these posts, we deliver the report on how our respective fixer-uppers are doing.

I took a deep breath. What would I cover this time around, regarding my Beaterland fleet? The Saab, the crown jewel of my old cars? Nope, sold it a while ago to raise a bit of travel cash for my two weeks in California. The Xantia? I’ve delegated it to parts hauler duty, with no meaningful repairs being performed except a rear brake caliper getting a look at so the car passed inspection. The 205? It’ll just get driven, but the appearance remains the same save for a set of aluminum steelies. The Polo I’m actually somewhat ashamed about, as I haven’t still put the cylinder head back on it and it remains a non-runner. It’s not getting worse, but it’s not getting better.

Fittingly, there’s a new blank canvas on my doorstep. Another fresh start, yet another cheap beater that will get the skipped maintenance forced back on the schedule again. It’s old, it’s quirky-looking, it’s rear wheel drive. It has the Bob Lutz seal of approval. It’s a Ford Sierra.

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Stockholm Sightings – Audi 5000S

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Walking around the Kungsholmen island of Stockholm, close to our hostel, I noticed this chrome-laden, seemingly early Audi 5000S parked on the street. The bumpers sprouted out proudly, the sealed-beam headlights added a touch of old-world class to the otherwise aerodynamic design, and the entire car was sparkly clean.

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Stockholm Sightings – Chrysler LeBaron Convertible

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This thing, this right here, this Chrysler LeBaron is among the best sightings I’ve posted, from my own view point. I managed to see just the angular, white-on-white tail sticking out of the line of parked cars, and decided to walk closer. When I realized what it was, my step hastened, my pace quickened. An actual, early K-platform LeBaron convertible right there in Stockholm’s Södermalm district, just a stone’s throw from the old town. Can you tell I was excited?

To own, I’d perhaps prefer the newer LeBaron. Those are a touch more modern in appearance, not revealing their Reliant K roots too easily, but the older car is a lot more Iacoccan. Like Regular Car Reviews put it in their charitable piece about the ’80s New Yorker, Lee Iacocca knew how to make an entire line-up out of just one basic car.

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Stockholm Sightings – Saab 900 Convertible

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I just finished watching the 2004 film Sideways. I’ve seen it before, but the last time around I hadn’t owned a classic-shape Saab 900. As the cabrio in the film is in a rough shape and gets a bit rougher by the end of the film, it kind of made me sad – but to cheer myself and everybody else up, I decided to post these photos of an immaculate 900 convertible instead.

Like the Cortina, I saw the 900 in Stockholm last weekend. It’s probably the nicest example I’ve seen in ages.

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Stockholm Sightings – Ford Cortina Mk2

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No sooner have we swiped the American sightings under the rug of past Hooniverse pages, for it to be time to see what I saw in Stockholm this past weekend. The sights on Swedish streets were numerous and post-worthy, and I’m pulling one of the nicest ones out of the bag to begin with.

This second-generation Ford Cortina was parked in a quiet neighbourhood, untouched by passing Midsummer dreamers.

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Parking Garage Sightings – Lancia Gamma Coupé

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A good friend, Joe, sometimes whips out his camera when he’s out and about. This results in excellent car sightings that apparently are exactly to my taste, and I have to say he’s one hundred percent correct. Take this as proof: a perfectly preserved or meticulously restored Lancia Gamma, and the ultra-classy coupé version too.

Spotted in La Spezia, Italy, it’s certainly special.

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V.I.S.I.T – Euro Car Sightings in California

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It is weird, how my eye always picks up on the European cars in American settings, when watching practically anything State-made on TV. The same thing, unsurprisingly, happened when I wandered around Los Angeles and San Francisco; it was always the Volvos, Benzes and Alfas that I felt I had to photograph.

Looking back on my photos, there’s a ton of material with old Mercedes-Benzes neatly parked on Californian curbs. Still, it’s the Volvo 240s still sputtering on that I appreciate the most.

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Wagon Wednesday – Ford Falcon Futura in San Francisco

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Walking from the Wharf towards the Transamerica Pyramid, I instantly noticed this Falcon Futura on Greenwich Street, right next to La Trappe Cafe, a place to get some Trappist beer if that’s what you’re looking for in San Francisco. The sun-baked, faded red Falcon wagon looked perfect in the midday sun, and I was quick to snap a few photos.

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To Live and Die in LA – Los Angeles Sightings

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For some time now, our very own Kamil K has posted some photos of cars living and dying in Poland. The sightings are often weird and definitely interesting, as they are often rarities that pop up in the stream of everyday cars filling the streets of Warsaw.

In a situation somewhat comparable to that, what kind of cars would you pick up on when dropped to a random location on Earth? As I had my camera and iPhone with me on my trip to California, I naturally documented some of the streetside sightings there. I’ll be posting a number of articles with the stuff I saw – and this is the first of them.

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