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Talk about a Facelift – Banham Jaguar XJ-S HE on eBay

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What you are looking here, if you dare to look it in the eye, is a 1987 Jaguar XJ-S droptop. Or that’s what it was before bought up to date in the 1990s by Banham Conversions.

This white dream is currently for sale in Germany, and it’s interesting to spot all the partsbin improvements that have been molded into the fiberglass-enhanced body. The advertisement mentions the “XJSS” conversion work on the Jaguar was originally inspired by the vintage XKSS, but as it stands it’s still a little bit far away from that. Perhaps it needs more Bondo.

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Weekend Edition: Checking out used cars in Germany

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I did a couple of trips to Germany late last year, and some of the activities we did with my petrolhead friends was to see some used cars that we had scoured up on Autoscout24 and mobile.de. I didn’t have my car-buying pants on then, but it was interesting to see what the market looked like in the metal, and how the cars measured up to the way they were advertised.

After I got myself to the Düsseldorf International Airport and was picked up by a friend in a ratty E30 at the departures door, off to the autobahn we went.

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Weekend Edition: A leisurely drive in a Mercedes-Benz 220 (W115)

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This 1971 Mercedes-Benz W115 is one of the loveliest cars I’ve driven. It belongs to a German friend, one who currently hosts the Suzuki Swift convertible in his garage, and it’s been in his family since new.

A few months ago, as I was in Germany, I had a chance to check out the Benz and have a little drive around the smallish town. Armed with my trusty brown camera and a nifty-fifty lens, I snapped a few detail shots to accompany the post.

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Weekend Edition: Swift Possibilities Looming

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I’ll cut to the chase: does anybody have a wiring loom for a Suzuki Swift GTi just hanging around, doing nothing?

Alright, maybe a little back story is required here. My friends, often of wrenching sort, acquired a Suzuki Swift cabriolet for last summer’s roadtripping around Europe. You know, the Geo Metro kind. The German-market Swift came with an eight-valve, 1300cc SOHC powerhouse that produced maybe 60 horsepower, and the gearing was ridiculously long. I mean, highway speeds had the engine turning over at 2000rpm, and Nürburgring laps were done in second and third for most of the time. I’m not kidding, the blue-wheeled, tribal-striped white droptop did a good number of Bridge to Gantry times on two glorious days.

Of course, later on it was deemed the Swift needed a burst of MORE POWER. For a not unreasonable sum, a powertrain for a Swift GTi was spotted in Berlin and then we sort of drove there across the country to pick it up. Back at the garage, it was noticed that despite the seller’s claims, the engine is not electrically a straight swap. The short-ratio GTi gearbox obviously bolted on the 8-valve engine and did its part to help, but the 16-valve, 100-horsepower engine needs the correct GTi wiring loom to make the transplant work.

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Truck Thursday: 1979 Datsun 1500 Truck (620)

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It’s a pretty handy coincidence, after running a Datsun-Nissan weekend edition and including a photo of the exact same kind of 620-series truck, I noticed this one parked at a service station close by.

It’s not exactly a common sight here, as most of these were probably run to the ground before the mid-1990s and replaced with a King Cab of some sort. This truck has slipped through the crusher’s fingers and dodged the tin worm the best it’s could.

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Sharp Japanese Metal II: 1986 Nissan Leopard F31

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The 1980-1986 F30 Nissan Leopard we saw in the previous post was succeeded by the F31 body. It was a lot more sedate development, often appearing in two-tone shades, and it was deemed mature enough to make it to America under the new Infiniti umbrella, badged as the M30. No longer was there a saloon version, so perhaps Nissan took a leaf from Toyota’s Soarer book. It did take until the ’90s for Toyota’s newly visioned, potato-shaped MkIII Soarer to land in the States as a Lexus, so the luxury marque choices in this specific field were the Acura Legend and the F31 Leopard’s Infiniti M30 version.

As the Leopard, the car appeared in the classic Japanese cop show, Abunai Deka, often exuberantly driven with sirens blazing. But of course it was.

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Sharp Japanese Metal: The 1980 Nissan Leopard TR-X F30

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I trust you didn’t get completely bored with the select choices from Nissan’s old press photo archives this past weekend? If that is the case, I apologize beforehand: the 1980 Nissan Leopard is just too good not to share.

Who even knows about the Leopard? As personal luxury coupes come, the Leopard nameplate doesn’t get called too often. It’s sort of a kinder, gentler version of the Skyline R30, sharing the platform, and its main rivals were the Toyota Chaser and Soarer. Looking at the TR-X coupe above, Soarer parallels are easily justified. But the Leopard should be noted as its own, all jutting sharp edges and certainly interesting glasshouse. Here’s a mega photo post showcasing the deft Leopard.

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Exercises in Plasti-Dip: Volkswagen Golf MKIV

Antti Kautonen April 14, 2015 Finnish Line

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This mud-coloured, completely matte Mark-Four VW Golf has been appearing on this Helsinki street every now and then. I walked for a cheap pizza – one that sadly found its final demise in the hands of my brother after I foolishly planned to save half of it for the next day – and on the way back, holding said pizza I snapped these photos of the Volkswagen.

Funny thing is, a millennial Golf already blends with its surroundings here. The owner of this example just wanted to be absolutely sure. It’s like a counter-point to a MKIII Harlekin.

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Surprise Brougham: 1996 Cadillac Deville Concours

Antti Kautonen April 13, 2015 Finnish Line

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Suppose it’s Monday. Wait, it is Monday. Ugh. 

Anyway, when you get over the fact that the working week has started and brought a slush storm with it, and you go for groceries later in the day, an honestly weird car sighting is something that can really lift up your spirits. No, it wasn’t the Alfa or the Citroën that caught my eye, but this plush and smooth mid-’90s Cadillac.

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Datsun-Nissan Weekend Edition: Your Turn

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Now that the Nissan Newsroom old model archive has been raided for your pleasure and the Datsun-Nissan Weekend Edition can be seen through, I hand the torch over for you in this last post. Find out what you find the most interesting and share your weirdness in the comments.

Just like this Pulsar EXA convertible shows, there really is something for everyone in there.

Link: www.nissan-newsroom.com/EN/PRODUCTS/OLDMODELS/

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