The Carchive: The MK2 Honda Ballade


Welcome back to the Carchive, where we look at the dealer literature of the past through the magnifying glass of hindsight, and give me an excuse to hoard vast quantities of old crap into the bargain.

The ’80s were a fascinating era for cars, with lots of great new ideas and crazy blind alleys being explored, sometimes with lasting resonance. Then you get peculiar stylistic and developmental tangents which seemed like a good idea at the time. Today we look at the nothing-if-not-individual 2nd generation Honda Ballade.

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Old is the New New: Rusty’s BMW E39 Economic Lunacy

E39 Story

According to FlightRadar24 (an essential app purchase) last night a 1979 Fairchild Metro II flew over my house. This is an aeroplane which is still in viable revenue-earning status after 35 years of maintenance. I also know that DHL routinely fly thirty-year old 757s out of my local airport. The idea that these old birds are kept running made me wonder, yet again, why doing the same thing with cars seems to be becoming such a minority sport.

So I’ve been having another of my brainwaves. Welcome to the first of my ideas this year for potentially losing a sensational amount of money.

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Diecast Delights: A ’78 Mustang II Cobra in 1:18 Scale

Chris Haining January 27, 2015 Diecast Delights


What on Earth was I thinking, posting an Aston Martin Vanquish last week? This isn’t Billionaires Gazette, this isn’t the kind of on-line motoring organ whose participants spend their days on chaise longues, being handed trays of crackers and Grey Poupon, heck, some of us don’t even have butlers.

Lets get back to a model of something closer to the Hooniverse Heartland. A 1970’s ponycar which was, let’s be frank, a shadow of its former self and not really all that good. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t interesting. I mean, I find it interesting and I wasn’t even alive when it was launched, and even if I had been conceived five years earlier I was stuck on a continent which was largely Mustang free.

Find out if it deserves a place in your 1:18 garage after the jump.

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Motorboat Monday: Inspired By Cars- The Moonfleet Aquilla

Chris Haining January 26, 2015 Motorboat Monday



Motorboat Monday is still a thing here in the Hooniverse. Always has been, always will. It seems to me fair to put it out there, though, that car people and boat people seem to be drifting farther and farther apart. Certainly, in Britain in the ’60s boating was far more the “everyman” activity than it is today. In garages and backyards across the country, men would toil with woodworking tools, glue and ambition, following plans sent off for by mail order, and if all went to plan would end up with something resembling a motor boat.

It wasn’t just that people were interested in cars and boats, there was often considerable crossover in the products themselves. There were car companies who also had interests in boat-building, Healey, for example; and Colin Chapman certainly had his waterwings. And sometimes boats even followed car styling cues. Here’s an example I found at the 2015 London Boat Show.

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Diecast Delights:- THAT Aston Martin Vanquish in 1:18 Scale

Chris Haining January 22, 2015 Diecast Delights


There isn’t a huge amount that’s been left unsaid about Bond Cars, and The Internet is well stocked with information about every one of them. The model you see before you is a depiction of one of them, but I’m going to pretend it isn’t. I’m not really interested in having a model of James Bond’s Vanquish, I just wanted a model of A Vanquish. It also so happens that I think Die Another Day is one of the worst 007 films ever committed to celluloid.

So below is a review of a very affordable and really, really good model of an Aston Martin Vanquish. Bond be damned.

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The Carchive: The 1975 Colt Celeste


It’s high time that we took a step back from the motoring cutting edge to reflect on the good, the extremely bad and the irretrievably ugly that has gone before, and take a few moments to contemplate whether intents were delivered or promises were broken. To discover how we got from the past to the present, we need to start in The Carchive.

Last week we started this years ball rolling with a look at the car that ushered in a new era of total adequacy for Korean cars, the Hyundai Stellar. Today we head a little further back through the mists of time to 1975, when a new, exciting force in Coupe’s appeared on the scene. The Company was Mitsubishi, the brand was Colt, and the car was the Celeste. Behold the magnificence after the jump.

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Car I.D: On Seeking Clarity When I Killed My Senses.


I had quite a lot to drink this Saturday night. I was taking part in an annual Wassailing festival, drinking plenty of warm mulled cider and singing incantations to any apple trees within earshot who happened to be listening, with the dual aims of increasing this year’s fruit harvest through spiritual means, that and getting royally slizzard.

I can report considerable success in the latter (I’ll keep you posted on how the apples turn out), and the late phases of the evening saw the whole group of us grinning our way through the program of music and dancing, until our conscious mindsets were quite a long way removed from reality. It was as I was headed towards this higher state of being that I found myself out in the car park and confronted by a piece of car that I genuinely didn’t recognise. I actually began to panic. I’m usually so completely immersed in the world of cars that I can identify pretty much everything at all likely to be found on the road with my eyes closed, my nose blocked and my ears taped shut. Yet here I was looking at a section of sheet metal that, as far as I was concerned could have come from outer space.

I was losing it. My brain had turned to mush. I don’t do drugs (er, aside from alcohol and caffeine) but I was quite clearly tripping.

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Diecast Delights: A 1977 Citroen CX GTi in 1:18 scale

Chris Haining January 15, 2015 Diecast Delights


Over the festive period I spent some of my available time getting my house in order. The dozens of model cars that I have gathered since what seems like birth have been boxed up neatly and put in safe storage in my attic, ready for retrieval when necessary, after years of being marooned at my parent’s place ten miles away. The plan going forwards was for me to rediscover these old models once more, unbox them, play with them and share the more interesting ones with as many people who cared to join in.

That was the plan. The reality is that the collection has continued to grow in an only-just-controllable manner. The Internet is a dangerous place, and just before Christmas I found myself ordering the model you see before you. Click the jump to see more.

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Consumerism Be Damned: A Cars and Cellphones Metaphorical Musing


When your cellphone contract expires, the generally expected thing to do is to stride immediately into your local telecoms agency and sign yourself up for a fresh deal on whatever phone grabs your fancy.

The contract for my cellphone expired last march and, well, I really didn’t know what to do. I had been nailed into a 24 month term and the phone had actually been perfectly satisfactory, battery issues aside, and no doubt its replacement would do just the same job, but the idea of being locked into another two year relationship with anything then on the market really didn’t appeal to me.

There was just so much choice, and I really didn’t like any of it. Thank goodness, I thought to myself, we’re talking about a phone and not a car.

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The Carchive: The 1989 Hyundai Sonata


If you enjoyed our regular delves into The Carchive last year, you’ll probably easily tolerate them in 2015. For the uninitiated, this feature (which tends to be posted at slightly irregular intervals) is more-or-less unique in its scope. Nowhere else on the internet does anybody take the time to fillet and digest forgotten, worthless brochures for forgotten, worthless cars. In some cases the comments section fills with emotional outpourings as nostalgia is sparked; more usually there’s total radio silence punctuated only by the occasional drifting electronic tumbleweed.

One thing’s for sure, you can take it as read that todays offering exemplifies the sheer class of product that you’ll be reading more about on this wavelength in the year to come.

Welcome back to The Carchive.

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