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eBay finds: A Ford Transit camper with a spring in its step.

Unlike North America, we never really went a bundle on the whole dayvan thing. Rather than five captains chairs, ankle-deep carpet and a quadraphonic sound system, we were more likely to fit our panel vans out with several hundred pounds of flimsy MDF cabinetry and a Porta Potti.

Our Ford Transit wasn’t hugely different in size to the American Econoline, but were rather less well endowed under the bonnet. Even thought some camper conversions were fairly plush inside, there was no escaping their commercial roots and their engines were intended for economy and ruggedness, rather than power and refinement. However, this eBay find is one Transit camper I can get behind, without fear of getting stuck behind.

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Thrill Ride: Highs and lows in a 2009 Honda S2000

Chris Haining July 24, 2017 Featured, Reviews

Honda’s famous S2000 won’t fail to give you a good time, but by God does it make you work for it.

I’m not easily embarrassed. I can’t afford to be, really – my height, Sideshow Bob feet, stupid hair and laughable fashion sense combined with my propensity for making stupid jokes make being thick skinned an essential defence mechanism. As a result, I can do things that are quite phenomenally idiotic because I don’t fear looking a complete fool. Usually.

On this unusually glorious summer day, I am in the company of a svelte, trim Honda S2000 roadster on a supermarket fuel forecourt, but instead of enjoying all the envious glances I wish the ground would swallow me up. For all my experience driving the good, bad and ugly, never before have I so comprehensively failed to open a fuel filler cap.

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The Carchive: 1966 American Motors Rambler Classic

We’ve been living in the past this last couple of fridays, and I reckon we ought to stay there for a little while. A fortnight back we were in 1966 to see what Buick was up to, last week we were giving Dodge a chance to impress us with the ’62 Dart. This week, it’s back to ’66 for a visit to Kenosha, WI, to hang out with AMC.

This brochure is for the last year of the Rambler Classic, which had been in production from ’61. Let’s see if it can be as exciting as the front cover promises. Welcome back to The Carchive.

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V.I.S.I.T: A UK-spec ’99 Cadillac Seville STS

I had reason to visit our local out-of-town retail park on Saturday, and the big parking lot at its core is usually home to at least something worthy of note. I was sorely disappointed at first, and my camera remained firmly enpocketed. However, when I emerged from the store and strolled back to my car, the most interesting car for miles around had chosen to park directly next to me.

All you guys across the pond to the West will wonder what all the fuss is about, but the Cadillac STS was a damned rare car in the UK when it was new. Today, it’s borderline extinct.

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The Carchive: 1962 Dodge

Last week, we all agreed that the 1966 Buick range was rather more interesting than its 51-year-on successor. This time, we’re heading back a little further, to see what Dodge had to offer us in 1962.

This brochure, presumably issued as a supplement to a magazine at the time, is among the most gratifyingly wordy of all those in The Carchive. It reads as a treatise of just what the “New lean breed of Dodge” was made of.

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The road to success is paved with high-class scrap.

My wife and I are ‘in training’ for a 75-mile walk later in the year, and we’ve been putting in some shorter stints to ease our way into things. Saturday saw us put in 20 miles, which is easy enough if there’s a pint of real ale available en route. Having a few interesting sights along the way also helps stave off tedium.

The ample cornfields in my neck of the woods do get repetitive, but agricultural premises can be verdant with abandoned iron. It was parked outside a stable block that I encountered this fallen German steed. I’m not sure when I last saw an E32 750iL on the road, and it’s not unreasonable to imagine that this example shared its fate with many others.

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The Carchive: Buick in 1966

Not every volume protected in the dank recesses of The Carchive is in the best possible condition. The truth is that certain documents of note would be worth far too much to be owned by the likes of me if they were as crisp and glossy as when they were new.

I don’t so much care about an immaculate front page, though. It’s the wealth of vintage imagery and information inside that counts, and never was that more the case than with this 1966 Buick line-up catalogue.

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Mercedes blows the doors to the past wide open

Whatever your thoughts on Mercedes-Benz, there’s no doubt that our roads would look somewhat different if the Daimler story had never been written.

Mercedes can justifiably claim to have invented the car, but if it didn’t, you could be certain that somebody would soon enough. Whatever, since 1886, an awful lot has happened, and it’s rather gratifying to know that the German brand with the three-pointed star has been keeping accurate notes.

And now, its entire historical archive can be accessed by the likes of us.

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Parting shots: The Goodwood Car Parks

It’s fair to say that the attendees of the Goodwood Festival of Speed are a broad church, and nothing better illustrates this than a walk around any of its many, many parking lots – necessary to corral the steeds of 40,000 visitors per day.

There’s an allocated supercar parking area, but in many ways the regular parking lots are more interesting. Those who book their cars into supercar parking all have one thing in common – that they think their car is something special. Those who are happy to park among the schmucks are more interesting, and their tastes are more diverse – I walked past an NSX and a DeLorean when I didn’t have my camera. Here are six car park gems that shows the rich variety of Goodwood off to a tee.

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Quatre Chevaux: The Citroen 2CV Dakar

At a time way before the SUV was conceived, the Citroen 2CV provided transport from point A to point B, whether or not your journey enjoyed the convenience of a proper road.

Totally excluding Sport from its remit, the 2CV nonetheless excelled as a Utility Vehicle. With its legendary egg-basket cosseting ride, this exceptionally simply furnished car could traverse most terrains with ease and confidence. That didn’t prevent people from making improvements, though.

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