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The Carchive: ’75 Jaguar XJS

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It’s that time of the week again when I have the excuse to make our study and much of the upstairs landing horribly untidy as I hurl car brochures all over the place in the search for something to chronicle in our weekly trip down memory lane. And while we’re at it we can decide whether our subject matter deserves remembrance or is better forgotten. Welcome back to  The Carchive.

Last week we made a trip back in time and space to England in the early ‘sixties where we took a look at the frumpy yet ahead-of-its-time Austin 1100. This time around we’re going for a bit more glamour. We’re being sent to Coventry to look at the brand new Jaguar XJS.

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The Carchive: The Austin 1100

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It’s time once again for me to machete my way through the spider webs to uncover another gem from motoring past, blow off the dust and evaluate if the damn thing was worth my quest in the first place. Welcome back to The Carchive.

It’s the early ’60s. The space race is in full effect and we have atomic energy for the masses. Ford have moved onto Fuselage body styling on the newest Thunderbird and the Phantom II is being phased into front-line use. Meanwhile, while all these exciting developments were going on, the British motorist could salivate at the prospect of the New Austin 1100.

“Here’s the new… AUSTIN 1100!”. Find out if the car was worthy of that exclamation mark after the jump.

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The Carchive: The 1984 Audi Coupe

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It’s time to head down to the shoreline once again and find out what’s been washed up on the jagged rocks of motoring history. Welcome back to The Carchive.

This series doesn’t always draw people to take the jump like perhaps it should, and this is often because the headline image doesn’t exhibit much zing. The more interesting the picture, the more likely people are to want to know more. Unfortunately, the cover of today’s brochure is one of the most boring I’ve seen in my entire life. I promise it gets more interesting after the jump.

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The Carchive: The 1970 Hillman Avenger

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It’s time to take a feather duster to the cobwebbed, dusty memories of years gone by, and a look at a car SO AMAZING that to deprive North Americans of it just wouldn’t have been Cricket.

It’s the all-new for 1970 Hillman Avenger, a car whose dynamic, warplane-like name rather belied the actual product, which would become so commonplace as to be near invisible on British roads very soon. Welcome back to The Carchive.

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Diecast Delights: A Volkswagen Phaeton W12 in 1:18 Scale

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Variety is the spice of life here at Hooniverse. Every-playa-has-one Supercars are not really guaranteed to get us twitching with excitement. We’re all grown-up enough to know that it’s engineering and thought, not just power and prestige that makes a great car. And there are more than a few of us who derive our interest in a vehicle from factors utterly unrelated to mechanical competence, hence my continued loyalty to a certain old Rover, despite its long and damning list of flaws.

One thing that seems to unite us all, though, is cars which keep you guessing. A car which externally speaks nothing of the amazing things it’s capable of. One such thing car is the W12 powered Volkswagen Phaeton, of which more after the jump.

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The Carchive: The MK2 Honda Ballade

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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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Caddy and Lincoln joined in Holy Matrimony

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Weddings are huge events in Poland. Not unlike everywhere else, everyone who is getting married wants to be driven to their wedding is something prestigious, classy, memorable, and obviously pricey. In post-communist Poland, a Rolls-Royce would be most solid choice, but there were none to be found. Mercedes would be a good alternative, if it wasn’t for the fact that old cheap one were as common as VW Golfs. So, if you wanted something with more bling, something that no one else had – what did you get?

You got a big-ass Caddy!

Everyone in Poland kind of knew what a Caddy was. Even if they did not see them real life, they have seen them in Godfather, and Reagan had one, so to many this must have been the best vehicle in the world.

Now imagine you’re guy who is starting a wedding car business in post-communist Poland. It’s a great money maker, if not for the fact that everyone started doing it, but it required some upfront capital. Let’s say you convince your whole family to go in together on a Caddy. That car will be bought used in United States by your surgeon uncle who is in the U.S. working as truck loader because it pays more. The vehicle will be fixed up by his physicist friend who is working in a U.S. body shop because it pays more, and then shipped to Poland.

But money is tight, so you want the cheapest best looking car there is. You don’t care about the title, accident history, or performance, just as long as it looks good from twenty feet away and is able to move on its own power. That is what I think happened to the above pictured Cadillac, which somehow ended up with a Lincoln Two Car (or a Mercury Grand Marquis?) front-end on it.

But don’t think that this kind of phenomenon is strictly limited to Poland. Nope.

Image source: Zlomnik.pl

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The Carchive: The 1975 Colt Celeste

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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.

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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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Video: Hungarian car gathering for Jalopnik

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We like our Eastern European crapcans over here at Hooniverse. And so do the folks at Jalopnik, as this video right here testifies. As the Jalopnik guys, visiting Budapest, wanted to see a gathering of cars that you don’t usually catch over on the other side of the pond, they got what they asked for – and it being Hungary, a ton of Suzuki Swifts as well. That’s pretty much the national car of Hungary by now.

The first thing you lay your eyes on is an Alfa Romeo Montreal. Then, Matt Hardigree professes his love of the Ford Sierra and the Ford Ka, Tarvis Okulski drives a Tarbant, there’s a Lotus Omega and a Zaporoshets; it’s a pretty cool sortiment of anything that could appear on a random car day. Take a look!

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