Home » Cars You Should Know » Recent Articles:

Diecast Delights: An ’89 911 Speedster in 1:18 scale.


I’ve never been bothered by the Star-Wars franchise. I’ve never been a fan of Bon Jovi. That film, and that band, are among the most followed and most popular of their respective genres, drawing in huge crowds whenever a new episode or a new album is released. The thing is, to me, every Star Wars film and every Bon Jovi album is just another one just like the last.

Of course; I’m an uneducated oaf. No doubt if somebody tied me to a chair and held my eyelids and ears open Clockwork Orange style, I could learn how to appreciate both of them. Which brings me to the Porsche 911. I’ve never really got the 911. I appreciate what it is, and what it does, but I’ve just never felt any great lust for it. I’m sure, though, if I owned one things would be different. And if I was to choose one, it would probably be the one you see before you, only about eighteen times as big.

… Continue Reading

The Carchive: The 1984 Daimler Lineup


Sitting as I am peering through steam misted glass at a ceaseless slow rain, and mourning a sun which I’ve not glimpsed so far this month, I need something to perk me up and stoke my fire of enthusiasm once again. What better than a quick trip into The Carchive?

Last week we rather overdid it on Grey Poupon as we contemplated buying a Rolls-Royce in the early ’80s. Today we’re sticking with the decade, but twisting on the brand. For those who couldn’t (or wouldn’t) buy a Roller, there was always Daimler.

… Continue Reading

Diecast Delights: An LTi TX1 London Taxi in 1:18 Scale


Recently this strand has dealt with the super-exotic as well as the super-attainable (if you’re in Europe) but we’ve barely touched on the “I’m stuck outside a busy venue and a little bit drunk, and I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to get home”. Until now.

The shape of the “black cab” has morphed over the years, but during the ’90s it became routine for examples to not actually be black at all. The bluff sides of the cab had been seen for its potential as advertising space years ago, and with advancements in vinyl wrapping technology came the opportunity for taxis to wear all manner of temporary liveries. One of the most famous to appear was an advertising campaign for Marmite, celebrating the centenary of their tar-like toast-borne yeast extract. And as a lifelong advocate of said substance, about twelve years ago I just had to buy a model depicting it.

… Continue Reading

The Carchive: The Rolls-Royce Corniche


Ask your butler to take messages for a while, retire to your library, open the drinks globe and pour yourself a Speyside. The mundanities of life can be put on hold for a spell, for it’s time for a trip into The Carchive.

Having left 1976 Germany We’re back in Blighty for a spell and taking a trip to Crewe in 1982. When we arrive we’ll be asked to remove our shoes and empty our pockets of any sharp implements, don an overall with no zips or fasteners and carefully make our way onto the spotless factory floor where, with glacial sloth, a Rolls Royce Corniche is being crafted.

… Continue Reading

November Rain: 1983 Austin Mini-Metro


Here in rainy old Finland, seeing an Austin Metro makes you do a double-take and hit the brakes. At least that’s what happened to me, when I spotted this henna red hatchback parked next to a warehouse in my town. It’s not a common car, but more of an unicorn, as they were barely imported here. I think Suomen Autoteollisuus Oy (Finnish Automotive Industry) dipped their toe in the water and brought some Metros over in 1983-1984, but in the end they decided not to go through with it. We’re talking a handful of cars, and by now there cannot simply be too many left from the original ones. The car is so old, that running the plates notes it as a “Mini-Metro”, like the initial nomenclature was.

I originally saw this car on my street a couple years ago, and I talked to the owner then. Somehow the Metro looked to be in a bit sadder state now.

… Continue Reading

Diecast Delights: A Ford StreetKa in 1:18


Last week we took a look at a McLaren F1, a car which still arguably stands as the reference point against which all supercars are judged. It’s a lovely model of an amazing car, but not necessarily an especially relevant one.

Truthfully, supercars and hypercars only exist in my collection for reasons of their historical significance and, in some cases, their beauty. I actually have more interest in models of cars which are actually relevant in day-to-day life. Fortunately, diecast manufacturers have realised that there’s a market for models of everyday cars as well as cost-no-object wondermobiles. Today we look at a model of Ford’s short-lived roadster, the StreetKa.

… Continue Reading

Weekend Edition: A look at Eastern Europe, 1985-1989


This Sunday is Father’s Day here in Finland. It seems fitting to contribute an article consisting of photographs taken by my dad way back in the mid-to-late 1980s, as he travelled to East Berlin, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and so on, with a group of other Finnish teachers. I got this stack of travel photos from him last weekend, and we leafed through them.

I cannot provide a point-to-point narrative for them, as some of them are out of sequence by now and even the chronological order is sketchy at best, but what they do is provide a look into countries that do not even exist anymore. After these photos were taken, Eastern Europe faced years of change never even thought possible, and even the next five years were a tumultuous time for those countries. Germany, separated for decades, became whole again and these street scenes captured from a tour bus would never be the same. Trabants, Wartburgs, Skodas fill the parking lots, almost the only bright spots in towns and cities consisting of grey and brown, the early wintertime having stripped the trees of leaves and the ageing photographs exaggerating the muted colour palette.

The Berlin shots are from December 1985, and the Hungarian scenes have been taken as late as 1989. Everything here falls in that time period beginning 30 years ago, as my dad was roughly the same age as I am now.

… Continue Reading

The Carchive: The E12 BMW 5 Series


It’s Friday afternoon, and before you press Control+Alt+Delete on your workstation to savagely end the day’s work, throw your wheely-chair aside and abandon your cubicle while muttering breathy obscenities, I suggest you invest a little company time to pay a visit to The Carchive.

In a moment we’ll take a trip back to 1976, but before we do that, let’s see if we can get an argument started. Which BMW would prove to be the most influential for the brand? It’s a tricky question, but I’m tempted to nominate the E12 5-Series. See what you reckon after the jump.

… Continue Reading

Diecast Delights: A McLaren F1 in 1:18 Scale


I guess it was just a matter of time before I featured this model. When you were 13 years old your bedroom walls wouldn’t be covered with posters of Ford Mondeos, would they? Well, they might have been if you were me, but you’re not, are you? No, every self-respecting teenager would have walls lined with F40s and Diablos, or perhaps the superest supercar of all, the McLaren F1. You’d probably want a 1:18 model of it, too.

Well, you were in luck as there were several versions to choose from. If you were blind or had only ever had the F1 described to you vaguely over a crackly phone line, you could opt for the hilariously misshapen and gloopy looking Guiloy. There was a Maisto, too, which was pretty decent. Alternatively, you could save up a bit of extra pocket money and go for the F1 by UT models, and that’s what I did, making my purchase at one of the ’90s London Motorshows.

… Continue Reading

Can A Front-Wheel-Drive Car Be Any Fun?
The BTR Veloster Seems To Say Oh Yes

YouTube Preview Image

It’s called wrong-wheel-drive quite often, and I can see why. When you make the steering wheels and the drive wheels the same wheels, it can add up to confused driving dynamics. That’s a lot of physics action being sent to two bits of rubber and metal. That’s why rear wheel drive is more preferred around these parts.

Also, you know, big smokey burnouts and getting sideways.

Blood Type Racing from Illinois was tasked with transforming a front-wheel-drive machine. They did just that with a Hyundai Veloster Turbo. The hatchback is now officially of the hot variety thanks to its engine pushing out over 500 horsepower. Yet it still seems quite drivable despite that much-needed power upgrade. It also seems endlessly hoonable, and for that we have to applaud BTR.


Hooniverse Marketplace

Featuring Top 2/3 of vehicles Available in Marketplace

Read more

Subscribe via RSS