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The Carchive – The DeTomaso Pantera L

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Some time in the late ’90s, I wrote to the exotic sports car manufacturer DeTomaso and asked for a Pantera brochure. I wanted to get something as a present for my brother, as in those days I did do some Haininging myself, and as a result there’s a few brochures taking up Expedit space in my apartment even today. Back then, I was very fond of the Pantera and the ’90s DeTomaso products that were slowly churned out really caught my attention.

Weeks or months later, the brochure arrived in the mail. Surprise! It was an older brochure from the early ’70s, when the Pantera initially came out under the watchful eye of the Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the first batches, after being introduced in the 1970 New York Motor Show. My 15 years of not-too-careful admiring have torn the four-page leaflet in two, but it’s definitely scannable – and that’s what I did to hi-jack the Carchive slot for today.

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Project Car SOTU: The 1990 Ford Sierra

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The call came in: we’re doing a project car post series. In these posts, we deliver the report on how our respective fixer-uppers are doing.

I took a deep breath. What would I cover this time around, regarding my Beaterland fleet? The Saab, the crown jewel of my old cars? Nope, sold it a while ago to raise a bit of travel cash for my two weeks in California. The Xantia? I’ve delegated it to parts hauler duty, with no meaningful repairs being performed except a rear brake caliper getting a look at so the car passed inspection. The 205? It’ll just get driven, but the appearance remains the same save for a set of aluminum steelies. The Polo I’m actually somewhat ashamed about, as I haven’t still put the cylinder head back on it and it remains a non-runner. It’s not getting worse, but it’s not getting better.

Fittingly, there’s a new blank canvas on my doorstep. Another fresh start, yet another cheap beater that will get the skipped maintenance forced back on the schedule again. It’s old, it’s quirky-looking, it’s rear wheel drive. It has the Bob Lutz seal of approval. It’s a Ford Sierra.

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Taking a Toyota to the Moon or How to Sell a Hi-Ace

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Some people type out wordier than wordy sales ads when they put their car, truck or van up for sale on Craigslist or eBay (Hey, Dad, I can’t see real good.. Is that Bill Shakespeare over there?). Ads attempting wit and humour have been posted here every now and then, and it’s all good. But when you’d really rather use a YouTube video to convey the most important points on a used vehicle, the sky’s the limit. Or space. However you see it.

This Finnish guy, obviously a video editing wizard, put together a pretty dang awesome Toyota Hi-Ace sales video. That ’01 D4D van should be sold in no time, despite the 355,000 km on the clock.

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Cruisin’ USA – Pacific Coast Highway in a 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T

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As relayed in the two podcasts recently, I spent nearly two weeks in California. The flights had been booked late enough to not make my spring months unbearable with excitement, and with my passport freshly renewed I contacted the head-Hoon, Jeff about whether there was in any way an alternative to the rental Aveo route. Jeff replied that he would see what he could do, and later emailed me to tell there were two press vehicles booked for the length of my trip, with a switchover in the middle.

After enduring a 12-hour layover in Copenhagen and a delayed 10-hour flight in a makeshift B777 200ER, we landed at LAX, absolutely tired to the extreme. With what strength we had left, we made it through the security checks and waiting lines, and were glad to see my friend, Nik, waiting for us at the arrival hall. I climbed into his 2004 Mazda Miata, and he drove us to the garage where the first car waited. For the entirety of the travel ordeal, the only redeeming thing in my mind had been this very car.

Walking to the counter, I caught a glimpse of it. In the corner sat the 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Blacktop in Granite Crystal. Suddenly all my tiredness was gone.

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Streetwalker – The Toyota Caldinavensis Wagon

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The green car you see on the left is what must be one of the most boring, if reliable cars currently in rotation on Finnish roads. It’s the ever-dependable Toyota Avensis wagon which holds its value reasonably well and holds together with little effort. Throw a rock in the air at a random parking lot and it’ll probably land on an Avensis (not recommended).

The dark car on the right is practically an Avensis, too. It shares the bodyshell and a great number of small parts. However, it’s not really an Avensis if we’re getting down to business: it’s the Toyota Caldina GT-T. Instead of being a boring Japanese grocery-getter and dog hauler made in the United Kingdom (check it), it’s a Japanese grocery-getter and dog hauler that has a Celica GT-Four powertrain. Make note of it.

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Lahti Classic Motorshow 2014 – The Outsiders

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The 2014 Classic Motorshow took part in Lahti, Finland a week ago. Since the outside car park for 30-year-old and older enthusiast cars is always a place to do some excellent sightings, I wandered around the parking lot with camera at hand. Certainly, there were a number of cars I had never seen in the metal ever.

The Jaguar in the lead image was only one of the cars that stopped me in my tracks.

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The Many, Many Cars & Trucks of the May Day Cruise

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The customary May Day cruise rumbled through our Finnish town this year just like years past, as seen here on the past couple years I’ve been contributin’ some of the finer pieces of metal from my neck of the woods. This time, I’m letting you see all of the cars in an enormous Flickr gallery bonanza, which is embedded below. The vehicles range from Ladas (of course!) to Lancias, Lincolns to .. literally anything. Take a look.

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Streetwalker – Prodding the edges of two inexpensive Japanese coupes

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My brother – consider him the Bark M equivalent, then – needs a new car. Well, a new old car. Since the 323F shuffled towards the end of its mortal coil pack due to terminal thievery vandalism, he needs an another set of wheels at some point. For the time being, he’s reasonably happy driving a slushbox MKIV Golf, but there’ll be a time when he’ll shell over the estimated two grand for something he’s deemed fit for purchase. Let it be known, he’s even pickier about mileage than I am and he values sporty exterior pretentions more than staid-but-worthy sedans. French cars are viewed with suspicion. Naturally, the more reasonable end of the used Japanese coupe segment pricing is very enticing.

This weekend, a friend came to my town by train and we did the best thing you can do here: we took the Saab and drove to another town. Kidding, kidding. But as I had my camera tagging along, I snapped a couple of photos of the kind of cars that make the cut when I check the listings.

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Flashback Friday – Citroën CX 25 GTi Turbo 2

Antti Kautonen April 25, 2014 Finnish Line

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When you go check out a car and ultimately decline on buying it, do you ever wonder what happened to it later on? I certainly do, especially if the car was in any way special to you. Last year I had a look at two different Citroen CX GTi Turbo 2:s for sale by the same seller, and didn’t buy either: I didn’t think I would have the wherewithal to turn a tired daily driver and a garage queen into a pair of CX dazzle.

This past weekend, we walked around Helsinki in glorious spring weather, and I noticed a red CX some way up in the direction of our travel. “Hey, there’s a CX, one of my dream cars. Looks kinda like the one we checked out last year.”

We walked a bit closer. “What do you know, this is the same exact car.”

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Easter Weekend Edition: Weirdness in Helsinki

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We’re spending the long weekend in Helsinki, as it’s Eastertime over here and there’s not only Friday but also Monday off work. Springtime is so early, it almost feels like summer, so it’s a good idea to stroll the streets and wander round the parks and generally enjoy the warmth and sunshine. All the grass is brown after the winter and there’s no leaves in the trees, but the streets are alive with interesting cars.

Here’s a couple of sightings for your perusal.

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