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The Carchive: ’75 Jaguar XJS


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


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


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


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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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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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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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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The Carchive:- The ’64 Plymouth Barracuda


It’s absolutely miserable outside, so what better to do than lock the doors, pour a warm beverage and snuggle up with a pile of nice, easily digestible car brochures from some dim and distant point in the past?

That’s what I did this weekend, and among them was this somewhat tattered launch brochure for the Plymouth Barracuda. Take the jump to remember just what unique qualities the Other pony car had to offer.

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The Carchive:- The Jaguar 4-Door range of 1976


It’s that time of the week again where time stops, rewinds and we suddenly find ourselves surrounded by salesmen. Today they’re wearing kipper ties and bell bottoms, and they’ll probably offer me a scotch if I sign on the dotted line for one of their shiny new 1976 cars. Before I can make my decision I have to sit through all their promises and claims. Some things truly never change. Welcome to The Carchive.

Last time around we were driving in middle-class Luxury, Japanese style with the 1979 Nissan Laurel. Today we’re going a little way upmarket and speaking in hushed tones. We’re back in Britain, and we’re in a Jag.

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The Carchive: The 1979 Datsun Laurel


Welcome to The Carchive, the series in which I take quotations from brochures for cars that you just don’t see on the road any more, and then take photos using a hopeless cameraphone with the white balance set up all wrong. And then, because I’m working to a deadline, I try to use Photoshop to correct things, and usually fail spectacularly.

On our most recent trip down memory lane, we revisited the Australian Ford Falcon, and the photos were pretty much the right colour, but a little underexposed and slightly grainy. Today it’s the turn of the Nissan Laurel. Squint and follow the jump.

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