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The Carchive: The GKN Lotus Europa V8 (GKN47D)


For this week’s visit to The Carchive we venture into one of many small chambers which are subsidiary to the main cave network, the furthest you can go without potholing. This is where I keep all those automotive artefacts which fit into the category of “specialist” which is another word for “miscellaneous”.

Everybody knows The Lotus Europa, the first of the mid-engined Lotus coupé’s  and variously built with Renault or Ford four cylinder engines. Of course, it was inevitable that somebody would take the initiative to install a bigger, more powerful engine at some point, and many Europas have been butchered by have-a-go heretics over time. However, there was one organisation who managed to double the cylinder count of the Europa, and did it properly.

Yes, this was what GKN did in 1968 to prove that they knew a thing or three about cars.

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The Carchive: The Asia Rocsta.


Time for our weekly trawl through the filthsome deposits at the bottom of the swamp of motoring history. Put on your drysuit and plug your nostrils, it’s The Carchive and we’re going in.

From last week’s Volvo we’re heading forward in time to the mid ’90s, but diverting to the Pacific Rim, as we check out the South Korean car that R Kelly and Kid Rock had in mind when they sang “I’m a Rocsta, baby”.

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The Carchive: The ’79 Volvo 260 Range


As we put another tiring, prickly week behind us, let’s take a quick break from all that is new and surprising in the world and relax with something old and familar. Join me  as I squint at today’s ever so slightly out of focus document from The Carchive.

After last week’s look at a Triumph of British engineering, we’re heading across the North Sea and making land in Sweden, with a printed look at 1979’s Volvo 260 range.

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The Carchive: The Triumph Vitesse


It’s time for our weekly contrast with all that’s shiny and new in the Hooniverse News, as we blow the dust off something which had it’s moment of glory in the dim and distant past. Welcome the The Carchive.

I presume I was hungry. Otherwise I struggle to explain the strange bite mark on the top of this otherwise well-preserved 53 year old brochure for the Triumph Vitesse.

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The Carchive: The ’73 Lincoln Continental MKIV


We finished last year’s run of visits to The Carchive at the turn of the ’70s with a look at a Simca 1100, the car without which the Hooniverse Podcast graphic would be nothing. Let’s stay in that decade and take a long, admiring glance at the ’73 Lincoln Continental MKIV.

I’d also like this car to redress a balance. I spent a couple of stories last year reflecting on The American Car and its turbulent design journey over the last four decades and I singled out the Lincoln Versailles as a demonstrative whipping boy for all that was wrong with American design by ’79.

Well, to me the Mark IV was the opposite. This, for better or for worse, was what I always wanted The American Car to be.

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The Carchive: The Simca 1100


A fortnight ago The Carchive took us back to the early ’70s and a look at the flagship model by Simca of France. When deciding which car to look at this week, I blame subliminal marketing.

Yes, every time one of our award-nominated Podcasts goes live, the ghostly outline of a Simca 1100 sits at the very top of the Hooniverse home page, and I can no longer ignore it. As this is the last Carchive of 2016, let’s take a look at what has become a Hooniverse icon of sorts.

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The Carchive: 1969 Simca 1301 and 1501.


It’s Tuesday, 21:30 local time where I’m sitting, and time to finish the day looking at ancient literature for moribund cars that time has largely forgotten.

On Monday I returned from a potholing expedition into the deepest and least accessible reaches of The Carchive Caves. It was arduous and terrifying at times, but before I ran out of oxygen in one of the smaller chambers I made a grab for this “Auot 1969” publication by the freshly Chryslerised Simca of France.

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The Carchive: The 1979 Lincoln Versailles


Yesterday I spent a fair bit of Hooniverse bandwidth carrying out an assessment of American car styling in the ’60s and ’70s, and ended up observing the strange tangents it went off on. I stated then that today’s featured Carchive Car would be the one that, I felt, epitomised everything which had become strange and peculiar to American Car Design at the end of the seventies, but I didn’t give any clues as to what that car would be.

So, let’s have a show of hands for anybody who guessed the Lincoln Versailles?

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The Carchive: The Pontiac Aztek


There’ll be no pretentiously poetic pre-amble to this one, we’re getting straight down to business and talking about the the Pontiac Aztek then, and the Pontiac Aztek now.

You see, this launch brochure you see has out-lived a fair proportion of the actual Aztek population, and as my wireless keeps telling me that Christmas is approaching, and that’s a time for forgiveness and generosity, I though I’d dedicate this week’s visit to The Carchive to determining whether the Aztek really was as bad as has become fashionable to say.

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The Carchive: 1993 Mercury Capri


It’s time once again to hand crank the engine of time for a slow cruise along the avenues of history. Welcome back to The Carchive.

As the winter grows progressively more bleak, what better than to think back to the summer. A time to feel the heat and the wind against your skin, and bask in the admiring glances you get when you’re topless in traffic.

Today we’re heading back to ’93 and looking at Ford’s Australian roofless wonder, the Capri.

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