Signal Red VW Passat Variant B1 / Dasher Wagon by Tom Mayer, Monkey Crisis On Mars ©2016 – All Rights Reserved
Passats are like Camrys: Not overly cool and nothing you would buy because you really like the design. And it seems for many years VW didn’t even tried to make them somewhat exciting, rather keeping the appearance neutral to avoid running into ‘design fads’. But there was a time where Volkswagen really reinvented the lineup by hiring one of the hippest car designers of the time: Giorgetto Giugiaro, who created the Golf, Scirocco, Jetta, and Passat, which turned VW away from the legacy of the air cooled cars invented in the 1930s into a modern car manufacturer. While the Golf and Sciroccos are cult and becoming searched classics, the first generation Passats are somewhat underrated. But in my opinion the original pre-facelift design is one of the most beautiful cars VW ever built.
Prints and shirts available at Redbubble
Following the initial concept and the tradition of the R4 to build a simple and affordable car, Renault offered the Twingo with only one trim level, four exterior colors (coral red, Indian yellow, coriander green and overseas blue) and a vibrant upholstery. The retail price was 55,000 French Francs, by today’s value around 9,500 USD
I also want to point out the soft top hood, that let’s you open the roof, which is soooo great and French!
I’m not sure what sparked the love in the showroom to buy on of these. It must have been the breathtaking Italian design stolen from the Lancia Megagamma concept car (no kidding). Or maybe the sliding doors with no B-pillars, An extensive accessories and options list, including a kit that effectively turned the vehicle into a campervan, a 5-speed gearbox, a 2.0 liter engine, and four wheel drive. So if you want to impress on the next Cars & Coffee with a rare JDM car, how about a Stanza? It only has 24 posts on Instagram. Try that with a VIP slammed Lexus or that rare gray import Skyline.
©2016 Tom Mayer, Monkey Crisis On Mars – All Rights Reserved
North American Nissan Stanza 4WD Multi Wagon, or Nissan Prairie Wagon in other markets by Tom Mayer, Monkey Crisis On Mars ©2016 All Rights Reserved
Porsche always had this problem: If they release a car that isn’t a new 911, fans start nagging because it isn’t a 911. If they release a new 911, fans are upset because it’s not like the old 911. The 944 (and it’s predecessor the 924) got a lot of meh from the community, mostly because it shared VW parts, utilized a water cooled Audi engine, and – wasn’t a 911.
Wind has changed and now we know the 944 IS a great car and a true Porsche (except the door handles, who obviously VW).
You can buy this India Red (Indisch Rot LM3A for the paint code nerds) at Redbubble.
Profile view of five Subaru/Alcyone SVX coupes in pearl white (paint code 267).
From top to bottom:
– Subaru Kenkyo Test & Development Center Pace Car
– SVX Nation Track Car Project
– David Caron’s bagged SVX
– Gene’s Pearly on Works wheels
– Stock JDM/Euro spec
Special thanks to the people of SVXNation.com for helping getting the details right!
Copyright 2016 Tom Mayer, Monkey Crisis On Mars – All Rights Reserved
I repeat: Techno Violet (paint code 299, for the nerds)! which is so fancy nineties as a BMW can get. So here comes the E36. Never came to the US, so it’s not only a violet, it’s also a 229-unicorn.
In 2008 Toyota introduced the iQ to the Japanese market. Designed at the Toyota European Design and Development studio in Nice, France, the iQ was designed to maximize passenger space, while minimizing exterior length. The iQ is able to accommodate three passengers—and under very tight conditions, a fourth one. It was discontinued in 2015. As you can imagine in California it is a rarer sight than a Bugatti Veyron – means it sold badly. Compared to the millions of Camrys and Prius chances are good that the Toyota salesman will probably never forget the name of that person who bought one of these. Traditionally California does better with hearting odd vehicles. Especially since it’s a really good vehicle. The usability is much higher than a Smart car. A family with two kids could probably cut gas expenses down to 10% when driving Ayden and Brooklyn to school in an iQ instead of the Lexus SUV that is a quasi standard for the California Pinterest-mom. But well, didn’t happen. So RIP little car. Please become a future classic.
Here it is: After having the Wagon around in my collection for so long the sedan (or saloon) finally made it into the family. I haven’t made a decision yet on the next Volvo model to cover. I probably should make a poll.
The stack and other posters are available here:
The fifth generation Ford Escort (mark V for all you forum geeks) is my favorite. It was build from 1990 to 1997 (technically until 2004 but this revised model is dubbed mark 6 by Ford). It also came along with a lineup of models where I feel Ford got everything right. The design was well balanced, it had a corporate identity without looking the same. You could tell a Ford Transit back then from a mile away. The Scorpio looked modern and clean and not like a punched blob fish (compare the Scorpio in case you need something to scare your kids). All was good until Ford Europe decided ruin things with weird cosmetics. I’m still upset about that, and because of that you’ll only find pre-facelift Mk5s here.
Sometimes I get asked why I don’t do more of everybody’s darlings. My usual answer is: Because the other cars want T-Shirts too. It is actually a reason why I started the Volvo series in the beginning, because I wanted a certain style of T-Shirts with wagons on it, but couldn’t find anything I liked. So yes, I feel dedicated to the cars in the second row. The ones that, if they are lucky, become cult, decades later. The ones that are loved only by a few enthusiasts. But there is something else: These cars thought me more about automobile history than any Ferrari or Porsche. I learned about brilliant engineering and great stories from cars I barely knew before. And there are of course the fans. People pointing out details to me, changes in model years or rare colors. Stories about their own cars with links to forum posts that are more capturing than a season of ‘Breaking Bad’.
I mentioned the Holden Monaro earlier. Now I finalized the stack here is what I learned about a car I took as a rebadged Pontiac GTO with ill fitting hood scoops: That a big car company put a concept car into production because people loved it. That this car was so hot that other GM brands wanted it with non or just little changes. And I learned about Peter Brock – A racing legend who drove the red Monaro into 1st position at the Bathurst 24 hour race.
So this is a big thank you to all the people filling the internet with facts, photos, and stories of cars I learned to love and to draw in the recent years.