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.
If you know Volvos you probably also remember that there was a time when it wasn’t easy to describe them as cool, good looking, elegant, or sporty. That was around the same time when they decided they want something cool, good looking, elegant and sporty. In 1985 this was the 480. A three door, wagon style, sporty looking liftback that looked like a P1800ES at Wikipedia had an intense affair with a 3rd gen. Honda Civic hatchback at Wikipedia. Looking at what the Japanese with these types of cars Volvo never gave the 480 it’s full potential. Especially the Renault F-engine didn’t really match the exterior. But nevertheless it’s still a great looking car that draws a perfect line from the P1800 to the C30 and the present V40. Some enthusiast even found ways to give their 480s the power they deserve.
I really like the fact that Holden build a true muscle car without adding any retro to it. I also like that they did not add any overly edgy and aggressive tone. I just love how this is just a good looking coupe. We can debate about the hood scoops, but this is a timeless design and for sure a future classic. So here is the first render of the Holden Monaro series. I hope you like it.
Thank you to Melanie helping me finding the right approach into the Australian car culture. Please read (and follow) her blog with great black and white photos.