Tantalizing. Alluring. Desirable. And yet, just out of reach.
We’ve all pined for a vehicle made all the more exotic and lustworthy by its complete unavailability in the country in which we live. It’s the automotive equivalent of that would-be significant other — you know, the one you once shared a fleeting moment with, knowing with bittersweet regret that if circumstances were different, this could be Bogie and Bacall.
In Europe, it was the American pony car. The Mustang, that American icon of big-bore, go-where-the-wind-takes-me freedom, remained nothing but a tease for decades. Until, of course, Ford realized it could cash in.
The Chevrolet El Camino’s death in the late 1980s prompted many truck-car hybrid aficionados’ eyes to turn to Australia, where not one but two utes beckoned from afar. Now, teary eyed Aussies are busy stocking shrimp for that bodystyle’s funeral barbie.
Maybe the object of your affection is a Europe- or Japan-only sports car or hot hatch. You’ve investigated steep import costs and searched classified ads in a vain attempt to snap up an enterprising importer’s cast-off, to no avail. Yet the heart still yearns.
For me, nothing embodies the maddening combination of desirable and unobtainable like the 2018 Alpine A110 — the mid-engined French beauty recently resurrected by Renault. Borrowing all the styling cues of its 1960s and ’70s predecessor, this model has it all.
Just try to find an unnecessary curve, line, or flourish that mars this vehicle’s gorgeous sheetmetal. No! You won’t. Or I won’t, anyway. Why? Because I’m smitten. The proportions of this all-aluminum body keep me up at night, tossing and turning, feverishly wishing I was behind the wheel while wearing a beret and gnawing on a baguette. Unfortunately, despite a tsunami of drool flowing from North American mouths, that continent remains off-limits for the A110. For now, anyway.
Perhaps Renault will reconsider. Maybe. But the model’s low anticipated production numbers create a hope that’s so dim, even a moth couldn’t land on it.
So, Best and Brightest, the time has come to pipe up and reveal your innermost desires. What car model — one that isn’t available on any dealer lot in the country — do you yearn for the most?