By on March 2, 2017

Alpine A110

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.

alpine_877879_global_en

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?

[Images: Renault]

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107 Comments on “QOTD: What’s the One that Got Away?...”


  • avatar
    omer333

    A Falcon XB coupe. The wasteland calls to me…

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      Good luck with that. You’d have problems finding a good one for less than $100k USD.

      Prices for XA – XC coupes have flown the coup so to speak.

      I remember driving around in a black XB Coupe, 351 Cleveland, 3 spd auto on 5 slot rims and feeling that this is one special car… it was a mate’s older brother’s car.

      The sedans are still not too expensive.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    The Citroen C6.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Geographically, VW Caddy.

    Temporally, first gen Trooper.

  • avatar
    ArialATOMV8

    For me, It would have to be a bare bones Land Cruiser. currently, the only one offered here are loaded Kim Kardashian Mallcrawlers [Australia 200 series Sahara equivalent] and according to the reaserch I did in December 2016, it is $84,325 (Toyota US website) . Australia gets 17 different trims and 3 different main bodystyles [Prado, 70 and 200] with a price range of $41.766.58 to $85,997.90 converted to US dollars. (Toyota.AU) (Caradvice.AU).

    Only offering a loaded Land Cruiser is using the Land Cruiser name in vain. The LC is a bare bones offroader that is known to conquer almost every terrain.

    The feeling of knowing you have a durable, rugged 4X4 really adds to the charisma the car brings driving one. We had a 100 series that lasted 300K miles in a rust belt state. We abused the car and, it still kept chugging. Would still be around today not for the 3K worth of repairs it required to keep it roadworthy after 14 years of heavy usage.

  • avatar
    matador

    Ford Fusion Wagon

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Brand new GM B-body. Can’t get them anywhere brand new since 1996.

    Specifically I’d take a 1990 Chevrolet Caprice Classic sedan, TBI 305 V8, just need AC, uplevel stereo, and power seat (the manual seat was practically bolted to the floor). Other options are superfluous.

    That’s my idea of a GREAT car that can’t be had anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      You can still find nice examples for sale. Pop in a newer aftermarket double-din stereo and gobble down the miles in comfort. However, I would prefer the Roadmaster estate. Heck, some of those even had a factory heated seat package. Shame Cadillac never made a b-body wagon, that’d be sweet (and hearses don’t count).
      I’ve been surfing for one a while now, I’m hoping tax refund season will coax a few more people to part with them…

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    The Galant VR4 with the 3000GT VR4 drivetrain. Good looking, good performance.

    Next QOTD should be “Is The Sedan The New Coupe?”!!!!

  • avatar
    ajla

    Chinese Buick Park Avenue. All it needs is a 6.0L V8. Apparently GM thought about bringing it over and the dealers said no. Not sure how true that is though.

    chinaautoweb.com/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/buick-park-avenue.jpg

    The Caprice being Police-only also drives me crazy.

  • avatar
    John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

    Honda S660
    Honda N/
    Honda Acty
    Just about any Daihatsu
    Toyota Tank
    Toyota Mark X
    Suzuki Jimny
    Nissan Patrol truck
    Toyota Land Cruiser truck
    Datsun RediGo
    All-new Taurus and Escort (China).
    6 cylinder Falcon with manual.

    Oh man, I could go on for days, especially cars no longer in production. I limited my list to currently produced models.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I like a whole lot of that list John.

      My overall theme of desirable vehicles slants utilitarian, Japanese and 4wd. Add in some compact trucks to that list (Hilux, NP300 Nissan, Isuzu D-max) and I’m a happy camper.

      My parents would love a Terios to scramble around their hobby farm in place of their current Fit (which does an admirable job to be honest). And I wish there were a truly cheap minimalist bare bones compact pickup built on a paid-for-tooling platform (rwd, 4cyl, manual) that they could sell for the price of a basic Versa ($10k new). Safety regs say it’s probably impossible here.

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        Thanks man.

        Yeah, there really is no such thing as a cheap pickup anymore. I’ve mentioned it before, but I wish Ford, Nissan, FCA etc would make coupe utilities out of their small vans.

        There are many Japanese SUVs we don’t get that I’d love to have. I miss my old Trooper, even though I had issues with it. It was still a fun little truck.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          We got to ride in the bed of a diesel-powered Kia K2700 4wd cab over engine truck up through the jungle in Costa Rica, I was quite smitten by it. Perfect size, incredibly capable (and it looks cool).

          https://goo.gl/images/rrbZgx

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Cabover obviously offers the best utility; maximizing capacity over the length of the vehicle rather than losing so much to a non-loaded hood up to four feet long in some cases. With a cabover design, the bed of a modern crew-cab pickup would extend from the existing 66″± to 100″ or more and still reduce overall length. Imagine being able to carry entire sheets of wallboard flat on the floor of the bed with the tailgate up! They could actually carry the volume that makes up their advertised load capacity and the need to tow those ridiculous little utility trailers would be eliminated.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Utility: yes.
            NVH and crash tests: try not to think about it.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are a LOT of modern cabover trucks on US streets and highways of the US right now and honestly the driver doesn’t sit any higher than the typical full-sized pickup cab in many of them. One of those trucks visits my house every two weeks and carries an Isuzu badge on the nose.

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            Oh man I love COE trucks. I’ve wanted a Kia truck for a long time because they’re LHD.

            I would love a crew cab truck Toyota HiAce.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Count me in for the Honda S660. There is one at a car museum up in Nashville and it just looks like a fun little ride.

      Next up, VW Polo GTi.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    I thought of more.

    Skoda Yeti
    Citroen XM
    Citroen Berlingo
    Citroen Cactus

  • avatar
    stckshft

    ’79 Olds Delta 88 2 door special order Fashion Gray paint/ red Brougham interior Rocket 350/400 trans. :(
    ’87 Chevy Scottsdale 4×4 shortbed with rare Sport Pack gauges. Neighbor owned it, worked at Fairfax assembly plant.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It was a well-kept ’65 Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint that only needed minor work, and it was actually just a year or so ago. Someone near me was selling it, and didn’t know what he had, so I very nearly snapped it up at an even $20,000. But I ended up having to spend money elsewhere and it didn’t happen. Someone else got the deal of the century, though.

    There was also a really cool ’84 Buick Riviera convertible (identical to the one Ryan Gosling’s character drives in “La La Land”). I wanted to buy, but someone else bought it before I did. Not that I couldn’t find another, though.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      Kyree, I’m dying to know what vehicle you did buy. Sorry I have missed it before.

      I wish we could send PMs to other users on here.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        It’s a CPO 2014 Lincoln MKS, Tuxedo Black exterior and Light Dune interior. It’s got the 3.7 and FWD, but is otherwise loaded to the gills. The only features it doesn’t have are the advanced driving aids, like lane-keep, adaptive cruise, automatic braking and parking assist. Here’s the window sticker.

        http://www.windowsticker.forddirect.com/windowsticker.pdf?vin=1LNHL9DKXEG612095

        You should find me on Facebook.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Interesting choice.

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          That’s awesome, how do you like it so far?

          I don’t Facebook. Commenting here at TTAC is about as far as I get with “social media”.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Drives like a boat. It really is the last of an era of floaty American FWD land barges (the XTS and Continental are much more driver-focused, having driven both).

            I love it.

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            That’s great man. I like the Taurus my parents have, I just detailed it recently and took some good pics.

            You should write a review of it, and I should write an “In Defense Of..” article for the 6th gen Taurus.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            That’s not a bad idea. As you know, the MKS is a car I made fun of in previous months. Sort of like the kid who makes fun of the LGBT students in middle and high school, but turns out to be the biggest homo you know in adulthood.

            Consider me an ardent MKS fan, especially given the transaction prices.

            Oh yeah, also I had to put up with all kinds of shenanigans from the dealership. They advertised the car as a Lincoln CPO, without having certified it. I didn’t think to ask as I was signing the papers because why should i have to? But when I realized I didn’t get any papers, I brought it up to them. At first, I got nowhere. But once I mentioned that I’d taken a screencast (and sent them the link), they told me they’d CPO it. I made them put it in writing.

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            Ha

        • 0 avatar
          Chocolatedeath

          Bros dont let Bros drive without ECOBoost.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I thought I’d enjoy the complexity-free glory of a naturally aspirated engine this time. My last three cars (2014 Jetta SportWagen TDI, 2011 X5 xDrive35i, 2015 Golf SportWagen TDI) have been turbo’d.

          • 0 avatar
            Chocolatedeath

            Kyree have you had any issues with the past Turbos’. Also will you ever go Diesel again?

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I did not have any issues with turbos; however, my cars were relatively low-mileage. The Golf SportWagen has 46K miles, which is hardly turbo-failure territory. I might go back to diesel, but it probably won’t be in a compact car. I got a Golf Alltrack as a loaner recently (I think they did it on purpose so I’d buy it), and VW’s new 1.8T, for example, is good enough that the diesel is largely unnecessary.

        • 0 avatar
          zamoti

          MKS are a freaking bargain right now, even the higher-trim AWD Ecoboost models. However, since the MKS made the CR naughty list while the Taurus did not, I’m betting it’s got a lot to do with the janky Ford transfer case that uses way too little gear oil and fries itself if you don’t change the stuff (there is no requirement and it’s not listed on the maintenance schedule so there are a lot of now FWD MKS/SHOs out there) Also, it seems that the intercooler likes to cause problems by retaining condensation moisture and then occasionally feeding it downstream and causes many odd symptoms–there was even a fellow who submitted it as a piston slap here.
          I’m looking really hard at a 13 MKS Ecoboost with 25k miles for $25k; it’s loaded with everything. You really can’t beat the value if you know the soft spots to keep up on regarding repairs.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Wait…so the MKS has this transfer case, but the Taurus (SHO) does not?

            I do remember about the condensation issue. It seemed to happen most often with EcoBoost versions of the previous F-150.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve always liked the 80’s Riviera convertibles. And it seems Ryan Gosling has made a habit of playing characters that like old GM iron. He made the ’73 Chevy Malibu kind of cool in “Drive”.

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    The Pontiac G8 when they were being firesaled. Alas, I just couldn’t afford a new car at the time.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Well, they’re fire-selling the SS right now, in some areas. Might want to snap one up. Despite (or maybe because of) its understated looks, I find the SS more dignified than the Charger SRT and (discontinued) 300 SRT. Maybe it’s also because I really don’t like or trust FCA at all.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    Current: Mazda 6 wagon, diesel, 6 speed manual, red with tan interior.

    Historic: 1966 Chevy Biscayne 2 door sedan with a 427/4-speed, white with tan interior.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    The 5-door hatchback of my sadly departed BMW 128.

    The two door with trunk approach turned out to be even worse than I feared.

    Great fun car for me in every other regard.

  • avatar

    I always wish Alfa would have brought the Brera or 159 to the US.

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    So many.

    All those crazy kit cars like TVRs.

    5 door 1-series

    Those amazing Aussie V8s – Ford Falcon and ilk

    The Toyota Altezza- a much cheaper, better version of the IS

    Early Skylines and Silvias.

    And that is just off the top of my head.

    • 0 avatar
      nvinen

      Posting a pic of my Falcon XR8 just to make you jealous :D

      https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNfU3vEdB1ZQQSpu9zyloniNMyTV7cL__GLxi_mnWZRKPf_vFAPx3L_v35A2442Dg/photo/AF1QipOB4R2dkhl5-DLWKvZ2c-y_k0WWnhbXWgRCx8jC?key=RkRkclhoTnhadXBzb2k2eENYMWFvc2FoSGVGMHVB

      429kW at the rear wheels, KPM 3.5″ exhaust with quad tailpipes, Tein coilovers and Whiteline sway bars/bushes.

      Here’s the engine:

      https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMbEmZwlAEBMIJbtUNBtA_UCxUmaqrx2ghRG6N8jQWRbizD2uXKnL4MdTwx4rmSdg/photo/AF1QipNjwCFQbLvAhGrJdXAKCHhbyigQL48WO-Hjdo4l?key=QUV2ZmxkeTg3cXY1anN5TXgyR0U0NmVRLUw4NVVR

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’d also be quite interested in a Strada. Give it the engines from the Cherokee and sell it as the Rampage.

    Pickuptrucks2017.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/strada-cd-uruguay-3.jpg

    They apparently already offer it under the RAM brand in Mexico.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Strada: Sold as Ram 700 in Mexico.
      Toro: Sold as Ram 1200 in Mexico.

      Yes, two completely different sizes and I think both would do well here in the States.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      A FWD-based light duty pickup makes a lot of sense in my head right now. The benefit of a pickup, with winter traction superior to that of the typical RWD-based small trucks that we know and love. And most likely superior MPG as well.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        There is a Subaru Baja in your future. Shop local!

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Heck no. The Baja with its Subaru underpinnings and typical maladies that result are the exact opposite of what I’m looking for: cheap and cheerful, easy to wrench on. Not to mention incredibly overpriced on the used market due to their rarity. That clean Nissan Hardbody must have gotten snatched up quick, I had called within 2 hours of posting and tried multiple times since then, never got a response and the ad is now removed by poster.

          I did line up a buyer for the ES so that’s good progress. I REALLY wanted that D21 Nissan though… a generic Ranger will have to suffice I suppose.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Don’t forget about the Mazda rebadge. The bed is 2-3 inches narrower on the later ones for some goofball reason, but otherwise they’re the same truck.

            This one has potential, depending on why the airdam is trashed:
            https://indianapolis.craigslist.org/cto/5955744532.html

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            yeah I’ve been doing generic searches for anything that’s listed as a pickup/truck with a manual transmission, with an upper cap of $2600. Looking at a clean sounding one owner ’97 Ranger XLT with 125k miles on Sunday listed for $2200.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I could offer you a ’97 XLT with 5-speed, only 24,000 miles on it. I’m the second owner. But you wouldn’t like my price.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      The Mahindra Genio

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Chevy SSR. Over-engineered; over-priced; intended for the Camaro crowd when conceived but ended up priced for the Corvette crowd and thus out of range of its intended market. I would have happily purchased a hard-top version with a V6 under the hood compared to the grossly-overpowered, over-complicated beast it became.

    Before that… LONG before that… A black ’59 Impala at the time less than 10 years old and me having just received my driver’s license. Ended up with something that needed an engine block replacement one week after it was purchased for me by my father–using MY money to do it (I worked for that money, too!) The argument? “Oh, that’s too big for you!” Like what I had was all that much smaller.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    Mk1 VW Scirocco. All of the ones remaining in the U.S. are used up or badly molested.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    Nissan IDx – I hope a beancounter somewhere choked on his freerange coffe.

  • avatar
    OzCop

    ’57 Oldsmobile 88 coupe, 2 door with post, J 2 engine option, sporting three 2bbl carbs atop the intake manifold, with stick shift, two tone red and gray…I was too young in those days, but my cousin bought one and as a 14 year old I thought that was the coolest car ever, even cooler than a ’57 Ford or Chevy, which were pretty cool and desirable cars in those days. The J 2 option was a one year only thing, and limited in production. Of course, GM bodies took on a much fatter body style in ’58, and to me, they were not nearly as attractive, and the J 2 option was transferred to the Pontiac Bonneville under a different nomenclature. ’58 Impala’s also had the 3 2bbl carb availability on the 348 engine.

    Another car stirring lust to came 10 years later in the 67 Dodge Coronet R/T with Hemi power. I simply could not afford the price of entry, although in those days, the car could be had for less than 4K dollars. I had a doctor friend who bought one, and I drove it several times, at least once per month to “blow it out.” He drove it mostly in city traffic and it would develop a rough idle after a couple of weeks. He loved the car, but was not much for using it the way it was intended, so he allowed me to “tune it up.”

    The one that did not get away was the ’70 AAR ‘cuda. Purchased new at the end of the 1970 after I had passed the car dealership many times and drooled at the yellow with black hood hot-rod sitting there collecting dust, and finally stopped to see if I could make a deal…I made the deal for under 4K dollars and absolutely loved the car…but family was calling and I needed a house, so after 9 months of ownership, I sold it for seed money to build a new house, and of course, the car was history. I was able to get out of it exactly what I paid for it, so I pretty much enjoyed it for zero cost for 9 months of use. The downside is, all three of those mentioned above are highly sought after cars, and some have brought as much as 1 million or more at major auctions…Hindsight is blinding…

  • avatar
    e30gator

    My cravings go the other way.

    Occasionally, we travel to South America to visit my wife’s family. Taxis are cheap and everywhere. There are many examples of stripper-tastic sedans and wagons from Japan/USA/S.Korea/Germany that seem to take much abuse and just keep putting along. Simple and basic and most have manuals, industrial-grade vinyl seats, and crank windows.

    Manufacturers just don’t offer cars equipped that way here anymore. Example: you could probably still find a new leftover ’16 B13 Nissan Sentra or a workhorse-grade Volkswagen Golf minus the gizmos that’s 83% less likely to break down than one sold stateside.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    An Alvis TF 21 drophead coupe. An updated,more powerful model of the car driven by Stephen Fry in his TV series Kingdom.

    Rare, beautiful and totally impractical.

    Other than that, I would not mind a Pontiac G8.

    But would love to reclaim two cars that I previously had, the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible and/or the 1976 Lincoln Mark IV Pucci edition.

    • 0 avatar
      55_wrench

      @ Arthur,
      your taste is impeccable ..that Alvis looks like a cross between an W108 Benz and a Facel-Vega. Nice car indeed, nicest looking UK dash I’ve seen in quite awhile.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        55: Facel-Vega!!! Now one of those would be a very sweet ride. Particularly an Excellence with the Chrysler Hemi engine. Thanks for mentioning it.

  • avatar
    Frank Galvin

    My local Cars N’ Coffee is put on by a guy who’s warehouse is chock full of Ferrari, Maserati, and Lambos. So, there is always something nice to see and his buddies with their exotics come too. Porsche, Rolls, Bentley, Aston of all ages. Every type of American muscle and classics. I thought I had seen it all, until one day, I came across “IT” tucked away in a corner, away from all the flash.

    1975 Alfa Romeo Montreal. Red. Daily driver. Not perfect, but to me was rolling perfection. Dark Tan interior. It had to be the most gorgeous car I’ve seen in person. I stopped, stared, and must have walked around it 5 times. Completely gobsmacked.

  • avatar
    55_wrench

    It’s 1975. What can you do when you’re 19, parents are divorcing, no money and your dad’s friend is fire-saling all of his car stuff so he can move to Colorado?

    And here’s this ’63 Avanti in his driveway, supercharged, bone stock with no mods for 1800 bucks.

    It might have just as well been 18 grand. It still hurts to this day.

    But he did have a ’65 Monza coupe for 35 bucks with a nice interior and no engine, and I had an engine at home, so my second car was born.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    The BMW 2002. I had an opportunity to buy one in good shape for $2500 in 1993, but I couldn’t get the cash together. It was the summer before my sophomore year in College. I needed the money for other things.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Of the (many) cars I’ve owned in my lifetime, my 1974 2002 is the only one I wish I had never sold. That was my “heart” car. The love for that car sprang from the love and admiration I had for a gentle soul of a man that was not only our landlord in Germany, but became a father-figure to a young, quiet and shy 6-year old who’s father was on an unaccompanied tour to Korea. I actually sold off a 1991 Sentra SE-R (that was only two years old when I sold it) to get the funds to buy the 2002. I miss that little box on wheels yet today, truly the one that got away (as opposed to the “one I can’t have over here.”).

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    I can think of two:

    Chrysler 300C Touring (wagon) with the 3.0L V6 diesel please. I think I could live without a pickup if I had one of these. It would stretch the car’s towing capabilities to pull one of my big old Chryslers behind it, but I don’t do that very often and usually not very far. (A UK website says max towing is 2000kg / 4400lb with the diesel.)

    Someone local to me has imported a Mercedes Vito (V220) minivan with 2.2L CDI turbo-diesel and 6-speed manual transmission from Europe. I’ve never managed to talk to the owner to find out what it’s like to drive, but such a beast had been offered in North America, I’d find minivan ownership much more appealing.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    1976 Olds Cutlass Supreme Brougham.

    I didn’t have enough money, even though it was only $2700…

  • avatar
    jack4x

    1962 Plymouth Fury. 2 door, slant 6 and I believe it was 3 on the tree. It had been bought new by some distant relative and barely driven for 30 some years. After she died, the car was kicked around between family members and eventually settled on my grandpa for a few months. I was 16-17 years old and he’d have probably given me the car for free if I asked. It was in great shape and needed nothing, the very definition of an “old lady car”. By the time I thought to ask him what he planned to do with it, he had sold it for a pittance just to be rid of it. Too bad.

    • 0 avatar

      I had a 67 Fury two door as a poor college kid. The 6 mpg was rough. The six foot rear seat and front bench less so. It was an estate car and the past owner clearly circled the whole option sheet. It didn’t have the 440, but it did have a 383 “Super Commando V-8”. In the malaise era, I could not be beat from a stoplight if I didn’t smoke the tires. What a tank….classic road hugging weight, lots of power, just don’t try to stop or turn. Wish I had it now as a garage queen/parade float.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    BTW, I think the title of this piece is misleading a lot of people as to what is being asked. They’re not looking for cars you kick yourself for not buying when you found one, but models which you wish you could buy but were never offered in your home country. Something like “Forbidden fruit” would be a better tagline for this QOTD.

    My “one that got away” story would be a mint and fully-loaded 1966 Chrysler New Yorker 4-door hardtop that I spied for sale when I was on vacation in BC in 2004 or ’05. The owner was selling it to finance the restoration of another car.

  • avatar
    CobraJet

    I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I wish I could still buy a brand new Chevy Astro LT or GMC Safari SLT with leather and captains chairs in the middle row. We have owned 3 of them. My wife will hardly drive anything else. Our 02 Safari is still going strong, but has high mileage. Nothing else has the room for 7 passengers to ride in comfort, even in the 3rd row. Our kids are grown, but we still load up from time to time with grandkids and other family members for trips. We have other vehicles but continue to hang on to the Safari.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Any of a series of JDM sedans that Japanese makes produced in their early-’90s heyday, with the common threads being RWD, hardtop body styles, and small six-cylinder engines (sometimes turbocharged). I love the style of Japanese cars of that era and the little sixes are more interesting than the engines they sent over here.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Grew up in the 80’s as you’ll see:

    BMW 850i – 12 cyl. with manual transmission
    Saab 9000 – Saab was so weird and awesome
    Volvo 850 R Wagon – The sound, those wafer thin tires, the sound…
    Mitsubishi Starion – Japanese Mustang made when Mitsubishi made a great looking car
    Porsche 968 – 911’s were everywhere but these weren’t.
    Ferrari Testarossa – these are now appreciating again. Because strakes.

    and more recent ones:

    Chevy SS – very conflicted – it looks dowdy and drives really well. Awful mileage.
    Panamera with a NA V8 – last produced in 2012 or 2013. I’m thinking about this one.
    Cayman with a NA 6 cyl. – mmm, the sound.

  • avatar
    lon888

    This is easy
    Alpine 110 1500cc
    Alpine 310 (early model with 3-lug wheels)
    Citroen XM Executive
    Citroen CX Pallas
    Citroen DS23 Pallas
    Citroen SM
    Alfa Romeo Montreal
    Lancia Delta Integrale
    lancia Fanalone
    Nissan 240ZG
    92 Nissan Skyline
    Honda Beat
    Honda City Bulldog GG
    Ford Falcon Ute
    Renault Megane Sport

    Damn, if I could only hit the lottery..

  • avatar

    Porsche 959. Even Bill Gates had issues with getting one in.

    Guilty Pleasure: The super high power Holden or Ford Utes from Australia. What could be better than a 400 hp v-8 in a light truck with zero weight over the rear wheels ?

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Toyota MR2

  • avatar
    ...m...

    …a mazda 6 wagon would tempt me mightilty…

  • avatar

    My one that got away was a 1968 Olds Cutlass S two-door hardtop. My dad bought it new and I got it when I turned 16 as a hand me down car. It was silver with a black vinyl roof, bucket seats and console. 350 Rocket engine connected to the two-speed Jetaway transmission. It was rusty and tired when I had it, and had never been special like a 442 or W-30. But there was nothing I loved better than bombing around in it.

    The summer after my senior year of high school I came home from work and it was gone. All that was left was an oil spot in the driveway and the $450 my parents sold it for.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    The 1979 Dodge Magnum XE and GT. Almost $9,000 brand new (through my memory goggles!) and way beyond what I could afford on $10,000 annual income.
    I also liked the 1978 Magnum but preferred the tail lamps on the last year. In July of 1978 I bought my first car, a 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme coupe, for $725. That started the Oldsmobile craze I enjoy to this day!

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Jeff, rather than that Magnum why not just get the Cordoba?

      • 0 avatar
        55_wrench

        I had the -79 Cordoba and still wanted the Magnum. The Magnum had hidden headlights and a Darth-Vader look to it that the Cordoba lacked.

        Best-handling full size Malaise iron I ever drove.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          I’ve seen one Magnum in life. I was standing in the office area of my mechanic, and a black one rolled up to the light outside. One of the mechanics was standing there with the office guy, and said, “Well look at that.”

          The office guy said “What IS that thing?”

          And I said real quick “DODGE MAGNUM!”

          I like winning at Obscure Car Rando Trivia.

      • 0 avatar
        JEFFSHADOW

        Cordoba, yes. Same platform as the Magnum, and a bit more luxurious. Drove several from Southwest Leasing, where I worked from 1978 to 1979.
        Double stacked headlamps looked great on these cars in 1978 and 1979.

  • avatar
    never_follow

    BMW M Coupe. The original. In Lagunaseca blue. With the Euro engine.

    I fell in love as a teenager, and trolled ebay looking at dirt cheap models that were still WAAAAAY beyond what I could afford.

    Unfortunately, it seems like everyone else has figured out how awesome it is, as prices have gone skyward and beyond what I could budget for a fun car.

    One day…

  • avatar
    raph

    >>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.<<

    Cash in or needs the volume. The Mustang's biggest weakness is that it is Ford's singular RWD coupe and needs all the volume it can get stateside only sales just don't cut the mustard.

    Anyways speaking of it would be nice if Ford could somehow get back into the RWD sedan business. Might not work out well for the US but maybe a 4dr Mustang derived sedan and wagon to take on the Giulia and BMW 3 series could work abroad? Especially a sedan using GT350 mechanicals.

    In a sense I miss the Fox platform it spawned some cool cars made even better by Mustang running on it so long and ending up with a slew of parts over that lifespan that could be mixed and matched to make crazy stuff like a wagon with Mustang running gear or the LTDs with Mustang suspension or what have you.

    Also 288 GTO! Man I've lusted after that car since it was first introduced. Fortunately I was able to visit the Ferrari Museum in Maranello and got to see a 288 GTO up close along with the F40.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    08 Subaru Legacy Wagon EU turbo diesel (only made with a 5mt). 258 lb-ft and 34/49 mpg. Gen 4 wagon looks with a hood scoop. Make mine a slightly reddish brown, just to keep the Intertubes happy.


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