By on March 3, 2020

Society loves an oddball. In our increasingly polarized existence, as the push for ever narrower avenues of accepted thought by our blue checkmark overlords continues apace, the non-conforming outsider remains a valued character.

Hollywood films would be lost without this person. Sometimes, the first indicator that this individual marches to the beat of a very different drum is the vehicle they’ve chosen as their daily steed.

Chris may have run into one of these types last weekend when, during a routine trip to the store, he encountered a four-door Avanti sandwiched amongst so much rolling mediocrity. An unexpected but nonetheless unimpressive sight.

Ooof. How would Sherwood Egbert react to this?

If your lifestyle and repair budget allows it, to say nothing of your courage, you too could be an oddball. Perhaps you already know of such a character, though. A friend, relative, coworker, or neighbor who makes a statement on a daily basis via their vehicle.

What’s the ride?

[Image: Isuzu]

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44 Comments on “QOTD: Unexpected Daily Driver?...”


  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    I have *questions* about that rear door.

    • 0 avatar
      StudeDude

      You would be right in questioning the existence of the whole car.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      All of the Avanti remakes have me scratching my head, the convertible, the 4-door, all WTF moments for me

    • 0 avatar
      teddyc73

      What *questions* do you have? It’s a rear car *door*. You pull the *handle*, pull it open, get it, and then *close* it. Still *confused*?

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        But why do they exist? The whole car as wonderful as it was should have ceased to exist when Studebaker went under. All of the subsequent incarnations paled by comparison and left us with the burning question, why?

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        @teddyc73 I don’t have questions about how a *door* works. I have *questions* about the *shape* of the *door*.

        In no particular order:
        * The top edge of the door frame is an arc, but the inner edge of the door frame is either straight or convex.
        * The right edge of the frame is thicker at its thinnest point than the top edge ever is.
        * The right edge gets fatter and fatter as you descend to the belt line.
        * The arc of the inner rear edge doesn’t have anything at all to do with the arc of the actual rear edge.

        I am assuming that the answer to all of these things is something along the lines of, “This is the shape of the door glass we could get”, but still, wow.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Citroen DS. Grew up with them and always had a thing for them.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Oooh, a Youngstown (Ohio) built Avanti. This was during the late 80’s when it was owned by John Cafaro. He tried to modernize and expand the market for this car first by making a convertible and later the four-door you see here. There were only 405 of the four-doors according to Wikipedia, I’ve only ever seen one in real life and that was because we knew people who worked for Cafaro’s Avanti Motors.

    On a weirdness scale of 1-10, this is a solid 7.5. Where did Chris find this? I have to believe few of these ever left the midwest although I’ve seen CL ads for four-doors in Southern California.

    I’d like to have one just because it was built near my hometown.

  • avatar
    gtem

    A Nitro Yellow Green 1st gen Neon (DOHC, 5spd would be a must). A total death trap in the modern era and not something I’d drive my son in. But as I’m building my circle track car and have learned all about them I’ve become quite smitten with these cars.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    My 6’4″ college football star doctor drives a screaming yellow 1963 Beetle VW. He’s quite wealthy and has five kids, but only drives this little bug. It’s quite a sight. I get it, sort of

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Back in the early aughts my wife used to daily drive one of our project cars: a brown 1981 Malibu station wagon that had seen better days.

    Bought for $500, it came with a rod knock. Over the weekend, I installed a $200 305 engine I bought off of Craigslist. And off she went. I slowly did some body work (poorly!) to the rusted panels, installed a new stereo, and did some other minor repairs as needed. It was a project that I never finished due to too many going on at the same time. We only sold it because my wife got tired of the old car smell and the leak from the windshield that made the seats wet.

    That Malibu was actually reliable – after the engine swap I only had to replace the starter. The drivetrain on that thing was silly dumb: Holley carb, 305, TH350 transmission. Kickdown was done via vacuum too.

    Anyways – once she went to pick our son up at school, baby seat in the back and all. The teacher there commented that my wife should apply for welfare…

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I think women who drive beaters are cool :)

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      I’ll try to post a pic:
      https://i.imgur.com/bVEdmEV.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Haha that’s awesome and your wife is a heck of a good sport.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Lol, only a woman with a lot of self-confidence would drive that. Like I said, your wife sounds cool :)

        • 0 avatar
          dividebytube

          Heh – she likes oddball cars. Needless to say, buying something for her is always a chore since she wants colors, or something to stand out about the vehicle. Also prefers manuals or column shifters.

          She’s also not a fan of the crosover craze.

          • 0 avatar
            sco

            The number of American women willing to drive an engine-swapped, rusty, smelly beater to pick up the kids from school has got to be in the single digits.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            “The number of American women willing to drive an engine-swapped, rusty, smelly beater to pick up the kids from school has got to be in the single digits.”

            This sounds like you’re a “Coastal Elite” (no slam intended) as this is the norm for many where I came from and all across Middle America…..

            -Nate

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    My 19 Ioniq EV is an oddball, particularly since I ‘imported’ it from a CARB state (MD) to a non-CARB state (PA), where it isn’t sold. But its appearance doesn’t make it stand out as an oddball.

    I’ve never seen another one.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “Society loves an oddball.”

    Disagree. Post anything potentially favorable regarding a Cybertruck, or anything potentially unfavorable regarding an F-150, and see how “society” reacts. :-)

    Edwards: Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it.
    Kay: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119654/characters/nm0000169

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I see Suzuki Amigos as daily drivers around Los Angeles weekly .

    Many drive ‘oddball’ vehicles in the less rusty states because they can .

    One of my daily drivers is a 1959 Metropolitan Nash FHC, unrestored and battered it’s a comfy and fun to drive little car .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      Isuzu Amigo. I have a soft spot for the three door drop top utility vehicle. You still see plenty of these as well as the Suzuki Sidekick/Geo Tracker on the road particularly in the sunbelt where many are the base 4×2 version.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Not an uncommon thing but in LA unless it looked like the Amigo above. Also import mini trucks are all over and not treated like or considered anything special. Datsuns seem to live on forever too. Nothing to get excited about. Just like 4 cylinder 80’s Mustangs that somehow keep avoiding the crusher.

      Occasionally you see something like that in LA in mint condition or restored, but they’re mostly like any other cars/trucks from the era, blown interior, rusty/crusty paint, etc. They’re just cheap transportation. Vintage mini trucks commonly pull around gardening tools, in primer paint and go unnoticed, even the occasional 4wd.

    • 0 avatar
      Moparmann

      @ Nate: Is it the one pictured as your avatar? :-) (Your Metropolitan; it seems that my reply to your daily driver got out of sync)

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        Yes, Sir ;

        No excuses, it’s a battered piece of shyte but I love it nevertheless and drive the snot out of it…..

        A few modifications here and there .

        -Nate

  • avatar
    ajla

    Around 2012 I was driving my ’89 Bonneville SE to a mall and parked next to a ’90 Bonneville SSE that just arrived as well. Me and the other guy just sort of stared at each other in acknowledgement.

    Around 2015 I took my Allante to Applebee’s and parked next to a Chrysler TC by Maserati that was also there.

  • avatar
    Antediluvianbaby

    I daily a 2004 Dodge Sprinter 118 SHC (super short, super tall) but I don’t have a commute or kids.

  • avatar
    StudeDude

    A friend daily drives a 1983 Mercedes Turbo diesel sedan. Very clean car with no rust. And he just bought a 1973 VW Thing which also may be daily driven in the warmer months.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    On my drive to work, I often see a Maserati BiTurbo in use, even well into winter. On top of that, there’s a plaza nearby me where I’ve seen an 80’s Maserati Spyder (the droptop BiTurbo) in rough shape (the driver looked like she was the original owner).

  • avatar
    Funky D

    A guy at work here drives a 1972 Ford Galaxie Convertible in electric blue. Pristine looking too. Every time I see it, I hear the theme from some random 70s cop show playing in my head.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    There used to be an Isuzu Vehicross parked in my neighborhood. This article made me realize it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. Makes me kind of sad.

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    A co-worker had a Suzuki Samurai, long after they were condemned by C R.
    We joked with him about how it must roll over 3 or 4 times every time he drove it. He seldom brought it to work probably because he got tired of people telling him to turn it into a rock crawler. BTW it looked showroom and had very low miles. At that time, about fifteen years ago, those were a rare sight around SoCal.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    My odd ball vehicle is a 2008 Isuzu I-370 I-5 4×4 crew cab with heated leather seats and tow package. I realize it is a rebadged Colorado/Canyon but it gets a lot of attention with some saying they didn’t realize Isuzu made pickups.

  • avatar
    MeJ

    Wow I thought the old Matador was the ugliest car ever built. Now I have a new bottom-of-the-lister.

    On another note, here in Vancouver (where high end rides are almost boring, there are so many) the strangest car I saw was a brand new (or very close to) Porsche Cayman. The 12 year Chinese girl driving it had it wrapped in bright pink with those eyelashes on the headlights.
    I almost cried…

  • avatar
    lstanley

    My neighbor, President of his own company, takes trips around the world golfing, at Disney all this week with his son, just back from a long weekend in Puerto Rico with his daughter, he and his wife are on their way to France later this year for a tour of the Loire Valley……………. daily drives a used Honda Fit he bought of Craigslist.

    • 0 avatar
      jh26036

      My brother, really well off, own company, net worth well into 7 digits, drives a 2008 Ridgeline with nearly 250k miles…bought used off me. He wanted a new daily driver after his old Outback died. He loves it.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    If there is an outlaw EV1 still alive somewhere, I would totally rock it.

  • avatar
    Shockrave Flash Has Crashed

    I’d buy the right A body wagon.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Money no object, practicality be durned: McLaren F1. I’d go for it strictly because of the weird seating position; I’ve always been fascinated by how it would work in practice.

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