Rare Rides: The 1994 Alfa Romeo 164, Saab-adjacent Sedan

Rare Rides has featured many an Alfa Romeo previously, spanning several decades from the Fifties to present day. Among all the featured cars from the illustrious marque, only one was a sedan.

That figure grows to two today with the lovely, stylish, and luxurious 164.

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Rare Rides: The 2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Hyperion by Pininfarina, Only One Made

We’ve featured exactly two Rolls-Royce creations previously at Rare Rides. The first was the completely bespoke mega-buck Sweptail in 2017, and more recently the Silver Spectre, a shooting brake based upon the Wraith coupe.

Today’s Rare Ride falls somewhere between those two on the cost spectrum. It’s a one-off creation from famed design house Pininfarina.

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Rare Rides: The 2009 Ferrari 599 GTZ Nibbio Spyder, by Zagato

Today marks the second time we’ll feature a Ferrari 599 on Rare Rides. While our first example was a standard GTB with a very questionable color palette, today’s 599 was transformed by Italian coachbuilder Zagato into a very different-looking car.

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Rare Rides: A 2008 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, With the Worst Interior Colors Ever

Today’s Rare Ride is a big, front-engine V12 Ferrari in the company’s fine grand tourer tradition. While its exterior color is nothing to write home about, its interior is absolutely a one-off.

Once you get a look at it you’ll see why.

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Rare Rides: A 1994 Fiat Coupe, as Legal Immigrant

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an imported two-door Fiat on these pages which required some paperwork to get into the country. But it is the first time it’s all been done above board.

Let’s check out this 25-year-old Italian.

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Rare Rides: The 1952 Siata Daina - a Mysterious Coupe

Today’s Rare Ride is one of those cars where your author had heard of neither marque nor model before encountering a sale listing. A luxurious early Fifties coupe of Italian origin and simple, elegant coachwork, this Daina is one of six remaining worldwide.

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Junkyard Find: 2005 Suzuki Reno SWT

Would you consider a special-edition version of the Daewoo Nubira’s successor to be worthy of inclusion in this series, even as I walk by 99 out of 100 junked BMW E30s? Hey, if I’m willing to photograph every Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally and Geo Storm GSi that I find in the junkyard, then of course a genuine, numbers-matching Suzuki Reno SWT makes the cut!

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Rare Rides: A 1994 Bentley Azure, As Built by Pininfarina

One of the most exclusive convertibles in the world when it was new, the Bentley Azure was a Rare Ride even in the Nineties. But today’s example is a special pre-production model. It was sent off to Pininfarina as a new Continental R, while the Azure was only a dream in Bentley’s head.

Let’s take a closer look at this incredibly rare cabriolet.

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Rare Rides: A Ferrari 365 GTC/4 Spider From 1972

The original and well-known Ferrari 365 was a V12 grand tourer in production from 1966 to 1971. Its primary successor — the 365 GTB/4 (Daytona) also made a name for itself in short order.

Sitting in relative obscurity, however, was the Daytona’s ignored cousin, the 365 GTC/4.

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Rare Rides: A Vintage Zagato-bodied Ferrari 330 From 1967
Italian design house Zagato was featured here recently, when Rare Rides took a look at a reworked Ferrari 348 from 1990. Opinions were mixed, but most found the effort dated and overworked. Today we have a look at another polarizing Zagato Ferrari, this time from the sixties. It’s a 330 GTC from 1967, and it’s quite a looker.
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Junkyard Find: 1979 Fiat 124 Sport Spider
Back in the early 1980s, when I began my junkyard-crawling career in the East Bay, I would find examples of the Fiat 124 Sport Spider on a depressingly regular basis. I still find them today, in about the same quantities; the only difference is that now they’re 40 years old instead of six years old.Here’s the latest: a black ’79 without a speck of corrosion, spotted in my old East Oakland junkyard stomping grounds (though at a yard that didn’t exist in 1982).
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Rare Rides: The 1984 Honda City, a Microscopic Cabriolet From Japan

Our last Rare Ride was a little first-generation Honda Civic from 1977. Since everyone seemed to like that little red box, today we bring you a little blue box from Honda. It’s a bit newer, and also a bit worse.

It’s the Honda City, and other applicable adjectives include Cabriolet and Pininfarina.

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Ssangyong's Next Rexton SUV Will Be Designed by Pininfarina - Hey, Remember the Ssangyong Rodius?

On one end of the spectrum, there’s the Ssangyong Rodius, which actually isn’t as catastrophically designed in its second-generation form as it was from 2004 to 2013.

On the other, there’s the Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Pininfarina.

Somewhere in between will be the next edition of Ssangyong’s large Rexton SUV, due in the early part of the next decade and styled by one of the world’s foremost design houses.

Bentley Bentayga, BMW X4, Lexus LX570? Get in line. The Ssangyong Rexton has secured Pininfarina’s services already.

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The French Injection: Ex-Peugeot-Citron Designer Tapped as Pininfarina Design Chief

Pininfarina SpA will be see Carlo Bonzanigo succeeding Fabio Filippini as the Italian styling firm’s reigning design director on January 9th.

Filippini’s decision to leave Pininfarina for “personal reasons” comes during a difficult time for the shop. While his responsibility for heading new projects is essentially over, he has promised to remain on board as a personal advisor to company CEO Silvio Angori, and will continue to provide oversight for old projects leading up to a concept car unveiling at March’s Geneva Auto Show.

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Wedge Wonders - the Influence of the Angular Era in Automotive Design

Though it may seem hard to believe, we’re only a month away from celebrating the 50th anniversary of the start of the Wedge Era in automotive designs.

To those of us who still think of the Countach as a sharp enough design to be considered cutting edge, this is a sad reality. Yet the prototype of what would become the 1980s poster child was first shown in a hard-to-conceptualize 1971.

The influence of the angle extended far beyond the Countach in the 1980s. It also started before the scissored doors opened on the stand in Geneva in 1971 and was seen in many more marques than just those wearing the Raging Bull. Even more impressive than its age is the reach of these designs, some of which are still being refined today. So, let’s take a look at some of the interesting and influential doorstop shapes and where they later found a home.

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  • 3SpeedAutomatic "...to make room for reality TV reruns..."What an insult!! Shows how far broadcast TV will stoop for a few extra bucks.I much appreciate Jay for keeping the "motor head" world alive in a Zoom society. However, maybe it's time for him to retire or semi-retire. There's enough material for him to do YouTube with most auto related companies willing to underwrite....but the number of shows would be at his own pace.I wish him well!!
  • Gregtwelve I had an '88 Turbo Coupe with 5 spd bought used and really liked it. I loved the looks, it had decent power for the time and a nice interior. Unfortunately the head gasket went at around 60K miles. I repaired it myself and sold it.
  • Mattwc1 I bought a Maverick specifically because I wanted utility and great fuel economy. My wife has a RAV4 hybrid that we really like. I think Toyota would print money with a smaller RAV4 based truck.
  • Varezhka Dunno. Looking at Maverick and Santa Cruz, having the engine in the front of the driver and a crew cab layout will mean the rear bed will be about the same size as kei trucks. And it will still be more than 16ft long. I'd rather get a Tacoma and/or a Hilux at that point.If we actually want a small truck with usable bed, it will have to be cab over layout with standard cab like Toyota TownAce Truck. We already know how popular that would be, even without getting into federal safety requirements.
  • SCE to AUX "Its militaristic, drab fortress presence, is some sort of reflection of the times."Very insightful comment in your excellent summary. The Cybertruck vs Hummer EV comparison tests will be enjoyable, sure to enflame their fans.