Fulvia Choices – Down To Two, Red vs Blue

There’s a lot of text and a LOT of photos here. It’s basically me trying to figure out my own thoughts on these two Australian Fulvias. Feel free to climb inside my mind. I’ve been looking at Fulvias for a few months and I’m coming to a point where a decision is warranted – which one do I pursue? The situation has changed a little since I last wrote about Fulvias. Another car has come on to the market here in Australia. We’ll it’s returned to the market. This car was sold on Ebay a few weeks ago but the […]

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Saab Accessories 1979

Before I really even knew what a Saab was, it was the off-beat nature of everything Saab-related that drew me in. This accessories catalogue from 1979 is a perfect example. Everyone of its 8 pages has something different, something destined to be retro-cool from that day it was made – even the ‘fashion’ page. I got this brochure on my recent trip from Sydney to Hobart, when I picked up our 9000 Aero. My thanks to my mate Bill for letting me bring it home. Click. —

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Saab 9-5 is now called Senova

I don’t want to sound down about the future, but let’s just say the present ain’t looking all that great. BAIC bought technology from Saab just as the company was being sold by GM in 2009. It’s four years later and their vehicle based on the Saab 9-5 – called the Senova – has just been tested by Autocar magazine in England. You would hope that with a solid working base and 4 years to remodel that things would be reasonably good. And parts of it are. Plenty of it wasn’t, though. In short: The drivetrain shows its age. The […]

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This Alfa Junior Is Breaking My Concentration

Just when I’m making some real progress on my Fulvia search, along comes this Alfa Romeo 1300 GT Junior to distract me. It had a full restoration in the late 1990’s but is still looking remarkably good – and it’d want to given the $23,000 price tag. The 1300 engine has been replaced with a 2-litre Alfa engine for some extra oomph. There’s a number of electrical and mechanical upgrades to go with that, too. The original 1300 engine is available to come with the car. I’ve long had a Bertone coupe on my automotive bucket list but I was […]

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Opel/GM – It’s Your Money, Ralph

Anyone who lived in Victoria in the late 1980’s would remember the ad in the video below, from the State Bank of Victoria. The line “It’s your money, Ralph” became as common in regular conversation back then as “Not Happy, Jan!” became in offices around the country five years ago. —— The news broke last Friday (at 5pm, of course) that Opel would be pulling its cars out of Australia after a spectacularly short 12 months where they sold just 1500-or-so cars to actual customers. It’s hard to comprehend just how massive a stuff-up this is or how the supposedly […]

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Petrolicious: Alfa Romeo 1900 SSZ

Given that my interest in Zagato-bodied cars is rising, the timing of this Petrolicious video couldn’t be better. It features none other than Andrea Zagato, the third generation to run the family business. He talks about Zagato’s styling and construction principles, as well as taking viewers for a ride in the absolutely beautiful Alfa Romeo 1900 SSZ. Tip – Andrea only speaks Italian, so make sure you hit the little button at the bottom to make the subtitles work. Enjoy. And thank your favourite deity for Petrolicious and their exquisite videos. —

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Help Wanted: Lancia Fulvia Options

I’m currently looking for a Lancia Fulvia. As they’re relatively rare in Australia (there’s one for sale publicly right now, detailed below) I’ve widened my search to include vehicles overseas. As I type this, I’m looking at three – maybe four – basic options. Your considered thoughts would be appreciated. But first, a look at what I consider to be the ideal attainable Fulvia from the ones available for sale around the world right now. Attainable is important. There are more desirable models for sale, but at crazy prices. I don’t have that kind of money. In fact, this car […]

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Classics By The Beach – August 2013

Yesterday saw another first Sunday of the month and therefore, another gathering of Classics By The Beach at Sandy Bay, Hobart. As per usual, it was a good mix of cars with a few regulars in attendance and some wonderful new additions. The undoubted highlight of the gathering was this Ford GT40 replica. It might ‘just’ be a replica, but it had incredible presence and the sound when it fired up wasn’t half bad, either. I hope the glare off the windows doesn’t stop you getting in impression of just how close that thumping V8 is to the car’s occupants. […]

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Opel Quits Australia

The alternative title for this post is “Opel prove how hard it is to build a new brand presence”. Opel preceded its arrival here in Australia (by six months!) by sponsoring one of our prominent football clubs. By the time the season finishes at the end of September, Opel’s sponsorship of the Melbourne Football Club will have lasted twice as long as their cars did. Opel announced it will quit the Australian market today, effective immediately. As is usually the case with this sort of thing, the announcement came at 5pm on a Friday. Good form. Opel say they were […]

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Hanging with the Saab 900 Enduro

Here’s another quick nugget from my return trip with my Saab 9000 Aero. The Saab 900 Enduro is a bit like Bigfoot. Everyone’s heard of it, but 99.9% of the people – myself included – have never seen it. Last week, my visit to Saab Salvage in Sydney changed all that. I didn’t get to see an Enduro running, but I did get to set my eyes on not one, but TWO Saab 900 Enduros. Well, one-and-a-half. For the unfamiliar, the Saab 900 Enduro was a special edition put together by Saab Australia just after the Saab 900 was introduced. […]

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