Home » Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV, Honda Integra Type R, Renault Clio Williams: Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness

Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV, Honda Integra Type R, Renault Clio Williams: Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness

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Welcome back to Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness! As you know, I love picking up dirt-cheap cars, motorcycles, and campers, then telling you lovely readers about the dumb things that I do with them. I’m always looking for the next deal, but most of the time, I’m left empty-handed. At the same time, I love building a list of cars, trucks, and motorcycles that I would buy if I had the money to buy them.

Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness turns the long lists of vehicles I’d love to buy into something for you all to enjoy. Some of them are cheap and some of them are not. Some of the vehicles I find are purely window shopping for everyone but maybe Beau.

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This week, I’ve challenged myself to find a bunch of cool vehicles for well under $50,000. Out of the other end, I generated a list of vehicles where the most expensive example is $32,900. Everything else is under $30,000.

Here’s what I’m looking at this week!

1973 NSU Prinz 4L – $13,750

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Hemmings Seller

Here’s a little classic car that will turn heads without breaking the bank. NSU Motorenwerke AG was founded in 1873 as “Mechanische Werkstätte zur Herstellung von Strickmaschinen,” a knitting machine manufacturer. NSU was trademarked in 1892 and the company’s first motorcycle was built in 1901. NSU started building cars in 1907, pausing in the late 1920s as its motorcycles proved to be popular. During World War I, NSU built trucks and motorcycles for the German army. In World War II, the company made the NSU HK101, a half-tracked motorcycle.

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After the war, NSU returned to this blown-up plant and restarted production of its pre-war motorcycles. It also kept the Kettenkrad in production but as a civilian vehicle. After its restart, NSU eventually became the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. Despite that, the company saw a future decline in motorcycles and shifted to cars. This brings us to what you see here today, from the Lane Motor Museum:

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Hemmings Seller

In 1955 development began on a small 4-seater car, and in 1956 the first NSU Prinz cars rolled off the line. Introduced at the 1957 Frankfurt Motor Show, NSU’s tagline read, “Fahre Prinz und Du bist König”, i.e. Drive a Prince and You’re a King. The Prinz line was updated several times, and was quite successful, remaining in production well into the 1970s.

While the NSU Prinz 1, 2, and 3 were inexpensive, economical cars, they were not considered stylish. NSU realized that if they sought to sell small cars in volume numbers they needed a car with a more appealing style. The designers at NSU thought the Chevrolet Corvair was an attractive automobile and decided to style the Prinz 4 after the Corvair. It was a great success and sales skyrocketed.

Power in this 1973 NSU Prinz 4L comes from a 598cc twin making 30 HP and 32 lb-ft torque. This final-year car is said to be restored and it runs and drives well. It’s $13,750 from the seller in Jacksonville, Florida.

1926 Buick Standard Six – $21,000

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Hemmings Seller

This stately car comes from the early days of Buick. Here’s how GM tells the story of early Buick:

1903
Buick Motor Division incorporated May 19, 1903 in Flint, MI by David Dunbar Buick from Scotland. Previously invented the overhead valve engine.

1904
Sold Buick in 1904 to James Whiting, brought in William C. Durant as a partner. Launch of Buick Model B.

1909
Launch of Buick’s first ad slogan “When better automobiles are built, Buick will build them.” Advertising built around exaggerated examples. Buick has the ability to drive “for hours on end” and “power to carry excessive weight through mountains, deserts, etc, without overheating.”

The Buick Standard Six was the junior model to the Master Six and was built at what would become the Buick City factory in Flint, Michigan. It shared its GM A platform with Oldsmobile, Oakland, and Chevrolet. The Master Six was better equipped and came with more power. In the Standard Six, you got a 207-cubic inch straight six making 60 horsepower with 140 lb-ft torque.

This 1926 Buick Standard Six is said to be mostly original, though it’s not said what was replaced. Upgrades include an upgraded aluminum radiator, an electric fuel pump, a battery cutoff switch, and an electric fan. One noted original part is the mohair interior. It’s said to run and drive well and is free of rust. The Buick is $21,000 from the selling dealer on Hemmings.

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2004 Italjet Dragster 50 – $5,500

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Facebook Seller

The Italjet Dragster 50 looks aggressive, like something designed to lay down MotoGP hot laps. Yet, this is really a 50cc scooter! Here’s how Italy’s Italjet describes the origins of the Dragster:

First version of Dragster born in 1995, in the heart of Italian Motor Valley, moved by the determination to create a sport scooter as never seen before. Original design by Leopoldo Tartarini is unique and unblushing, using exciting technological solutions unconventional and never seen before on a scooter. Dragster reveals its exuberant and avant-garde character right away.

Exciting are the iconic steel trellis and the Independent Steering System, with the single arm that separates the steering action from the shock absorbing one. Year after year, from 1998 to 2003, Dragster conquers an entire generation of enthusiasts, selling more than 70,000 units worldwide.

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Facebook Seller

Italjet still sells the Dragster today and the new ones look like they mean serious business. I mean, even these old ones do. A trellis frame for a 50cc scooter? It’s ridiculous and I love it. And don’t let the 50cc displacement fool you. This little scoot is punching out 6.8 HP with its two stroke single, more than halfway to a Honda Grom despite less than half of the displacement. That said, top speed is 31 mph. Apparently, if you remove restrictions, these can go 55 mph. That’s stupid, and fantastic.

Apparently, the seller of this Dragster did just that. It’s been de-restricted and has been upgraded with a 70cc Malossi cylinder. Thus, this one will go 55 mph. It’s $5,500 from the seller in Darien, Illinois.

1995 Renault Clio Williams – $17,826 to $21,646

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Historics Auctioneers

The Renault Twingo gets a lot of attention for being an adorable car to import into America, but I think the Clio is worth looking at too. It’s not as cute as a button, but the Clio is a seriously handsome ride. And this one is an homologation special. See, Renault Sport wanted to go rallying, so it had to build some road cars to meet regulations. Here’s what Renault has to say about it:

The Renault Clio Williams was designed for rally racing (groups A and N). It was unveiled before the press in Corsica, as the stunning French island is home to well-known rally. However, it was also a big hit among amateur drivers and ultimately 12,000 Renault Clio Williams were sold, far exceeding the 2,500 required to obtain rally homologation.

In 1993, after launching Renault Clio 16s (a high performer), Renault expanded its sports range with the iconic Renault Clio Williams. It was the work of Renault Sport and the Williams team, winners of the Formula 1 world championship (constructor’s title) the previous year. With a 2L engine and 150 hp, Renault Clio Williams was the benchmark among sporty hatchbacks in the 1990s.

Power comes from a 2.0-liter four making 150 HP. That’s good for a top speed of about 134 mph.

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This one is a Williams 2, which means it’s a slightly different color variation than a Williams 3. It’s mechanically the same as a Williams 1, but has power mirrors and power windows. It goes up for auction on July 22nd in the Historics Auctioneers – Windsorview Lakes auction in the UK. The car has 104,000 miles and is expected to sell for between $17,826 and $21,646.

1953 Ford Country Sedan – $9,500

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Facebook Seller

For some of you, this car probably has a rather confusing name. Ford’s wagon lineup in 1953 consisted of the Mainline Ranch Wagon, the Crestline Country Squire, and the Customline Country Sedan.  The Country Squire was the luxurious four-door wagon while the Country Sedan was the all-metal four-door wagon. The Ranch Wagon was a two-door wagon. If you wanted the simulated woodgrain on your wagon body, you had to get the Country Squire.

That said, you still got some pretty neat features with the Country Sedan. You got enough seating for eight people or enough room for a half-ton of cargo. You add cargo room by removing the rear seat and by folding the center row flat. Alternatively, you could sleep in the cargo area. You also got a split-folding tailgate!

This car is said to have its original 239.4 cubic inch Strato-Star V8, which makes 110 HP. It’s $9,500 from the seller in Ligonier, Pennsylvania with 77,000 miles.

1996 Honda Integra Type R – $25,000

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Facebook Seller

It’s been alarming watching 1990s Japanese enthusiast cars experience a meteoric rise in prices. Sadly, I might have to wait another decade before I could buy an Acura NSX. Thankfully, if you look hard enough, you can save a few thousand on these hot cars. Take a look at this imported Honda Integra Type R, which can be had for cheaper than some of the Acura Integra Type Rs that show up for sale in America.

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Honda has this to say about the Integra Type R:

Integra Type R brought Type R performance to a wider audience. The second vehicle to wear the Type R badge and spanning two vehicle generations, Integra Type R also was the first Type R model sold in the U.S.

Extensive modifications in the Integra Type R included a hand-built engine with hand-polished intake and exhaust ports, high-compression pistons, revised intake system, a retuned exhaust and a helical limited-slip differential.

Chassis modifications included suspension, tire, wheel and brake upgrades, and the body received additional bracing and seam welds for added strength and rigidity. Weight reduction measures included the removal of sound insulation, a thinner windshield, lightweight wheels, and the removal of the air conditioning and audio systems.

Power comes from a 1.8-liter four making 197 HP. That punches power through a manual and the front wheels. This example is mostly stock and mostly original. The seller says the vehicle’s been resprayed and modifications include Tein coilovers and a Mugen exhaust. It’s so original you even get the original keys. It’s $25,000 from the seller in Modesto, California with 97,120 miles.

(Update: For additional context, this is not exactly the same Integra Type R that we got here in America. This Japanese market Honda Integra Type R makes a little more power than its American market counterpart, has slightly different styling, and other mild differences. Of course, it’s also right hand drive.)

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV – $21,000

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Facebook Seller

Here’s a motorcycle so unruly it earned the infamous nickname “Widow Maker.” This is a motorcycle so infamous that when Kawasaki created its world-beater superbike in 2014, the company revived the H2 name for it.

As Bennetts BikeSocial writes, 750cc speed was the name of the game in the 1970s. Norton had the Commando, which could hit 120 mph. The MV Agusta 750 S also hit 120 mph, and Triumph had its Trident, which could squeeze out about 117 mph.

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In 1972, Kawasaki rolled out the H2 750 Mach IV and Team Green pulled no punches in its advertising:

“We’ve just pulled a fast one on the competition. Named the Kawasaki 750cc Mach IV. Of all the world’s production models, it’s the fastest thing on two wheels. Faster than any Suzuki. Faster than any Triumph. Faster than any BSA, and Honda, any anything.”

As Bennetts BikeSocial continues, Kawasaki had just one goal in mind: to outrun every bike on the road. Everything else was secondary, even handling. The Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV was the bike manufacturer’s follow-up to the Kawasaki H1 Mach III, a triple that in itself set a benchmark in motorcycle performance.

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Facebook Seller

With the H2 750 Mach IV, Kawasaki built a motorcycle so fast and so powerful that it couldn’t even handle the power. The motorcycle comes with a 748cc piston-port two-stroke triple making 74 HP and 57.1 lb-ft torque. Kawasaki certainly built a solid competitor; the H2 750 Mach IV can hit 126 mph, leaving its competition in its wake. For comparison, the Triumph Trident could only muster just 58 HP, so the H2 was simply a rocket in its day.

Two years later, the Ducati 750 Super Sport would enter production with a top speed only slightly faster than the H2. Why did the H2 earn the nickname Widow Maker? Well, Kawasaki basically dumped all development into the engine. The lightweight tubular cradle frame couldn’t handle the firepower bolted to it. The frame flexed in corners, wobbled on rough roads, and was so much like a wet noodle that riders had a hard time nailing a good line on the motorcycle. Kawasaki threw on steering dampers and even they couldn’t solve the problem. Making matters worse was the fact that most of the motorcycle’s weight was on the rear wheel, making unsuspecting riders pop wheelies with just the flick of the throttle.

Basically, the rider of a Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV better has an idea of what they’re doing. The seller of this one just states that it looks great and runs great, which works for me. It’s $21,000 from the seller in Great Falls, Montana with 4,800 miles.

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2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe – $32,900

2012 Cadillac Cts V Base 2dr Cou
Driven Pre-Owned

In the aughts, Cadillac launched an attractive set of cars aimed at the luxury sedans coming in from Germany. And like the Germans, Cadillac also began to offer souped-up versions of its own luxury cars. The CTS launched in 2002 for the 2003 model year, replacing the Opel-based Catera. For a fun fact, CTS means “Catera Touring Sedan,” so the Catera name technically wasn’t dead just yet. The CTS is notable for being the debut of Cadillac’s Art and Science design language.

This car comes from the CTS’ second generation, which launched in 2008. In 2010, Cadillac released a coupe version of the CTS, offering up the CTS-V Coupe. From Cadillac:

The Cadillac CTS-V Coupe is the most dramatic model in the V-Series range of high-performance luxury models, blending a personal 2+2 layout with a drivetrain vetted on Germany’s famed Nürburgring.

Like the Sedan model that established the CTS-V legacy, the V-Series Coupe is powered by a supercharged 6.2L V-8 that delivers 556 horsepower (415 kW) and is backed by either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. A collection of technical and performance elements complement the powertrain, including Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 performance tires mounted on 19-inch forged aluminum wheels.

Despite the looks, the CTS-V Coupe rides on the same wheelbase as its sedan equivalent. However, it sits two inches lower and two inches shorter. Cadillac further notes that the coupe has the same architecture of the sedan, but in terms of the body, shares only the instrument panel, console, headlamps, fenders, and grille.

Power comes from a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V8 making 556 HP and 551 lb-ft torque. In this example, you get it with a six-speed manual transmission. It’s $32,900 from Driven Pre-Owned in Lenoir, North Carolina with 116,011 miles.

1987 Chrysler Conquest TSI Hemi – $26,000

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Facebook Seller

Let’s end this with something silly! You read that title right. How do you make a Conquest better? More power, of course! Despite the Chrysler badging, what you’re actually looking at is a Mitsubishi Starion. This isn’t a creation of Diamond-Star Motors, but one of the many Mitsubishis that Chrysler loved to import back in the 1980s. Here’s what Mitsubishi says about the Starion:

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The Starion is Mitsubishi Motors’ fourth sports model, following the Galant GTO, Galant FTO and Lancer Celeste. It was launched in May 1982 the Starion was designed wedge-shaped with slant nose and short ducktail proportions. Styling elements giving emphasis to its specialty model looks included an oversize integral front bumper, wide center pillars and the clean surface composition stemming from the use of large full doors. It was powered by a 2.0L turbo engine. 

In its retrospective, Mitsubishi sort of downplays just how capable the Starion was. The 4WD prototype won its class at the 1983 Paris-Dakar Rally. It then scored first in its class at the 1984 Milles Piste Rally, second in its class at the 1986 Hong Kong-Beijing Rally, first in the 1987 Himalayan Rally, third in the 1987 Oman Rally, and other good finishes in other races.

Here in America, you could find a Starion wearing a Mitsubishi badge or you could stroll over to Chrysler, Dodge, or Plymouth and buy one that called itself a Conquest. Normally, power in a TSi comes from a 2.6-liter G54B turbo four making 188 HP and 234 lb-ft torque. Not bad, but could be better.

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Facebook Seller

Seven years ago, the seller bought this car as a project, restoring the body and lowering in a 6.1-liter Hemi V8 out of a Dodge Challenger SRT8. That engine is good for 425 HP and 420 lb-ft torque stock. The engine now has a racing cam, an 87mm throttle body, and an MS3 Gold Box ECU. It’s unclear what the power figures are like now. One thing is for sure, this little car should go like hell. Power reaches the wheels through a three-speed automatic with a shift kit. The seller says that nothing was cut from the car to build this and even better, everything works from the HVAC system to the dashboard lights. It’s $26,000 from the seller in Latham, New York.

That’s it for this week! Thank you for reading.

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415s30
415s30
11 months ago

We started the first Italian scooter club in Hawaii years ago and an old guy who collected motorcycles and scooters had an Italjet, I bet it was the only one in the state. He was quite old, probably gone now. I wonder where it is.

Barry Allen
Barry Allen
11 months ago

Have we already had a Mercedes’ Mercedes Madness Oops all Mercedes episode?

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
11 months ago

I smell a lot of future fatalities in this one. That Starion is one. The Kawasaki is lazy but will catch up. And there’s probably a fatal punch up about that Honda somewhere in the future.

Sci Pi
Sci Pi
11 months ago

The Starion has been ruined

Scott Sullivan
Scott Sullivan
11 months ago

My cousin had an H2 while I had a Ducati 750ss. The specs are a bit misleading. Denny would drag race his. I was into road racing. When we would ride together he would always leap away and stay there. Two reasons for that. His bike put down a smoke cloud you didn’t want to get close to. His lines in corners were unpredictable. Where the Duc was smooth and steady the H2 was bull riding excitement. Denny was killed at the drag strip on the H2.

Electrical Gremlin
Electrical Gremlin
11 months ago

As a Kawasaki mechanic for most of the 80s, that H2 is a big “no” for me. Toggle switch horsepower, feather weight front end, your only hope for survival was that the center cylinder would seize before the thing killed you.

DrewVIIIMR
DrewVIIIMR
11 months ago

And there are no parts. I had one in high school around 1980 and model specific body and trim was basically unavailable THEN.

Gubbin
Gubbin
11 months ago

I like that there are at least three alluring, but horrible learning experiences on offer here. If you can keep it running the Mitsu will hopefully teach you about traction management lest you bury the throttle at a green light, wrap it around a light pole and discover why newer cars have airbags. The H2 will demonstrate why we don’t do peaky torque curves or spaghetti frames anymore, if you haven’t already read the relevant passages from Kevin Cameron. The Italjet is probably safer at 50+ MPH than my ’65 Vespa was, but it still tests the rule that more speed = better.

Last edited 11 months ago by Gubbin
Mike Dris
Mike Dris
11 months ago

1996 Honda Integra Type R

Mercedes, I usually like your stories but the description here is so incorrect it made me sign up!!

This is a Honda Integra Type R imported from Japan. It is not the usual Acura Integra Type R we have stateside. This Integra is right-hand drive. Their are minor changes that gave the JDM engine an edge. The JDM transmission has different gear ratios. The headlights and bumper are different.

The JDM Integra is the best one made. The only negative is the respray. The seller really should have put this on BAT.

Mike Dris
Mike Dris
11 months ago

Fair. You did say those things but I guess I felt they weren’t emphasized enough.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
11 months ago

Okay your cheap cars added up to $180,000. I call not cheap. But nice cars.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
11 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Where are you getting $180,000?
When I calculate them I come up with
”LOW BATTERY”.

Last edited 11 months ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
11 months ago

So… One and a half used Corolla’s? Looking forward to it.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
11 months ago

1973 NSU Prinz 4L – $13,750

This brings us to what you see here today, from the Lane Motor Museum:

And that’s all I needed to hear to rule this one a good price. But I’m gonna run numbers anyways.
There’s almost no market data on these in the US due to rarity. So we have to convert from European. Adding in your “not found in America” premium, this one’s a steal. (You’ll be dropping nearly $13k for comparable before another $4k in shipping.)

1995 Renault Clio Williams – $17,826 to $21,646

This one unfortunately is going to be an absolute hard pass. First of all, take that price and add on $3-5k for shipping. (You will want it insured. That costs extra.) And this is a 2, the most common of the lot.
Under the hood is a unique version of the F7R (extremely specific to the Williams) 2.0L DOHC MPFI that manages 145HP and 129ft/lbs at the crank. That’s all. These were actually built for FIA homologation during the “that’s not close enough” era as Gr.N/Gr.A. Which means the engine has basically been tuned to within an inch of it’s life already, and then dialed back for emissions. The Gr.N full race motor is only 165HP.

And this one has high miles. These are NOT durable motors. They were not meant to be. They were built to be rallied where the entire chassis gets destroyed long before 50k miles. And the unique Williams F7R being a heavily used part found primarily in very high-level competition to this day? Getting any parts to fix it will cost a large fortune.

1996 Honda Integra Type R – $25,000

This seller is beyond high. It’s a bad quality example, to say the very least. They couldn’t even be bothered to get close to the correct wheels? Obvious collision history. Obvious low quality knockoff headlights.

BaT hammers better examples at $5-10k less.

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe – $32,900

I know more than a little bit about the CTS-V and the market. This one’s an ocean of red flags. Go check the Carfax.

Originally a 36 month lease. Sold at auction with 22k miles in “poor” condition, which means basically completely trashed. Spent all that time in high salt areas and was winter driven. Dealer that picked it up at auction sent it back to auction. Then it moved to Nebraska, which also uses salt. Multiple instances of the Nebraska owners doing two tire replacements (MAJOR red flag.) Then it floats around SD and MT racking up electrical and interior repairs.
Then a rollover accident in Montana while the loan was delinquent. (Repo’d 4 months later means it was already delinquent when they rolled it.) This thing has spent it’s life bouncing around BHPH lots and being beaten to absolute shit.

Please steer everyone you know well away from this car.

1987 Chrysler Conquest TSI Hemi – $26,000

Me: “why yes, the 2.6 Astron is a hemispherical combustion chamber! Glad someone else remembered!”

Me 30 seconds later: “what in the actual fuck.”

Nothing was cut? The hood is hacked to pieces and doesn’t even have the self-supporting springs left! (Yes, those were a thing before stupid hydraulic rods that fail.) But the rule always applies: don’t buy other people’s projects.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
11 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Do you, or are you willing to do car purchase consulting? As a side gig. Can y’all imagine having a rootwyrm app on your phone next time you’re shopping for a new car?
“I dunno dear, it says it in bold lettering that we are morons if we follow through on this purchase.” “And there are bullet points that explain why we are morons.”
Could’ve saved me from some real headaches.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
11 months ago

Or travel agent for deep sea tourism.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
11 months ago

I could be convinced to roll it in, since I already offer a worldwide specialty locating service. Kind of like Tom McParland (who I absolutely recommend for new and more common cars) but I can and will find pretty much anything regardless of price.

You want a Mazda 323 GT-Ae, and project car is okay? I can find it. 1993 Mitsubishi GTO VR4 in Danube Blue? Sure. LHD European 1992 Mercedes-Benz 400E? Well, uh, I hope you want it in silver but okay.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
11 months ago

Great stuff today. The Italjet Dragster, like numerous other small sheep in wolves clothing are intended for posturing 16 year olds to rev in the village square and ride flat out everywhere. Then again the beauty of a tiny engine is you can ride full throttle everywhere without ever exceeding the speed limit

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
11 months ago

After decades of curiosity and admittedly casual research, I’ve never found a reasonable-sounding answer as to why Ford called certain trim levels of its station wagons “Country Sedan”. A sedan is a sedan, and a wagon is a wagon. Yet certain trims of Ford wagon used this name at least through the 1974 models. Anybody here have a good answer??

Last edited 11 months ago by Eggsalad
RootWyrm
RootWyrm
11 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

So I can actually help a bit with this, bearing in mind that this is more conjecture than research. The Ford “Country” wagons were contemporary to branding like the Pontiac Safari, the Chevrolet Nomad, the AMC Ambassador Cross Country, and yeah! You see the trend already, don’t you?

Because these cars are from the era before you just got on a plane and went to Didney Worl. So the most common way for people to take a vacation was to throw the kids and luggage in the car and drive there across the shiny new interstate system (which was also new and novel.)
So all of the manufacturers were leaning very heavily into that with their branding. Station wagons were the way you took the family on a vacation, and nothing says vacation like those names.

So with Ford you had the Country Squire for their wagons; obviously intended as a ‘loyal squire that will carry all your crap across the countryside.’

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
11 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Interesting, but doesn’t help me understand why they called a wagon a “sedan”.

DadBod
DadBod
11 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

Maybe they are referring to the slave-powered elevated boxes of yore? Those ones with the poles and fancy curtains.

Stacks
Stacks
11 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

100% just guessing here but, the original meaning of “sedan” was a chair sitting on poles carried around by servants. Even now Merriam-Webster defines a sedan as simply a car with a hard top that seats 4 or more people. So I’m guessing there was a time before “sedan” meant the 3-box design we think of today, and in its earliest usage for cars it probably just meant “fancy.”

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
11 months ago
Reply to  Stacks

Dig deeper and you’ll find its Latin root
“sedere” which means to sit. Which is where we get the English word “sedentary”. It’s pretty much open to manufacturers interpretation from there.
Every vehicle is a sedan of sorts. However wagon is not a Latin based word which makes this all more confusing.

Last edited 11 months ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
11 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

I suspect Ford’s use of Country Sedan for the lower spec station wagon was a mixture of the long running Town Sedan model name and higher trim Country Squire. Country has was well established as station wagon name as in the Morris Minor Countryman and original Mini Countryman. I’m a little disappointed Ford never followed through on the Flex show car with woodgrain panels as a latter day Country Squire.

Goblin
Goblin
11 months ago

Fair warning about the Clio Williams 🙂

I was neck deep into car magazines when I lived in France, and the Clio Williams was a dream of mine. It is a very serious pocket rocket.

At the time, Williams Renault was killing it in F1, so the name was used for that one.

The advertisement in magazines was a dark garage, with a Clio Williams in the front, and the silhouettes of a red Ferrarri and some British sports car in British Racing Green behind it.
The ad read: “You can get red with anger, green with envy – it’s a Clio Frank Williams chose to put his name on“.

This was a disapointment for Renault fans mostly, because it was the death of the Alpine name. Till then, Renault named its most sporty versions Alpine (as they owned Alpine). Switching to Williams effectively killed the Alpine name for a very long time (good thing they revived it recently). Renault simply wanted to cash on the Williams name while they were in bed with them. Later on the Williams name could no longer be used after their partnership ended, but the Alpine name was not reused on Renaults.

Incidentally, the legend says that the late Frank Williams spoke perfect French. Yet, he was never seen speaking French in an interview. He got paralyzed in a car accident in France and got mixed feelings about anything French. Read that in a French magazine too. Not sure how true it was, as it was a one-vehicle accident.

Anyhow, about the disclaimer:

1) As opposed to its “weaker” brother – the Clio 16s(in France, 16v elsewhere) – the one with the regular 1.8 16v engine, the Clio Williams CAN NOT get an AC. No space in the engine bay. On the 1.8, there was a choice at the time of ordering: power steering, OR AC.

There was space either for the ps pump or for the AC compressor, not for both.

On the Williams (2.0) the power steering came from the factory, to account for the steering ratio and beefier wheels. So – no AC option, and little chances of retrofitting one.

2) When the Renault Megane Coupe 2.0 16s was released a few years later, the following lines made it to paper from an interview with one of the engineers:

Well, you see, the engine on the Megane externally looks exactly like the one on the Clio Williams, but keep in mind that 90% of the internals are different. When we built the Williams we made a 2.0 version of the 1.8 engine. The Williams’ engine is rated for a lifespan of 100000-150000kms, tops. It wears out quickly. On the Megane, the engine is internally different, and the lifespan is longer“.

So, you’re looking for a French engine with a lifespan not quite as long as even what you get on other Renaults from that era.

Last edited 11 months ago by Goblin
Mikko Merentie
Mikko Merentie
11 months ago
Reply to  Goblin

Great write, thanks! My mother had -92 Clio 1.4 RT, 5 doors right after it won the European Car Of The Year award. It was actually the first car I drove! Advanced for its age and price range, it even has IR remote central locking. I was 12, so of course I lusted after Williams and 16v models.

She kept it over ten years and it was faultlessly reliable.

Goblin
Goblin
11 months ago
Reply to  Mikko Merentie

I remember those IR remotes. They first appeared on the Renault 25 in the early 80s.
They were the big thing, till it turned out that the signal is not encoded in any way and could be memorized in ANY half-decent universal TV remote with able to memorize signals.

I had a CASIO CMD-40 1174 TV remote watch (don’t ask 🙂 ), and I was working at a tire shop – I had all the Renaults we were working on memorized, including a Clio Baccara (that one was an interesting one, fully loaded, leather and whatnot, 110hp out of an 8v 1.8 engine for a 1000kg car. That one did have both power steering and AC.

PS: looking at the find above – this Clio Williams is a RHD car. Blast. Where did they dig that one from…

Last edited 11 months ago by Goblin
Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
11 months ago
Reply to  Goblin

“Incidentally, the legend says that the late Frank Williams spoke perfect French”

I have read somewhere that Vladimir Putin speaks perfect English, but never does in public.

DadBod
DadBod
11 months ago

I have no business driving a performance car but the CTS-V has always been on my list of irrational desires. A badass black Cadillac with a fire breathing engine? Mmmm

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
11 months ago

“Yes, please” to the manual CTS-V, of course.

I don’t want the Conquest for myself, but I’d happily meet the owner at a car show and ask them all about their ride.

Someday I want a scooter for short around town trips and the Italjet would be a great way to do it.

I’m a big fan of 80s and 90s Honda but $25k for an Integra that I’d always have to worry about getting stolen seems like more trouble than it’s worth. I love the car itself, though.

The one that interests me the most is the Clio Williams. I always rather liked the Clios I drove in France as rentals and that seems like a fun little hot hatch package. 150hp in what should be a pretty light car sounds like a recipe for amusement while still remaining practical.

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