Home » Time To Play Parking Lot Challenge!: Choose One Car From These Parking Lots To Drive Forever

Time To Play Parking Lot Challenge!: Choose One Car From These Parking Lots To Drive Forever

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You know what’s a great way to spend the tail end of a Friday afternoon when most of your work-brain has already checked out and is sobbing in the break room of your mind, but you still have to sit in front of a computer, looking productive? Playing Parking Lot Challenge on The Autopian, of course, with all your fellow Autopians! It’s the best, so let’s get to it.

You know how to play, right? It’s easy: we have a picture of a parking lot, and from that lot you must choose one (1) car, and that car will be the only car you ever own, forever. High stakes stuff, motherjumpers. So choose wisely, and tell us in the comments, along with your justification and reasoning, because you will have to defend your choices.

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Vidframe Min Bottom

This time we’re going to do three (III) parking lots, two from a Sainsbury’s location in the United Kingdom, because they have a fantastic photo archive of “car parks” (that’s crazy Brit for “parking lot”; in America, a “car park” is where you take your car to frolic off-leash with other cars) from Sainsbury’s stores of the years.

The third one will be a picture of a parking lot from the Los Angeles International Airport, just to mix it up a bit.

Okay, ready for the first one? Let’s do it – Here’s Number 1:

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Some good stuff there! A Mini, some Fiats, Opels, holy crap, an NSU Prinz! What’s it gonna be from all these little fuel-sipping wonders?

Okay, Number 2:

 

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How about this one? From the early ’90s, and we have a good mix of Volkswagens and Fords and Rovers and other stuff. Lots of options!

Okay last one, Number 3:

Okay, now let’s head to America, specifically, sun-baked LAX:

Some good stuff there, too! And, likely rust-free! Look at that Eclipse up there, and…is that a mud-spattered Volvo? What’s the story there?

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Pick, explain, talk, argue, and so on. Let’s have some fun here.

 

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GTO62
GTO62
2 years ago

Picture 1) The Triumph Dolomite is the easy choice, but I am morbidly attracted to the red Lancia Beta Berlina next to the Gold MK1. According to this, there were only 15 left in the UK in 2018, as they all vanished in a gentle puff of iron oxide: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/classic/uks-rarest-cars-1978-lancia-beta-2000-berlina-one-fewer-15-left/
Therefore, if you are going to drive it forever, you may have to move to the Atacama desert, the driest place on Earth, and bring a few tonnes of anti-rust along with you.

Picture 2) Has to be the Rover P6 and its Buick-derived 3.5L V8 on the middle-left. Those were serious getaway cars in its day if you could not steal a Jaguar Mk II, or you might get chased down by the police in one. Would need a British Racing Green paint job if I’m driving it forever, though…

Picture 3) Torn between the Acura TL and the Porsche 996 in the top-middle-right, next to the Saturn LS. Love the TL and its paint job, but the tinted windows probably mean it’s been modified and likely ruined in some way. Betting the Porsche is in better shape, and praying the seals on the water-cooled engine have been replaced by now…

Ted Sheppard
Ted Sheppard
2 years ago

Have not read comments yet.
Last photo. Mud splattered “Volvo” looks like a First gen Camry Hatchback.
First photo. The Opel screams at me. “Look how many powertrains will bolt into me!” At least if I’m right and it’s somewhat related to the Kadett/Chevette/I-Mark/Gemini line (which itself was sort of a Ford Escort/Contour/Festiva/Mazda 323/etc. version 1.0 {from anotha motha}) then there’s still a lot you could do with it.
Middle photo was surprisingly underwhelming. More surprised that so many vehicles available in America then were prevalent in UK. I mean Renault, Peugeot, Sterling duh Europe I get it. It just looks at first glance like any US parking lot of the time, lots of largish sedans, like that weird girl from Harry Potter whose ?Scottish? accent peculiarly came off sounding very American.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
2 years ago

For the rest of my life?
Oh bother.. I guess I’ll take the Nissan Cube.
Small footprint
Easy to access ride height
Couch-like seats
Good visibility
And it can haul a wheelchair
Fingers crossed that one’s a manual so my soul doesn’t completely leave my body before I’m dead.

GK450
GK450
2 years ago

Considering that it’s the only car I’m allowed to have forever, I’d have to go with:
77: VW Golf
91: VW Golf
LAX: VW Golf
It’s practical, easy to get parts, and I’ve always liked them in general. Plus if the grey Mk4 at LAX is a TDI it’ll run forever.

Panzycake
Panzycake
2 years ago

77 Saintsbury:
I think I see the tail lights of a Citroen on the left hand side. I’ve always wanted one of those.
91 Saintsbury:
I think I see a Reliant Robin van sort of near the entrance. Eh, the roads are straight enough here.
LAX:
The gray Avalon in aisle G, second back. Current DD with over 200k, and I couldn’t be happier.

Rick Rull
Rick Rull
2 years ago

77: Oh.. I guess I’ll take the Golf.
91: I’ll take that green Jaguar XJ6 parked next to the pole, thank you.
LAX: The bright orange Outback in one of the back rows (or should I say OUTBACK?)(heh heh.) I’d never lose it in a parking lot, That’s for sure.

Jay Cuzmanov
Jay Cuzmanov
2 years ago

1977: Orange Beetle. Fixable forever.
1991: Silver Civic hatch in the center
LAX: Toyota Tundra in first row. Will last forever. Second choice the Wranger YJ.

Otter
Otter
2 years ago

1977: Red-with-black-top round-taillight BMW 2002 on the left
1991: Silver newish Civic hatch in the center
LAX: Ugh–so many SUVs. I’m optimistically reading the white sedan behind the closest H 1 G sign on the left as a Lexus LS400, a car which you could easily drive forever, which is good, because that’s exactly the challenge.

Argentine Utop
Argentine Utop
2 years ago

1977: Fiat 128. Reliable if properly maintained, super efficient, roomy inside, excellent handling. A great thing to drive if it’s the 1.3.

1991: Ford Scorpio. Super comfortable, easy to maintain, safe and spacious. Superb handling.

LAX: Honda Accord. Comfortable, reliable, efficient. Something you can enjoy when you drive on the twisties and the highway too.

DerFahrt
DerFahrt
2 years ago

1. Mk1 Golf
2.Mk2 Golf
3. Touareg or Mk4 Golf

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
2 years ago

1: The Triumph Herald, because it’s body on frame, so you could probably get a Spitfire body on it or an open Herald, or a Coupé Herald – or even the two door estate. I also just love that Michelotti look. It’s quite noisy and slow, with the whining rear wheel drive and 1147cc engine, so it will probably never go so fast, that it could actually kill you.

2: The Peugeot 505 Estate! Owned a 504 once and it’s just a simple rugged car, and the 505 is better in every way, besides from the looks. Also tons of space for everything. It might even be a “Familiale” with 3 rows of seats.

3: The Subaru Outback in the correct green and silver paint scheme! Cool families in the movies always drive these, and that’s why I want one! The AWD, the boxer engine and the frameless doors are also cool, and I definately could live with that.

JohnTaurus
JohnTaurus
2 years ago

My boyfriend and I have played this game before, live. We will be walking into a store and I’ll say “look around and tell me which car you’d drive yourself”. The first time we played, we both picked a black Chrysler 300C posted up out front, looking exceptionally clean and menacing. Yesterday when leaving Walmart, it was a last gen (13-19) black Taurus Limited. Could there be a large American sedan in our future, possibly in a sinister black? Or are those the only desirable choices in a sea of silver Nissan Rogues and Altimas? Hmmm.

First pic, hard to recognize most of them, and the ones I do, I’m not exactly thrilled with. I think there is a red BMW 2002 in the far most left bank of cars, that’ll do.

2nd, probably that white Honda Accord. I think those had solid headlights instead of the flip-ups we got in the late 80s. Should be a manual, too.

Last pic, I think I see a brightly colored Subaru Crosstrek, and as long as it has a manual and DOES NOT SMELL LIKE DOGS, that should be a fun choice. If not, one of the 4 door 4×4 F-150s, I suppose the white 2004ish since those did well in crash tests compared to the earlier 2000s F-150.

alpeen-not-alpine
alpeen-not-alpine
2 years ago
Reply to  JohnTaurus

I think that’s not a Honda Accord, but a Rover 800 (Sterling in the US).

JohnTaurus
JohnTaurus
2 years ago

I believe you’re absolutely right. I’m afraid I don’t really recognize much else, save for some VWs. I suppose any one of them with a manual would do.

Jay Cuzmanov
Jay Cuzmanov
2 years ago
Reply to  JohnTaurus

How does the Subaru not smell of dog? They come pre-impregnated with dog smell from the factory. That Subaru new dog smell.

Philip Dunlop
Philip Dunlop
2 years ago
Reply to  JohnTaurus

The red 2002 is the NSU Torch mentioned. I think if it were a 2002, it probably wouldn’t be a question worth asking!

pip bip
pip bip
2 years ago

1977 – Lancia hatch (can just see it poking out far left)
1991 – Renault 21
LAX – bright green Jeep (top right)

pip bip
pip bip
2 years ago

1977 – Lanca hatch (can just see it poking out far left)
1991 – Renault 21
LAX – bright green Jeep (top right)

Philip Dunlop
Philip Dunlop
2 years ago

This is when inline images in the comments would be really helpful.

I already forget what I picked for 1977. I *think* that may be an old Alfa between the NSU and the white Mini so that’s what I’d go for.

In 1991, the obvious choice would’ve been the Volvo 340, but closer inspection yielded a Mercedes estate. I can’t tell if it’s a W123 or 124, but either way works for me.

The LAX pic… the 850. Always.

A F
A F
2 years ago

If we are going only car, I’d need something practical for the family. So the Merc wagons in the top two pics. And I think I see a gold (shudder) Odyssey minivan in the last pic.

Dávid Tóth
Dávid Tóth
2 years ago

Ok
1977: White Mini!
1991: The grey Civic thing in the middle, next to that beige Metro thing.
LAX: The Brown Nissan Cube in the far distance

chad Face
chad Face
2 years ago

Hey! I have a white touareg just like the one in the LAX picture!

But imma go with the tundra to the right of it.

Unless parts and fuel are free, in that case the VW. It does everything well, except fuel economy and parts prices.

JohnTaurus
JohnTaurus
2 years ago
Reply to  chad Face

I’d think it would beat the Tundra in fuel economy any day.

Parsko
Parsko
2 years ago

Nothing right hand drive, because nope. So, my pick is David’s first ZJ in along the back fence, which he doesn’t realize actually lived nearly 14 years of it’s life in that same parking spot before the owner retrieved it. Just needed a jump from a sputtering MG in row F. It stalled, flooded, but that 4.0 sprung to life. He was now blocked in. Choose your own adventure, what did he do?

Captain Zoll
Captain Zoll
2 years ago

1977: probably the brown(?) triumph dolomite on the left, (also is that a citroën GS on the far left? it’s certainly a cool car, but I don’t think I’d be capable of keeping that suspension working)
1991: that light blue W123 wagon on the far right is certainly tempting, and it could conceivably actually last my entire lifetime.
LAX: in the upper middle, just below the stop sign, there’s what looks to be a white XV20 Camry. similar to the merc, if you’re going to have one car for the rest of your life, it’d better be “the most car of all cars”.

The Toecutter
The Toecutter
2 years ago

I’ll take the orange VW Beetle from the 1977 photo. It’s easy to work on, inexpensive to maintain, gets excellent fuel economy, is light and tossable in the corners, and there is a massive aftermarket parts industry. Would it count as the same car if I build a kit car body onto it and/or converted it to diesel or electric? Even if not, it’s still the right choice for me. I’d be able to keep it running without the need to pay a mechanic and without needing to pay too much for parts. And even if I was required to keep the original engine, there is a wide variety of components to give it more power.

The Toecutter
The Toecutter
2 years ago
Reply to  The Toecutter

…and also, Ted Bundy drove one!

SpeedRacer
SpeedRacer
2 years ago

The correct answer is the Bug.

Always, only, the Bug.

FlavouredMilk
FlavouredMilk
2 years ago

1977: Lancia Beta way over on the far left.

1991: Ford Sierra near the corner of the building

Modern: I think I’m spying a Porsche 996 way up in the back right.

Ford_Timelord
Ford_Timelord
2 years ago

Is that a Lancia Gamma on the far left that has everyone confused? If so much rare (hubnut has a great video on them though)

For the record.
1977 Golf Mk1 because colour! I’ve bought one before because it was Porsche 911 style Santos Green.
1981 Peugeot 505 wagon because Africa. I also drove one and it was so comfortable to drive
LAX Green Subaru Outback. I just like them because active lifestyle.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
2 years ago
Reply to  Ford_Timelord

Good choices! I also took the 505 and the Outback [insert thumbs up emoji here instead of three question marks]

Ford_Timelord
Ford_Timelord
2 years ago

Thank you! I just joined here. First post!

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
2 years ago

This is an easy one from me. Roughly smack in the middle of the LAX picture, is a unicorn example of the best generation of trucks ever built, the GMT-800. I’m currently 16 years into daily driving an ’06 Sierra for as close to forever as I can (I bought it new, and I’ll NEVER sell it).

The one in that picture is either a 1500HD or a 2500HD crew cab, with a 6-1/2′ bed a 4-wheel drive. That’s not what makes it rare, there are a kajillion of those. Hook your peepers on the rear fender sticking out, and keen eyes will note that this truck is equipped with Quadrasteer 4-wheel steering. Be it a 1500 or a 2500, I don’t care. Whether it has a gas or a diesel engine, makes no never-mind to me. I could drive that truck forever, no problem.

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