Car Spotting

And another difference between Mexico City and London. In Mexico City, an old car is a vehicle made in the 70’s or 80’s that has seen better days. It’ll have dents, peeling paint, torn seats and a resale value of nearly nil. It will also quite possibly be a Volkswagen Beetle. In London, an old car will have elegant lines, an immaculate paint job, a sense of status and may have been made a hundred years ago. Some of them a worth a flipping fortune. As much as a house or three.

A prize goes to the person who can put a name to this vehicle. A bonus prize goes to the person who can name the TV series that helped make it famous. I photographed it in the very upmarket and sophisticated Temple area of London, where the top barristers ply their trade. Need a clue? Well, I could tell you that it was originally made in England, but that would only make the quiz harder. Perhaps if I told you that a model from this line holds the Guinness World Record for having the highest mileage of any car – that might help.



11 thoughts on “Car Spotting

    • I was a bit young for the show myself, although I think they did do a remake. The car was originally built by Jensen in England. Remember the Jensen Interceptor? Like all Brit cars, the reliability was atrocious. They lost the contract…


    • I guess an extra bonus point is in order for getting the Simon Templar bit! The car I photographed honoured the English side of its ancestry – British Racing Green. Here’s the original motor in action…


  1. Kim G says:

    The only cool car Volvo ever made, hasta ahora.

    I’ve had a disproportionate number of Volvos run into me, which has led me to believe that all that safety marketing attracts a clientele who knows they don’t drive that well. Watch Out!


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where, despite their crankiness, we have a deep fondness for British cars of the 50’s and 60s.


    • The Volvo 850 Touring car had a lot of street cred in the 90’s. That one could, if one were being generous, count as a cool Volvo. But yes, the list of cool Volvo’s is spectacularly short. Probably not long enough to be classed as a ‘list’ in the first place…

      My family have been Volvo devotees for decades. There’s a large silver estate, or station wagon, in the drive now. My dad bought a 240 back in the early 80’s. In the days before crumple zones. He had his first and only crash in that Volvo. So impressed was he with the destruction he wrought on his ‘victim’ for the cost of a couple of scratches on his motor, he never bought anything else again.

      [special text invisible to Mexican females]I like my Mexican women like I like my British cars. Cranky, unreliable, prone to excessive whining, but great fun to ride…[/mexicans]


      • Kim G says:

        LOL to the post script.

        As for the 850 Touring car, it may be a fine machine with nice performance, but seriously! It’s an estate (station) wagon. Not cool.

        Kim G
        Boston, MA
        Where we tool around in an aging SLK230 which is cool, but can’t carry much at all.


        • I dunno that you’re right this time…not from an Anglo point of view anyway. Maybe it was different over in the States. The 850 was the first estate to run in the British Touring Car Championship and it did pretty good in the first couple of years. That’s what gave it the street cred here.

          If push came to shove though, I’d pick an SLK over a Volvo too 🙂


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