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Tough to Crack Car Puzzle #148

Tough to_crack_puzzle_147-800
Well it weill be clear to you that the hard to crack ID are not the spanish registered nice sedans in the background. It's the supersleek race poining it's nose almost out of the photo. Not the easiest one we can assure to you. When we first saw the picture and started to google the name among the first things we found were army tanks, made by the same man. 
Just a few more hints to help you going:
 The engine is from a well known brand from a meditterenean country, but the car itself is from another country.
The name of the car sounds exotic but is related top the jaguar.  

Well we think this keeps you off the street for a few minutes. When you  know the answer ( Make, Year and Type, plus whatever strictly relevant information that comes to mind, you will have a fair chance to win the PostWarClassic T-shirt.  But make sure first to check the rules under 'Read More'

Saturday, 03 December 2016

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Two Déesses preparing for winter

citroen ds_snow_chains_470

It's fall time and the last leaves have found their way to the ground. Time to prepare for winter. And maybe even to find your chains to be prepared for whatever the weathergods will bring. When changing tyres or mounting snow chains a Citroën DS & ID are probably the easiest cars in the world to work with.

Use the level handle to bring the car to top level, put the jack bar under the car and set the handlebar to Low.  Next what the French goddess will do is lifting her shoes in style just off the ground (youtube). No wonder the DS was/is so popular with ladies. See the Australian French car forum Aussiefrogs for more. 

( publicity photo Citroën S.A. )

Friday, 02 December 2016

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No reason to cry

Mobilisti 7_16_Moskvitsh_003
By the mid 80's, the most original Soviet sedan, Moskvitsh, was more or less a strange artifact from the past. High and narrow and without any concessions to aerodynamics the Moskvitsh showed its strong heritage from the 1950's and 60's.

It – like its predecessors – was designed and build in Moscow by MZMA (later AZLK) industrial combinate. The design team never ceased to create fresh prototypes and improvements but almost all efforts were in vain as the Soviet economical planning bureocracy was extremely resistant to all changes.

Mobilisti 7_16_Moskvitsh_001The last major update was the model 408 in 1964. The model 412 of 1967 and the 2140 of 1976 were basically the same old 408 – only with a new aluminum engine and numerous minor visual and mechanical modifications. It would be unreasonable to claim that nothing happened during these years as the AZLK engineers tried their best to make Moskvitches to run better and to be safer to their occupants. Unfortunately the whole supply chain was not up to the task and the quality and the availability left much to desire. But as the common Soviet people had no chance to choose, Moskvitch sold well until late 70's when the considerably more modern Lada stole the spotlight. Despite numerous special versions to specific targets – like the heavy duty rural sedan with low compression engine and pick ups and sedan delivieries by arms factory IZH – time was running out.

In the middle of all stagnation, the Soviet elite played with a possibility to modify or totally renew the Moskvitsh by decadent western know-how. But the costly consultations by Raymond Loewy, Porsche Design and Citroën only left the folks at the AZLK with a even smaller budgets than before.

When the Moskvitsh 1500 was updated to a 1500 SL in 1981, the result was undeniably more contemporary and luxurious car – in details. Plastic bumpers and plenty of other plastic parts were pure 80's as was the digital clock in the dasboard. However, the quality of the human made materials was so poor that many vital parts like interior door lock handles broke all too soon. And that handsome digital clock with a timer had to be switched on and off separately as it passed the ignition lock wiring in order to maintain constant power, and time.Mobilisti 7_16_Moskvitsh_002

Model 2140's successor, the 2141 Aleko looked better but the tradition of mediocre or poor reliability stayed with it. After the collapse of the communism, days of the AZLK were numbered. Despite a co-ownership company with Renault, the gates of the giant factory complex were closed back in 2002.

The 1985 Moskvitsh shown here was among the last ones imported to Finland and one of the very few survivors. Due to fragility of many interior and exterior components and due to not too reliable mechanics, it is much easier to find a decades older Moskvitsh than one of these late versions. Despite low digits in the odometer, the current owner had to repair almost everything in it while getting it back on the road. Very limited spare reserves means very challenging ownership; Internet offers little or no help with eastern wonder like this. Fortunately, the 1,5 liter four cylinder engine has served well and is still internally in its original condition. It moves the surprisingly solid feeling car with ease on rough cobblestone streets of Helsinki and gets more attention and symphaties than many western cruisers.

Read the whole story of this car in the magazine Mobilisti

Text by Kimmo Koistinen
Pictures: Matti Ouvinen

Thursday, 01 December 2016

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A 61-year-old 'modern magic carpet'

Bentley R-Type_continental_rear-800

When it first arrives in our showroom, it takes me some time to approach it. I first admire its gracious lines from a distance... how can such a large and majestic car look so elegant? Then I come closer, slowly, as if I want to show respect to what is generally considered as the most iconic post-war Bentley: the R Type Continental Sports Saloon by H.J. Mulliner.

I gently open the door, close my eyes and inhale that typical 'old saloon' perfume: history, blended with years of perfect maintenance, and a hint of driving pleasure from the previous owners. Then I sit down in the charmingly patinated lightweight bucket seats, and it feels like putting on my favourite pair of shoes: comfortable, supportive, familiar, and... ready to hit the road and explore the world!

A turn of the ignition switch and a push on the starter button bring the 4.9 litre 6-cylinder engine to life. This is it! I'm going to drive an icon! And it weighs 27 times as mush as me!

Bentley R-Type_continental_test-800I take my courage in both hands. I engage the automatic gearbox, let go of the brake pedal and cautiously put my toe on the throttle... and immediately, the idea that I'm driving a huge and heavy car vanishes! It's fascinating how Bentley's engineers managed to make sumptuous luxury rhyme with swiftness and agility.

The powerful engine allows you to glide in full silence, while at the same time leaving enough capacity to overtake modern traffic. The automatic gearbox is also an excellent compromise for the manual gearbox aficionado: it allows you to shift up and down when you feel the timing's perfect, so it doesn't harm the sportive character of the car whatsoever. The steering and road handling's an absolute dream: it almost feels as light as the '56 Giulietta that I was driving only the day before.

No wonder this was the '50s elite's weapon of choice for long-distance touring!

It's only when I arrive back at the garage and I have to manoeuvre the car into a narrow garage that I realise its size again!

In 1952, Autocar Magazine called the R-Type Continental a "modern magic carpet". Over half a century later, this elegant old lady can still claim that title!

Words and Pictures: Vincent Mahy, Marreyt Classics 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

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