Classic cars, you just gotta love ‘em. Or even if you don’t, you ought to at least admire them. Wasn’t too long ago that they weren’t referred to as “classic cars”, but just “cars”. According to lawmakers in Singapore, a vehicle must be at least 35 years old from its registration to be considered a classic vehicle. That’s over three COE cycles, which admittedly is a rather long stretch. But would you call a 35-year-old a classic man? Don’t think so.
That being said, as the world stands right now, manufacturers are slowly making the inevitable switch to electrified powertrains. This doesn’t bode well for those of us who savour the good old days of driving, hearing the roar of an engine, working the clutch pedal and gear lever, wrestling a steering wheel with no power assistance or electronic aids. I am not pandering to the artsy sort of folk who gawk at Jag E-Types or marvel at any old 911. I am not appealing to the norm or the conceited. For some people, classic cars are a form of respite. Their break from the confines of modern technology and constant communication. So, keep your reservations at bay, and check out why these classic cars are so delectable.
Alfa Giulia GTA
I’m not trying to sway anyone’s opinions here, but I for one think that the old Alfa Giulia is a pretty car. It’s not perfect in many ways, the wheels are too small, the arches too subtle, the “chin” of the bumper is too bulky. Scrutinise their various individual elements, and it may look a bit haphazard. But these little nuances add to the visual flair and character of the Giulia. This is a car where the phrase “greater than the sum of its parts” applies. Piece them together (tastefully), and you’ve got yourself an absolute stunner.
Good old British flair and character, complete with hand-beaten body panels and wire rims. The Jaguar XK150 fits the bill for a classic British roadster. It’s a shame many would favour the more “mainstream” E-Type over this. The E-Type is newer, it has better performance, has better proportions, and to some, it may look better. But comparing the two would be doing both cars a serious injustice, so I'll say this: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And while the XK150 may not be fabulously pretty, it certainly has no shortage of theatricality.
It’s a wonder how these quaint little French cars ever caught on so well. They were oddly shaped and they lacked power. Like, hilariously underpowered. But despite all their shortcomings, they were charming and hugely popular. And a highly sought after classic car here in Singapore. A French icon. Like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe, or croissants.
BMW Isetta 300 “Bubble car”
The bubble car. Take a good long look at it. Look at its round silhouette, that single wheel on the rear axle, it really does live up to its namesake, doesn’t it. There is no hood to speak of, instead, you have a 300cc one-cylinder pottering away somewhere aft of the driver’s bench. 0-100km/h takes, never. Because the BMW Isetta has a rated top speed of just 85km/h. Is it fast? Definitely not. Is it delectable? Most certainly.
(Click HERE to read about the BMW Isetta 300... stacked up against a Ferrari F12tdf)
Toyota Sports 800
The “Yota Hachi”. This was Toyota’s answer to the well-established competition from Honda and Datsun of the time. In many ways, it was the car that enabled Toyota to carry on designing and creating sports cars. One has to remember that the Sports 800 actually preceded the iconic (and immensely pretty) Toyota 2000GT, so the straight-six beauty has the Sports 800 to thank for its conception. The Yota Hachi paved the way for Toyota to forge ahead in their pursuit of performance, and we're very thankful for that.
(Click HERE to read more about the 1966 Toyota Sports 800)