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Reverse Chic, cars to get when everyone around you can afford a Rolls

johnbonojohnbono Posts: 80
edited March 2014 in Rolls-Royce
I live in fairfield county, CT. Fairfield County
is one of the richest counties in the country,
filled w/old money types who have names that end in
"II" or "III" or "IV" or somesuch. As a result,
getting a car on the basis of it being distinctive
or exclusive based on its pricetag is an exercise
in futility. I learned this lesson when I bought
my Audi, pulled into the local YMCA, and wound up
parking in between a Jag and a Mercedes E-class, in
a parking lot dotted w/Range Rovers, Beemers, etc.
I've come to the unfortunate realization that if
I want a car that is *truly* distinctive, I have to
go to the other extreme and get a car that is sooo
cheap, sooo ugly, with such a rattling bucket of
bolts for a motor that the mere appearance of this
vehicle in Old Greenwich or New Canaan will make
drivers in s-class mercedes flee in terror, cause
spontaneous retching by Rolls-Royce owners, and
give Ferrari owners nightsweats that they might
find themselves parked next to this automotive
miscreant in a parking lot. Any Ideas?


  • I have some ideas myself but I'd like to hear what other people might think.


    While copious amounts of bondo and primer would make a nice touch for this dream(nightmare?) vehicle, it should be able to stand on its own (de)merits.
  • a Trabant - as fine an example of East German engineering as it would ever be your misfortune to meet. Not only can you demonstrate that you are so poor you couldn't afford a Yugo, you will be able to let all of the other drivers demonstrate their power sunroofs, electrically operated cabriolet tops and air conditioning. This because they would be rushing to avoid the copious amounts of black smoke that would be spewing forth from various parts of your car, even (occasionally) from the exhaust.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Early 80's. Built on same platform as the 5.0 Mustang, so all of the Mustang's performance goodies will fit. Get one with bondo and a torn Vinyl top, and show those european cars the meaning of "American Muscle."
  • Not my first pick but a good one, given the trabant as an example. The white color will turn gray from soot within seconds of any carwash or rainstorm, and is also a good platform if you own a carwash...just park it idling in front of the local country club.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think one of those 70s Lincoln "designer edition" cars would be great, especially if it was a bit tatty. You can buy them cheap, and they are HUGE and actually quite comfortable to drive around it as long as stopping or turning isn't a big thing.

    Barring that, a Checker Marathon would be nice, or an ex-police car or cab painted over by the Earl of Scheib.
  • Not my first pick but a good one, given the trabant as an example. The white color will turn gray from soot within seconds of any carwash or rainstorm, and is also a good platform if you own a carwash...just park it idling in front of the local country club.
  • No way...I want my 1980 Grand Fury in the original black and white, minus the light bar, and the police insignia painted over in red primer.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I bought a Ford ex-police car that was used in Marin County. In the back was a little sticker that said "Thanks for Not Smoking". (not easy with handcuffs on anyway...).
  • This is the perfect car for those who seek anti-class. The porthole window in the back panel is perfect for that 70's mod van look. Add some faded airbrush paint and a plush velvet interior to add to the decor, then mix in the pinto's explosive proclivities and you are guaranteed to have noone tailgating you in this polyester leisure suit of a car.
  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    A new 'old' Volkswagen from Beetlemex
    ( or the Beetle Farm.
    For around 10k, you get a brand new beetle
    (they get around EPA/DOT by replacing the
    pan with one from an older beetle) that
    is pretty darn modern (hydraulic lifters,
    oil filter, modern brakes, etc.). The
    Beetle Farm has a _very_ cool model that
    has a door-to-door sunroof that reaches from
    the top of the windshield to the rear window.

    The reason I vote for this answer is the lack
    of maintenance (at first at least, it is a new
    car after all) and in the case of the weird
    sunroof model, something that you never see
    in the U.S.

  • The problem is that beetles are becoming collectible nowadays, and therefore have a certain cache to them. A Fairmont, on the other hand, has no such pretensions. With a Beetle you will wind up with a bunch of rich aging former hippies coming up to you and discussing how they loved driving their old beetle up to Woodstock. Ick!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    and you don't want THAT!
  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    Here's a beetle variant. A baja speedster.
    Take an Intermeccanica (or some other kit car)
    Porsche speedster body / shortened VW pan and
    add in full blown set of high-end offroad
    baja bug stuff (Centerlines, raised with
    bus IRS, driving lights, etc,etc).

  • a Citroen 2CV - the one with the peelback roof of course - you know cheap plastic that went from windshield all the way back and had to be rolled up and stored on the parcel shelf.

    Believe it or not I actually raced a 2CV when I lived in England. There was a class that was just for them - 65mph flat out and a 30 degree lean on any curve.
  • If not a Beetle, how about the VW Thing, preferably in orange so that the rust will blend in.
  • I could see a 2CV in Europe definitely fitting the bill(I could see the sheer terror a MB driver on his face encountering this vehicle on the autobahn), but not in the Sstates. Imagine the following conversation:

    Buffy: So Muffy, how was your summer vacation?
    Muffy: Father took me to the south of france, nothing special.
    Buffy: Did you get anything while you were there?
    Muffy: Oh, yes! I saw hundreds of these *darling* little cars there, and I just had to have one! So I said to Father, "Father, that little car would look soooo cute next the Lamborghini in the garage, can I have one? And Father said, "Well you know Muffy, you already have the Lambo, and the Porsche, and the Bentley, do you really need a fourth car?", and I said, "But Daddy, it's so cute! and it will cost less than the cost of gas on the Learjet" And Father said, "Well Pumpkin, for you, sure".....

    I think you see my point here.
  • But just a straight Baja Beetle. Clipped fenders, raised suspension, the motor exposed in the rear w/ a cage...That has some fear potential.
  • A purple AMC Gremlin. This frankensteinian amalgamation of a car, a demoniacal splicing together of a Chevy Chevette and a Plymouth Volare is the perfect way to give the DuPonts nightmares that their daughter may one day wind up dating someone who drives this fairmont w/ trunkectomy.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You raced a 2CV? Did you bring along a magazine to read?
  • My father, a physician, had a 74 Ford pickup (I don't know the model) that ran very nicely, but didn't contain a surface without a ding or dent.

    In the 1980s, he took sort of a perverse joy in parking this big blue behemoth next to the MBs, BMWs, Volvos, Caddy's, etc. that his colleagues drove. Not surprisingly, he would find that his colleagues always left him plenty of space on either side if he was one of the first to park!

    By the way, my father doesn't play golf, which also says a lot about his anti-chic mentality.
  • I see the problem, back to the Trabant I guess.

    Reading while racing a 2CV - are you kidding!!!

    Don't forget that European courses are almost exclusively road courses. These 2CVs were stock (except for four point harnesses and a rollcage). That means those really grippy tires, and terrific suspension (not). I may not have got above 65mph but I have rarely felt less in control of a car (or more embarrassed at trying to slipstream down the main straight in front of the main grandstand.

    If anyone knows Brands Hatch circuit in England, imagine trying to push a 2CV around the club circuit at high (for a 2CV) speeds. If anyone doesn't know it, imagine steep gradients, fast bends and, joy of joys, adverse cambers.
  • In the late 60's an East German car was briefly imported into the US. It was the WARTBURG KNIGHT. It was really a hot car; 0-60 in 25.1 secs., top speed of 73 MPH. It had a 45 HP, two cycle, 3 cyl., 60.5 cu. in. engine. Wouldn't one of these beauties look good next to your neighbors Bentley?I think the name "WARTBURG" really says it all.
  • I just looked up a website on the trabant. Though the plastic body panels won't really do much to instill fear in Jag owners, that smoky, LOUD two stroke engine certainly makes up for it. If I get one, I'll be certain to mix the oil at 25:1 instead of 50:1 to enhance that effect.
  • It reallyis an amazing vehicle, I am particularly keen on the idea of the fuel tank over the engine so that fuel can be supplied by gravity, thereby removing the need for a fuel pump.

    Now why doesn't everyone do that????
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    Lots of fun reading this topic. I definitely think the Trabant and the Citroen 2CV would be great parked next to a bunch of snooty high rollers. [That extra 2-cycle oil's a great idead!]
    Well here's a little different thought. If you have the money, why not get some kind of a classic street rod that looks just like the original, but has all modern running gear from one of the high roller cars? Example: Saw this ad:Aclassic 35 Buick sedan, beautifully restored to original, with a big block Chevy motor and running gear-all quiet, classy and smooth, but with brute power and handling that would smoke any of those big dollar cars sitting there. There are lots of cars out there like this one-not just the "Hot rod" Fords and Chevies. You could enhance the "leaving the parking lot" experience by installing spark plugs in the tailpipes, and shooting flames back at your wealthy dowagers as you leave. [You could also add some 2-cycle oil]
  • Using an old classic sounds ok, except that a lot of folks who drive the expensive Euro Cars also if they are of Boomer age may also have a thing for street Rods(though of course, the closest they ever get to actually *building* one is handing over a check to a custom builder). Take a 350, wedge it in that primer'd chevy vega wagon, put spark plugs in the exhaust along with some 2-cycle oil in the gas and *then* you'd have something guaranteed to cause fear and loathing in the beemer crowd!
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    I have to ask....
    What the heck is that, a Yugo?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    chopped Honda 600 coupe, circa 1970.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    I didn't know a 1970 Honda gave you enough car to chop anything off! I like the idea of an old beater of a pickup truck. Sam Walton (Rich Wal-Mart guru) drove an old 70's model Ford F-seres till he day he died. If anybody could have bought a Bently for each day of the week, he could have!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    The man didn't get rich paying $150,000 each for cars!
This discussion has been closed.