Welcome to this week’s Question of the Week! Comment on this post and you’re automatically entered to win BaT merchandise. Our favorite answer each week gets a $25 hat or t-shirt from the BaT Gear Store.
Last week we asked, “what chassis would you use to build a rally car?”
This week we want to know: what car LEAST reflects its country of origin?
National identity in automobiles reflect the values and conditions of the countries that produce them. American horsepower helped us tame the Interstate Highway System. The 1990s Japanese bubble economy produced overengineered vehicles that beget a reputation for reliability. The Scandinavian focus on safety gave Swedish cars an edge when it comes to life-saving tech.
But not all cars fit into these boxes so neatly. Despite their reputation for jaw-droppingly beautiful sports cars, the Italians also know their way around a charming city car like this Fiat 500C Topolino. The Germans are famous for muscular autobahn cruisers, but also created the BMW Isetta.
So what particular car from history (or right now) LEAST reflects its country of origin? Where did a manufacturer go against the grain of their domestic market to deliver something out of the blue? Be sure to explain what about your choice is atypical for the country of origin.
What answer is our winner from last week? We’ve chosen @Paddy_Garcia for picking up a sweet piece of Swedish steel on BaT:
Got it right here! https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1968-volvo-122s-10/
That 122S looks perfect for dirt road fun! Check your email for a message from us with info on how to claim your prize!
Here’s a few more great answers from last week—
I guess the question is do you want the rally car to be actually competitive or are you building something for fun?
If it is the former then aside from the obvious MK2 Escort, Escort Cosworth or Lancia Delta Integrale then I would go with a Peugeot 106 Rallye. Screaming 1.3 litre engine, ludicrously light and specatcular FWD handling. Much, much faster on a rally stage than you would expect based on the stats.
However, if I was building a rig just for fun? I’d be torn between a 1977 Bandit Trans Am (why not make EVERY gravel turn a reenactment of the off road scenes in the movie? or… and I think this is my final answer, why not rally with a little more class?
Top Gear did a scene where they rallied a Bentley Continental GT a few years back and it seemed remarkably quick. So I think I’d go that route.
Thinking of a challenge, Olds Toronado comes to mind. Stripping the carcass from the chassis yields a big ass V8 with front wheel drive. From there who knows what I could create with a torch and a pile of aftermarket toys?
I’m with @CarguyBlue here and beside @SirRoCCo who was smart enough to go all the way, we all just missed it, here on BAT: https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1994-peugeot-106/.
Still kicking myself for not stepping up on that one. 😖
Throw a cage in it, some good seats, an appropriate restrain system and, as recommended by @Nicolas, some serious shocks.
And voila! Major fun on credit card money!
(Well, a good credit card! 😉)
I’d do a late 90s or perhaps early 2000s Subaru wagon with a later six, cage, lights, seats, appropriate wheels and tires, & reinforced everything. It’s a tough, stable, and roomy platform for long distances under rough conditions – and I bet the flat six could be made to sound good too.
Or maybe my prewar BMW….
1963 Buick Riviera with the Wildcat motor. It already has a great starting point with the lights and between RWD and gobs of torque it would slide around every turn on the course! A manual swap would be in order, and you would have to get REAL serious about shedding some weight, but think about how much fun it would be to beat just one sport compact in a 60’s American “GT” car…
Mercedes Gwagen, or, better yet, a diesel Series 80 Land Cruiser…..
Chasis: Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
Body: 1978 Pontiac Sunbird
The wheelbase is about the same and to be passed by a Pontiac Sunbird would be true humiliation. You’d have to dip that steel body to lighten it up a bit, but don’t sweat the details!
GM M-Body, i.e. an Astro or Safari, with the factory AWD. Shame it never crossed with the factory T-5. Still, run a Syclone motor with some suitable tires & have some fun.
I’d want a vintage rally car…For dirt roads or paved roads..A MK2 Cortina for me.Not used much in the late 60’s early 70’s because of the MK1 and MK2 Escorts.
Jaguar XK-120 OTS to Monte Carlo Rally spec like the one Ian Appleyard wielded with such aplomb with his wife Pat as navigator.
Likely was a bit easier for him as Pat was the daughter of William Lyons, but I’d persevere just the same.
Your lead picture is missing the sound, otherwise, perfect.
Saab 96 is a terrific toy!
Gen 1 RX7, Good looking, Fast, fun, quality parts are still fairly plentiful and good car for Rallying sideways, Hill Climbing etc. Why Not ?
We’re excited to see what everyone comes up with for this week. What car LEAST reflects its country of origin? Our favorite answer wins a $25 hat or t-shirt from the Gear Store.