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Automotive Unicorns


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#61 OFFLINE   catsinthewelder

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:36 PM

Dacia Denem.

 

In the late 70's Dacia tried bringing it's 1300 to the UK but dreadful build quality and none existent parts supply saw the company tasked with selling them using up UK supplies of Renault 12 parts and embarking on ever more creative repairs using parts from all sorts of other cars before giving up.

 

Undetered by this a chap tried importing the facelifted Dacia 1310 in the early 80's.  He recognised the number was unappealing so renamed it the Denem and was rewarded with a trickle of sales.  Spurred on by his success he imported the ARO 10 as well.  To give more of a brand he renamed it the Dacia Duster.  It continued on sale through the 80's alongside the 1310 pickup which he sold as the Dacia Shifter although the Denem was quickly dropped.

 

A handful have survived, I think it's one Denem saloon, a couple of Shifter pickups and about 5 Dusters.  The main reminder of this operation is that Dacia now make a 4x4 named the Duster with hundreds of thousands sold and not a penny of royalties paid to the chap who came up with the name.

 

You are welcome to a pic of the 1310 me and Ian brought back last year.

 

Romanian Rides.jpg

 

Seen here with Six Cylinders Oltcit


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95 Rover 220SLi

94 Peugeot 405 Estate
93 Land Rover Discovery 200TDI

90 Dacia 1310


#62 OFFLINE   chaseracer

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:39 PM

 VW K70,  first of the water cooled?

 

Which was really an NSU, but Volkswagen bought the bankrupt remains.


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#63 OFFLINE   chaseracer

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:41 PM

Dacia Denem.

 

You are welcome to a pic of the 1310 me and Ian brought back last year.

 

That's very acceptable, thank you  ;)


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2018 DS 3 - Domestic Management's staff car

2009 Cannondale Quick CX - too much like hard work
2003 Citroen Berlingo 2.0HDi - buggering on regardless
1995 Peugeot 205 Inca 1.7D - working
1982 Citroen Dyane 6 - hiding...


#64 OFFLINE   bigstraight6

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:41 PM

The glorious 1967-71 Austin 3 litre, take the body of a FWD Austin/Morris Landcrab and graft on longer front and rear wings and a longitudinal mounted C series Austin three litre engine driving the rear wheels. The resulting monstrosity was a disaster in its day with only 9992 being built over the 4 year run...DF712C1B-CE36-403D-868B-28388EF14401.jpeg
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Posted Image

#65 OFFLINE   Mrs6C

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:41 PM

Dacia Denem.

 

In the late 70's Dacia tried bringing it's 1300 to the UK but dreadful build quality and none existent parts supply saw the company tasked with selling them using up UK supplies of Renault 12 parts and embarking on ever more creative repairs using parts from all sorts of other cars before giving up.

 

Undetered by this a chap tried importing the facelifted Dacia 1310 in the early 80's.  He recognised the number was unappealing so renamed it the Denem and was rewarded with a trickle of sales.  Spurred on by his success he imported the ARO 10 as well.  To give more of a brand he renamed it the Dacia Duster.  It continued on sale through the 80's alongside the 1310 pickup which he sold as the Dacia Shifter although the Denem was quickly dropped.

 

A handful have survived, I think it's one Denem saloon, a couple of Shifter pickups and about 5 Dusters.  The main reminder of this operation is that Dacia now make a 4x4 named the Duster with hundreds of thousands sold and not a penny of royalties paid to the chap who came up with the name.

 

You are welcome to a pic of the 1310 me and Ian brought back last year.

 

attachicon.gifRomanian Rides.jpg

 

Seen here with Six Cylinders Oltcit

Three automotive unicorns is a row - a whole herd of them! :-)


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#66 OFFLINE   Pete-M

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:51 PM

Speaking of utter garbage that people have forgotten. Does anyone remember seeing 4 door Maserati Bi-turbo's?


Mr B0LL0X has one.
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214837.png 180526.png

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#67 OFFLINE   Mrs6C

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:59 PM

Citroen ZXs used to be very plentiful... still a few owned by AS folk (yes, me included) but suddenly not common in the wild. The 3-door for sale on AS at the moment is of particular rarity - I can't remember when I last saw one on the road. As a model, the ZXs are starting to turn up at classic car events, so I guess those that are left are starting to be appreciated. .

 

The Citroen Xsara - essentially a ZX with new clothes on (or off, according to the adverts!) - seems to have vanished even faster. The only one I have seen lately belonged to a Citroen Car Club member and was at a CCC event, but I have not seen any others for a long time.



#68 OFFLINE   Talbot

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 08:03 PM

The Citroen Xsara - essentially a ZX with new clothes on (or off, according to the adverts!) - seems to have vanished even faster.


I'm not surprised. They were abysmal. Compared to a ZX they were smaller, less headroom (I can't even sit in the back of a hatchback one), rubbish styling (especially the facelift) with rot problems and staggeringly uncomfortable seats.

I ran a 1.9TD Exclusive for just over a year. I had to jam a box between the back seat and my drivers seat for it to not give me backache. The best bit of the car was the engine, and the fact that it had working AC. Other than that it was pants.
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#69 OFFLINE   Matty

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 08:34 PM

The glorious 1967-71 Austin 3 litre, take the body of a FWD Austin/Morris Landcrab and graft on longer front and rear wings and a longitudinal mounted C series Austin three litre engine driving the rear wheels. The resulting monstrosity was a disaster in its day with only 9992 being built over the 4 year run... DF712C1B-CE36-403D-868B-28388EF14401.jpeg

Yeah but look at it. Tell me you wouldn't be happy to see that on your drive? I know i would!!
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#70 OFFLINE   Skizzer

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 08:44 PM

Does anyone have any suggestions for cars that were actually very good but had a fatal design flaw leading to them being massive failures?

Lancia Gamma - running the power steering off the timing belt

Lancia Beta Berlina - a rust trap in the rear (?) subframe

Lotus Elite series 1 - ungalvanised chassis that lasted about 3 years

NSU Ro80 - rotor tip mounts made from the same stuff as the actual tips so they wore each other out

Talbot Tagora - badge

Ford Sierra mk1 - styling

Jaguar XK8 - plastic timing belt tensioners

Aston Martin DB7 - Jaguar XK8
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#71 OFFLINE   holbeck

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 10:51 PM

and a longitudinal mounted C series Austin three litre engine driving the rear wheels.

 

Cough.... BMC era, but the C Series was developed by the Morris Engines branch at Courthouse Green Coventry.



#72 OFFLINE   Mrs6C

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 11:11 PM

Triumph Pony / Autocars Dragoon and derivatives...

https://en-gb.facebook.com/triumph4wd/

 

A few decades ago, an old neighbour of my parents claimed to have known a man who bought up all the Triumph Pony vehicles from Triumph when they stopped using them as internal factory hacks. He was reputed to have destroyed all but one, in an effort to make the last one rare and thus 'valuable'. I never did get to the bottom of this story to find out if and how much of it was true, but that was my introduction to a vehicle that is, pretty much, a unicorn...

 

The Standard Atlas is a rare beast too... as is any Standard Gazel outside (or indeed inside) its native India...


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#73 OFFLINE   Tadhg Tiogar

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 12:59 AM

....NSU Ro80 - rotor tip mounts made from the same stuff as the actual tips so they wore each other out...


Actually, they had carbon rotor tips to start with. They wore out prematurely and didn't react well to slogging in high gear at low revs.

Then they tried coating the rotor chambers in Nikasil. That went well. (BMW made similar error about 20+ years later, so history does repeat itself)

Then they came up with Ferrotic for the rotor tips and chrome chambers, which more or less solved the durability problem (as long as you used all of the three speeds properly). By this time it was 1972, and the reputation was already irretrievable.
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#74 OFFLINE   MorrisItalSLX

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 04:50 AM

Apparently, the cars were crushed because they'd stood for a year after production had been halted and Leyland didn't want (another) world of pain with warranty claims... and yes, many of them had failed QC, in fact at one point more failed than passed!

 

All but 10 Force 7Vs were crushed, this was done (to my knowledge) to make the remaining cars more valuable when they were auctioned off by Leyland Australia.

 

An interesting thing of note is the handbooks for the Force 7V had been printed before the plug was pulled. These handbooks somehow made there way into public hands and are quite valuable. I have a copy and it is very interesting to read about how to change bulbs in a car that was never produced.

 

$_58.JPG

 

It is also believed that 2 of the upmarket Tour de Force prototypes survived, but this has never been confirmed. The only evidence of their existence are these 2 photos.

 

BJTDFScn08.jpg

 

Force71.jpg


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46166620385_56a84bf2c5_o.jpg


#75 OFFLINE   Adrian_pt

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 11:41 AM

In the UK, cars of which only one example is known - Dacia Denem, UK-market ARO 24, UK-market Moskvich 434 van (more, including pick-ups, may have been resent to Russia), Sao Penza, Portaro Pampas (though "example" is pushing it - it's a pile of rust in Scotland), UK-spec Opel Rekord van, Dacia Shifter dropside

 

Fairthorpe Atom Major is on two, as is the Fairthorpe Atomota and the Tudor. Yugo Sanas are seriously endangered. The original Moskviches are also all very, very rare, particularly the commercial versions. Wartburgs marginally thicker on the ground. Early Zastavas? The first Daewoos must be getting there.

 

Are original UK Polski-Fiats extinct (Not FSO - the first ones, before they changed the badging)? Fairhtorpe Atom is, as is (I think) the Lonsdale. 

 

A very niche one: UK-spec European cars from the 30s to the 70s. Was at a house the other day with an UK-market DKW from 1937, which must be extremely rare, and was shocked to see an original NI Opel Admiral the other year. 

 

My Saab 90 is common as muck by comparison - 11 others on the road, plus about twice as many Sorned and probably a few more in barns. Can't be many used as day to day cars, though.

 

Happy to be proven wrong with tales of other survivors!


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1985 Saab 90 / 1990 Jaguar XJ-S / 1984 Dacia 1310


#76 ONLINE   bramz7

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 11:52 AM

Someone I work with has the only known complete Fairthorpe TX.
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buyer of impulse, seller of regret

 

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#77 OFFLINE   406V6

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 12:35 PM

A good modernshite example is the Infiniti QX30. Built in Sunderland using a lot of Mercedes parts and been on sale here for a couple of years. Just 200 are registered on our roads. That’s an even more epic failure than the Tagora was back in the day and a total disaster for a UK-built volume car. I can't think of any UK built car from a volume maker that has sold worse.


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#78 OFFLINE   mk2_craig

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 12:56 PM

How about unicorn variants? Along the lines of Mk1 Focus ST170 estate, which reputedly was never any more numerous in RHD form than a couple hundred examples and presumably a lot scarcer than that now.

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#79 OFFLINE   flat4alfa

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 01:12 PM

Best I can offer is my first-series Alfa 33

 

Not only that, it's the range-topping Gold Cloverleaf with the trip computer of lies.

 

WP-20180914-09-04-06-Pro-1.jpg

 

Capture.png


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#80 OFFLINE   HillmanImp

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 01:37 PM

There's still one Seat Malaga XL on the roads according to HML.  It may or may not be an import, we think the last UK one was stolen and scrapped about 10yrs ago but could be wrong as nobody seems to have spotted the one thats on the road AFAIK.

 

Here's a potato quality photo of the one that was stolen from Leeds

Malaga.JPG

 

I know Nigel B has a GLX which doesn't show up on HML which is an import and was off the road last I heard a couple of years back after a cambelt snapped. Not sure what Dooovla recorded that as.


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#81 OFFLINE   alcyonecorporation

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 01:49 PM

Daihatsu Applause? Come to think of it, anything Daihatsu is rare now.


Scrapped one. Well, it went to a banger racer. Lots of emoticons and 'sutch a shaem' messages on social media, but no one wanted it. Needed approx £500-worth of work to scrape an MoT and I was skint.

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#82 OFFLINE   Dead_E23

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 01:57 PM

I haven't seen an Isuzu Piazza for quite some time.

Concerning design flaws: the text book example is the radiator grille of the Ford Edsel, which was reminiscent of a 'lady's foo', thereby alienating purchasers who prefer their cars to resemble a giant winkie.
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#83 OFFLINE   Tadhg Tiogar

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 02:03 PM

Best I can offer is my first-series Alfa 33

 

Not only that, it's the range-topping Gold Cloverleaf with the trip computer of lies.

 

https://i.postimg.cc/pVJRhcQz/WP-2018091...

 

https://i.postimg.cc/rpVSTP9j/Capture.pn...

 

Alfa 75?

Alfa 90?


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F*ck your Honda Civic, I've a horse outside,
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And f*ck your Mitsubishi, I've a horse outside,
If you're lookin' for a ride, I've got a horse outside

#84 OFFLINE   Junkman

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 02:11 PM

Which was really an NSU, but Volkswagen bought the bankrupt remains.

 

That's one way to look at it.


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#85 OFFLINE   Stevebrookman

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 03:38 PM

Someone (I forget who) has a A plate one if memory serves.

I always wanted a later 3.0 24v version.

 

It's me-

 

ZolF61l.jpg

 

And link

 

http://autoshite.com...rting-problems/

 

Steve


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#86 OFFLINE   Mrs6C

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 05:20 PM

First series of Fiat Panda, with the asymmetrical grille and the comprehensively configurable interior...

#87 OFFLINE   barefoot

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 05:23 PM

Renault Vel Satis - in close ratio 6 speed manual / 2 litre 16 valve turbo flavour.

 

IMG_9819.JPG


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94110.png94111.png94112.png439963.png717308.png


#88 OFFLINE   nigel bickle

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 05:25 PM

Good recall Mr Imp!

I do have a Seat Malaga; now back on Belgian plates which is prob why it’s not showing.

I do have a couple of U.K. registered Mk1 Ibiza’s,( both 1990) a recently collected Marbella and the 1430 Bocanegra midway thru a welding spree.
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#89 OFFLINE   TheClutchBasketPodcast

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 06:12 PM

You did have me beat on a few of these. Don't think I could have identified a Seat Malaga or a Fairthorpe TX before my education. 

 

Interesting on the QX30. I hadn't really considered any current/modern cars so good shout on that one.

 

Immediately made me think of the Vel Satis and the Avantime. I am glad someone brought that up as well.



#90 OFFLINE   TheClutchBasketPodcast

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 06:15 PM

Panda's got thin on the ground all of a sudden. Only a few years back I remember a fair few Marbellas rolling around but they have disappeared in quick order.

 

A friend of mine had a world cup 90 Panda with the football wheel covers as his first car. Anyone remember seeing those?






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