You may have read my lament on Hooniverse.com regarding the fact that whenever I see a car I may be interested in on ebay or the like – it ends up being an automatic? My conclusion at the time was that was a good thing. See, I don’t have the garage space or the finances to be going out and buying every weird hatchback I see, so the 10% or so take rate on manual transmissions in this country saves me quite frequently.
In high school, I knew a guy who drove a Dodge Daytona. He claimed it was the fastest car on the road. He was wrong. His was a base model with an automatic – it was slow. Of course, he also claimed that the subsequent Hyundai Excel he bought was even faster.
He was probably right about that.
Hatchtopia has brought you links to Bringatrailer.com before – that site is probably the premier online portal for all things odd and cool when it comes to car sales. At the same time, it’s been a while since Hatchtopia has featured a Weird British Hatchback.
So, today is a link to a car that I’ve honestly never even heard of – Bringatrailer says they’ve just never seen one (trying to one-up me, BAT?!). In any case, it is truly one of the cooler hatchback/shooting breaks I’ve laid my eyes on. A 1978 Reliant Scimitar.
I’ve decided to make Toy Tuesday a semi-regular feature here at Hatchtopia. Why? Because it’s fun. This particular ride is a hyper-realistic version of the 1st Generation Datsun Z, rolling on a 390 millimeter wheelbase. I think you’ll agree that the detail on this car is very impressive at any size.
Today is a very special day. The 20th anniversary of the purchase of my first car – damn I’m old.
A lot has changed in those twenty years. Used to be, I’d fill up the tank for less than 10 bucks and just burn it off driving aimlessly around, the suspension straining under the load of 5 unruly teenagers. It was fun. Now, a fillup costs 40 bucks or more and the bulk of my travel is commuting. That’s a chore I leave to a train conductor – because one thing hasn’t changed. I still want driving to be fun.
By now, everyone knows of my love for Hatchbacks. Some of you may know of my love of Legos. My collection started when I was about 4 and developed to the point that by age 12, I had enough Lego cars, buildings, minifigs (the people) and accessories to create a pretty sizable town that I had laid out on a 4×8 sheet of plywood supported by sawhorses in the basement. It was there that I became an Urban Planner – my current career. That emphasis on the layout of the town and the buildings within was probably why I never developed too many detailed car models. I did have a fleet of various cars that populated my table-town, but they were mostly mass-produced: either copies of retail models, or variations on a couple of my own standard designs. But one thing was common, the design had to fit on the roads in my town.
It was that road-width issue that kept me from branching out too far like the creator of today’s feature.
Here’s an available example of a nice mid-80s performance coupe. The Toyota Supra was the big dog in the Toyota lineup in those days, and competed against other Japanese coupes such as the Nissan 300 ZX and Mazda RX-7. All three shared a hatchback body style and were front-engine, rear-wheel-drive. The ZX and Supra both were powered by 6-cylinder engines, while the Mazda stuck with the traditional rotary.