If you spend any time reading this blog or just know me well, you'll be aware of my obsession with cars. And not just any cars, but often cars that most people wouldn't think too highly of. If there is a multi-million dollar limited edition Bugatti Veyron and a rusty, leaking Series II Land Rover parked next to each other, I will not give a single shit about the fancy Bugatti until I have properly looked at the Land Rover.
I like boxy cars. I like honest vehicles that were designed to be workhorses: 4x4s, wagons, vans. My favorite cars are the Land Rover Defender and the Volvo 240 wagon, neither of which are what you'd typically be thinking of as cars to hang up a poster of, but they both appeal to me in a way that's hard to put into words. I have already talked about cars on this blog several times: I talked about why I love old cars, I did a bit of historical research into Spanish-built Land Rovers and I did a post on the rusty cars I found on the Greek island of Agistri. This blogpost is very much like the latter one of these: simply a collection of the awesome cars I've seen during my travels or just around Cambridge and Budapest.
On my Instagram, I already started a highlights collection of cool cars I saw, so I thought it was time to properly collect the pictures I took with a camera, not a crappy phone. An interesting pattern seems to have emerged: quite a significant portion of the cars are Land Rovers and other rugged 4x4s or VW vans. So without further ado, here is a mega-gallery of awesome cars I've spotted.
Land Rover Series
I've been frequently bumping into this lovely Series III ever since I moved to Cambridge.
Land Rover Santana
The Santana Series III was still largely identical to the ones manufactured by Land Rover in Solihull, but they already started making some small improvements and changes.
Land Rover never had a Series IV, instead it launched the Defender in 1983. But this was also the time when Land Rover and Santana's ways split and Santana launched its own competitor to the Defender, called the Series IV or the 2500, which you can see above. Read more about Land Rover Santana's story here.
Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover Defender is a really interesting car: they are right at home hauling shit on a farm, supporting a trans-Saharan expedition or dropping someone off at a fancy casino. Ben Fogle in his book about the Defender called it a car that is completely classless.
I have to admit, I prefer Defenders that are used off road to explore interesting places, to help people working for Mountain Rescue or fire departments in difficult places. They are just oddly photogenic and endearing cars, despite their boxiness (or maybe because of it?).
Volkswagen Transporter T2
This is probably the most popular car on this list. Everyone loves this little retro icon!
Volkswagen Transporter T3
Everyone's favorite is the T1 and T2, but I'm a hipster and I like the boxy shape of the T3 most!
The Beetle is awesome, no further explanation needed!
This small Russian-built 4x4 is not universally appreciated among car enthusiasts, but despite its sometimes shoddy build quality, it is a very capable off-roader, popular in all of the ex-Soviet states and in places where a small, spartan 4x4 is needed. In spirit, it is very much like the Defender, being built for decades with only incremental changes. I think it's badass!
Whoever can tell me what exactly this extended-length Niva is, I'll buy that person a beer!
"But Marci, this is your own family wagon!" I hear you shout already. I know, I know... but I couldn't do a blogpost without including a Volvo, yet I sadly had to realize that I only have phone photos of classic Volvos. Shame on me!
Other Classic Cars
A decaying Rover 3500S somewhere in Cambridge.
Classic 4x4s and Pickups
An abandoned fire truck on the island of Hvar just outside Ivan Dolac. I am guessing it is built on some Russian truck chassis, like an Ural or a Zil or something similar.
Agistri's Unimog 406 fire truck
Congratulations if you managed to get this far! This was a damn long post. Now you have a little insight into my car obsession and if you are a fellow car nut, I'm sure you found plenty of vehicles that you'd love to drive!