Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
1/29/19 3:05 p.m.

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Story by Tim Suddard • Lead Photography by Dirk De Jager • Collages by Sarah Young

There are certain cars that everybody wants: Shelby Cobras, Jaguar E-Types and Porsche 356 Speedsters are on every list of blue-chip collectibles. And since the law of supply and demand rules the collector-car market the same as any other, those same cars fetch strong prices in our world.

But what if you thought outside the box and cast your eyes toward some less popular choices that still offer a terrific ownership experience? Even better, what if those cars still turned heads, but did so for less than the price of an SL Benz?

Welcome to the world of oddballs. It’s a place we enjoy visiting. Over the years we have owned and restored plenty, from the TVR Griffith and Sunbeam Tiger to the Innocenti Mini and our extremely rare Tornado Typhoon, a ‘50s special based on common English Ford mechanicals.

Here’s what we have learned: With an oddball, you’ll never pass yourself on the open road, and at car shows you are less likely to be pinned down by some self-professed expert. Instead, you get to take center stage, often with an inexpensive purchase.

Read the rest of the story

SPOT New Reader
1/29/19 8:12 p.m.

Citroen 2CV

NUMBER BUILT: approx. 3.8 million between 1948 and 1990

PRICE OF OWNERSHIP: $10,000 - $20,000 (nice driver to very nice restoration)

WHAT IS IT? France's answer to the VW Beetle. Air cooled front-mounted boxer engine, long travel suspension linking the front and back wheels with horizontally mounted shocks. 

PLUSES: Tremendous following - 6000 cars showed up at European gatherings, parts availability is excellent and most are remanufactured. Fun to drive with the gear shift protruding from the center of the dash. Surprisingly quick if there is no hill in sight. Seats can be quickly removed without the need for tools and used for tailgating. Great ventilation & heat. Comfortably seats 4 adults

MINUSES: Some parts may need to be ordered from Europe, although prices are reasonable. Slow off the starting line. Prone to rust. Goes faster without rear passengers


FINAL WORDS: Cheap fun and smiles. 

studepilot New Reader
4/30/20 4:55 p.m.

I had a wolseley hornet .think buick version of a mini with a formal trunk ,chrome grill and leather .It also included such luxuries as an actual heater and windscreen washer . Such a fun car .I brought it over from england .There cannot be many in the usa .  

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/2/20 11:38 a.m.

The Wolseley Hornet is a cool car and, yes, a rare bird here. And I like your description: think Buick version of a Mini. 

wspohn Dork
5/2/20 2:14 p.m.
studepilot said:

I had a wolseley hornet .think buick version of a mini with a formal trunk ,chrome grill and leather .It also included such luxuries as an actual heater and windscreen washer . Such a fun car .I brought it over from england .There cannot be many in the usa .  

The Mini had a number of badge engineered versions. I liked the Wolseley version as they used the same illuminated grille badge as my 6/99 did.

Riley Elf was similar (I owned several Riley 1.5s)

Cosworth1 New Reader
5/2/20 3:26 p.m.

Hi Tim-

Hung with you a couple years ago at the Champaign British Festival in Illinois, where I had my '69 Morris Cooper. Just picked up this '57 Austin A35 to go with it. I am very fortunate to have gotten this in from the UK when I did (just a couple months ago), right before the virus surfaced. No telling where it may be right now if it had left just a bit later, might still be on the ship in a port somewhere!

These have a few interesting quirks. Like sliding side windows, which my Cooper has also. The Cooper's move horizontally, while these slide up and down. And a turn signal lever, not on the column, but dead-center on the top of the dash. Non-cancelling, but the flashing light in it is a reminder!



wspohn Dork
5/3/20 10:42 a.m.

In the same vein is Stan Huntley's Morris Minor pickup truck which he ran with a killer full house 1275 engine with four Amal carbs.  The guys with racing Bugeyes used to get pretty ticked off when they were passed by a truck.....


bkwanab New Reader
1/14/21 3:20 p.m.

In reply to SPOT :

And if you really want to turn heads put a BMW boxer motorcycle engine in one.  There is a conversion kit available.  90+ bhp in a 2CV will turn heads as you zoom past a lot a slow 'ordinary' cars.

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