Marcel Romijn visited the Maastricht Interclassics and came home with a memory card filled with forgotten jewels. Read an anthology from his collection.

In general you could say that cars from the 1940’s are rather scarce. European production was mainly in ruins, while in the rest of the world war production came first. Look at that beautiful Buick Eight. It’s not a pre-war car, although the styling and engineering pretty much is. At the same time it still lacks the abundant tail fin and chrome styling that becomes so popular in the fifties. Still this is a magnificent vehicle with an extraordinary elegant style. The Ford V8 could be regarded as a contemporary of the Buick, but is in fact quite a lot older. This is a true pre-war vehicle, although most people might have a more old fashioned look in mind when thinking of pre-war motoring. This here car is the very first ordinary, affordable car fitted with a V8 engine. Ford being so proud of their new Flathead V8, naming the new car simply after its engine. Everywhere on the vehicle you can find the V8 logo, it is even embossed in the tail pipe’s cover. The Ford V8 is the grandfather of the legendary American V8 and has been the favorite base for those typically American hotrods right from the start.

In the classic scene vans and trucks usually are a special division. The only one everybody knows is the obligatory Volkswagen. What to think about this Fiat 900? It’s a miniature van which seems to take back on the 1950’s Fiat 600 Multipla, but has been built in the eighties. Rear engined, three rows of seats and headlights that might be adjustable by the drivers knee. Not so for the co-driver, who has to share their legroom with the spare wheel. Outside Italy these vans are extremely rare, so this gorgeous example being on the nomination to be cherished as a true classic is just amazing.

Like the Fiat, most Peugeots 404 pick-up can be found on their home ground in France. And in Northern Afrika of course, where all rear wheel driven Peugeots go to spend their pensions. The extraordinary beautiful unrestored state of this example clearly shows how Peugeot altered the elegance of the 404 to create a more rugged vehicle. Besides the obvious two door pick up style, the car sports way less chrome and trim. Still it manages to hold up quite a bit of its original elegance.

 

Every Japanese classic has a rarer status than any car from the western world. An unrestored young timer that looks brand new is even more extraordinary. Japanese cars from the eighties simply haven’t got a large fan base. Their styling is hugely different from mainstream and most of them still carry around their bread and butter image, or worse, that of a beige pensioners runabout. It’s only when a pristine example like this Mitsubishi Lancer surfaces, you realise how fast they have disappeared from our street view. On the other hand, these are the childhood memories of a new generation of classic car enthousiasts…
Marcel Romijn