Trafikjournalen: Cars that influenced Swedish car culture (The end!)

Eeeek, I am >< this close to being finished… can I reserve a spot? :wink:

Otherwise I’ll just submit without an interior. The exterior and engineering is done.

Truth is that I have only checked interiors briefly and none of them has been outstanding enough to change something, so you can as well send it in interior-less and make an interior later if you want it for your own sake.

Aight, cool. I’ll send it in as is now, and then I’ll post screenshots here soon :tm: when the interior is done.
Darn… thought I had the weekend to work on this still. Seems to be a popular era this one!

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I suggest @cake_ape and @Maverick74 to fix their missing stuff soon, and at least before the original deadline on tuesday. If anyone of you wants to jump out of this instead of finishing, please tell me that soon and I will leave your slot open until tuesday instead.

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I’ll be sending my entry right away!

Mons Racing

Introducing the

Mons Hawk GT-X

A little history of the Hawk model

The Mons Hawk series

Introduced in 1985 as a new model, the Mons Hawk was another attempt by Mons Automotive to bridge the North American and European markets. Advertised as a hatchback it rode the “hot hatch” trend of the era with front-engine FWD drivetrains. The Mons Hawk line of cars had several trims, including two and four door variants. The lower trims had 1.2-1.5L naturally aspirated I4 engines, some with carburators (especially in North America), but also with fuel injection. The top mass-produced trim was the naturally aspirated and fuel-injected 1.6L I4 putting out just over 100 HP. The GTI participated in lower rally classes, but Mons Automotive wanted to crack the prestigious Group B! For this purpose Mons Racing was tasked to take the GTI and modify it to Group B standards, and to build the mandated 200 homologation models. So the GT-X was born.

The Mons Hawk GT-X was a complete rebuild of the Mons Automotive GTI model by Mons Racing. The 200-run limited series homologation model had a reinforced and altered chassis to allow for the mid-engine lay-out. The car sported a 1.8L I4 turbocharged engine that put out just over 200 HP (about half of the competition car). Power was delivered through a 5-speed manual gearbox to the advanced AWD system. Functional lips and wings made for a sure footing, even at speed. The car stood out with its more extreme fender flares and ample venting system. The two-door hatchback had two seats, a sports interior, but did have comfort amenities such as a cassette player and air conditioning. The car was only available in one colour - a unique grey and red colour scheme. The final touch was the GT-X exclusive red badging and sports rims. A poster of this car belongs on each teenager’s bedroom wall!

More eye candy!


1982 Moravia Veverky DE

By the mid sixties the entry level 850 DA was beginning to look rather outdated compared to the cars being introduced throughout Europe. So work began on a new car. Their new car was christened the Veverky, a nod to the nickname given to the 850 DA. By teaming up with the French company CESMA, Moravia was able to develop a fairly advanced traverse engined front wheel drive chassis. This allowed it to have a small footprint while retaining a reasonable amount of space.

Like it predecessor, it was powered by a small inline three, but with an overhead cam cylinder head and a larger 950cc capacity. It proved to be a sensible and affordable small car. But dark clouds were beginning to form over the Czech company. Around the time the car was introduced, Soviet forces took up occupation of the country and put a kibosh on the liberalism of the nation. The Prague Spring was over. What this meant to Moravia was that they simply had to make do with the cars in their lineup until conditions improved.

Welcome to the rest of your life

Fast forward to 1982 and the Veverky is still in production. But don’t think that the Czech company completely neglected the small hatchback. It had seen a small stream of steady improvements over the years, with a full facelift at the beginning of the 80’s to make it look more contemporary. A new eggcrate style grill, flush mounted headlamps, and larger bumpers set it apart from the older models. By once again making a deal with the French, the Veverky features a throttle body fuel injection system that allows the inline three to make 45hp and 50 pound feet of torque.

Radial tires, front disc brakes,eight track radio, and advanced safety features help keep the DE competitive with the European export markets. With low service costs, 35 mpg fuel economy, and a $12,900 AMU pricetag, Moravia hopes to have the Veverky stay relevant until a better tomorrow.


small thing i forgot to mention:

the trunk works the same as a 1st gen Smart Fortwo

outside handle opens the top half along the grey seam, revealing the other, inside handle operating the lower half (with the DIONE lettering) to open tailgate-style

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Would be great to see the rear of the car then. With just one front quarter photo this explanation doesn’t mean much to us :stuck_out_tongue:

i shall happily oblige with your request




As we all know, the 80s was nothing but a counter-reaction on the 70s. Two centuries that, when looking at it in one way, is only a day apart. An hour, a minute, a second. Yet, they seems to be worlds apart. But did that happen over night? No, of course not. One great way to see the transition period is to look at the cars from the late 70s and early 80s, which we are going to do today.

VERY INFLUENTIAL: 1982 AEKI 451 2.2 Turbo Exclusive (@conan )
Every day in regular traffic, you will meet an 80s car that is so common that you won’t even react. We’re of course talking about the AEKI 400 series, for many years the backbone of Swedish transportation.

But it has not always been like that. To start with, the sales of the 400 series were slow. Many people were questioning why it had to be so expensive. But in another way, it was a clear example of getting your money’s worth. It gave you lots of interesting technology, like turbocharging, a computer controlled 4 speed automatic transmission, limited slip differential, variable ratio steering and double wishbone suspension all around (on the most expensive models). Not to mention that it was among the first cars to feature pretensioning seatbelts and a driver’s side air bag, which combined with the carefully engineered body shell made it one of the safest cars of its era. And just like the 100 series had been once upon a time, having a 400 series in the driveway finally became a status symbol that many families were aiming for. And it was produced for over 15 years, becoming so popular that some people were in tears when it was finally discontinued.

Other people were not very keen about it, though, They meant that the big bulky square body made the car look like if it was some concrete shelter on wheels. The engine was “coarse” and “agricultural” for an executive class car. Also, even if luggage space was great, there were smaller cars offering equal amounts of passenger space. But the criticism could by no means hamper its success.

And if we should compare it to the 100 series once again, the natural thing to do was to pass down the 400 series to the younger generation. If you were born in the late 70s, 80s or early 90s, we could almost bet that an AEKI 400 series were your first car. And turbo, limited slip differential and rear wheel drive could only mean abuse, right? But the 400 series could take it like a champ.

Maybe that is the reason why values have been skyrocketing for the last five years or so? Finding a 400 series that isn’t a complete wreck means that you have to empty your wallet.

1982 F&S Rattler MkIII Turbo @Tez
The third generation Rattler was kind of the revenge for F&S after the dark years. The old unreliable SOHC inline six was now replaced with a modern DOHC unit, despite an extreme power output for its era of 372 hp, it held up, unlike its predecessor. Driving dynamics were in a class of their own, which could not be said about earlier Rattlers (not bad, but maybe a bit disappointing for the type of car). That was, of course, as long as you could handle its tendency to smoke the tyres. Sticky 215 wide rubber did not help when 456 Newtonmeters were sent to the relatively light tail. Because when it came to weight distribution, there were better cars on the market, but that didn’t matter, it was still relatively well balanced. A top speed only 4 km/h short of the magical 300 limit and a 0-100 time of 5.59 seconds were amazing in its era, too. But all of this must have meant that it sacrificed the comfort, right?

Nah. The driver and passenger (as the 2 seater it was) were sitting in an air conditioned cocoon clad in leather, with a decent stereo system and all the bells and whistles that were available in the 80s. No wonder that the F&S Rattler was such a dream car for many people back then. Many teenage bedroom walls were decorated with posters of them, the automotive journalists weren’t short of their praise. And of course, such a nice car was costly, but $33500 AMU was still not totally bonkers, considering what you got.

But of course, the market was very much limited here when the car was new, since it still was a dream for many people that meant that the import in the late 80s were, not massive but still remarkable. Many examples found their way to the country, but that didn’t mean that they were ever cheap. The Mk3 Rattler’s destiny was to become a classic from the moment it rolled out from the factory, and a classic it remains.

VERY INFLUENTIAL: 1984 Waldersee Ritter T23 TRA (@Texaslav )
If there was one car that brought AWD to the masses, it was the Waldersee Ritter. Before this, having anything more than 2 wheel drive was usually limited to off road vehicles that, to say it nice, was quite compromised on the road. Manually locking freewheeling hubs and transfer cases with no centre differential made for primitive systems that should only be used when you already were more or less stuck - not on a bad and slippery road.

That all changed with the more complex system that was introduced in the Ritter. You didn’t have to touch anything, the 4 wheel drive simply was there all the time, without driveability being hampered at all. Today “all wheel drive” are well known words to any car nut, but in the 80s this was something new. That made it a favourite especially in the northern parts of the country.

But did the Waldersee have anything else than AWD speaking in its favour? Of course it had. Excuse us, but it was simply a damn good car. It was sturdy and reliable. It was safe and secure. It was so utilitarian, practical, everything you could expect from a workhorse, while the nice 5 cylinder engine meant that it never felt slow either.

All this was sold at a competitive price of $21300 AMU. But while the price as new was held at a sane level, the craze about the Waldersee Ritter as an used car held the second hand values at an insanely high level, finding an owner that wanted to part with his Waldersee was not an easy task, and it has sort of been like that ever since. It is not as an enthusiast vehicle the Ritter have been most influential, fact is that it took some time for it to be accepted like one, no, it is all the daily driven examples that never seems to get tired that have given the Ritter a kind of legendary status. And you can still find them, especially in the north where the salted roads are few and far between - not that it matters very much since the rust protection was really state of the art for the mid 80s.

VERY INFLUENTIAL: 1985 KAI K180 Turbo (@abg7 )
The K180 Turbo was really the right car at the right time. In the mid 80s, there was some new interest sparked into the sports coupé segment, it once again became THE kind of car to have to be hip. And one of the cars that caused that to happen was the K180 Turbo. It is a bit unclear if the hen or the egg came first here, but the sales of sports coupés in general seemed to go hand in hand with the sales of K180 Turbos for all of its production time.

But why did the K180 become such a success then? To start with, styling has always been an important factor in this segment, and the K180 was looking very modern and contemporary, without being overstyled, rather a very clean and timeless car that still looks great over 30 years later. Also, it had great driving dynamics and was very fun to drive, with a relatively good balance, great chassis engineering, rear wheel drive and a 5 speed manual transmission. Also, the engine was something of a piece of art for its era, cranking out 195 hp from only 1.8 litres (with the help of a turbocharger of course) without hampering reliability or driveability too much. Also, it was practical and comfortable enough to have as a daily, at least if you didn’t have a family, and you could own it without breaking the bank. Finding any major flaws with the K180 was really hard, which resulted in strong sales.

Fast forward circa 15 years. The movie “The agile and the angry” was extremely popular, resulting in the tuner style being all the rage, and the K180 was a popular object at the time, multiple examples were featured in the tuner magazines of the era. We may laugh at it today, but all of us that was there and remember may nod at it too. And when that fad slowly was fading away, drifting was starting to become popular in this country. And which car became a very common platform to build on there? Yup, you are guessing right.

And as time goes by the pendulum turns back again. After over 30 years, the K180s are getting restored back to original condition. And if you have one that survived all the fads, you are a lucky one. An untouched example is certainly not cheap today.

The K180 - a modern classic in its own right.

1984 Aim Swallow Mk IV G6T (@lotto77 )
If the Waldersee Ritter brought all wheel drive down to the masses, the Aim Swallow unfortunately barely missed the goal. Not because there was anything wrong with the Swallow, just like the Ritter it was a really good car. And not because it was a flop, it still had somewhat decent sales for what it was. But the Waldersee Ritter was cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, more reliable, better at the light offroad duties it was supposed to do, had better rust protection and was more utilitarian. The Swallow was more comfortable, civilized and offered better standard equipment, and overall felt like the “nicer” car.

And in the end it was quite clear who “won” this race. People asking for an AWD station wagon in this era was more in the market for a workhorse, than they were for luxuries. Though both the engineering and styling of the cars did have some interesting similarities, so they really do share the status of being the pioneers among the lifted AWD wagons that should become so popular in the 90s.

And today, there is clearly some fresh interest in the Aim Swallow, because today we can see what we didn’t see when the car was new. It was an interesting example of what you could do with a car using the (by then) latest state-of-the-art technologies. How about an MS-DOS based diagnostics system? Horribly outdated today of course, but very modern back then. So if you are going to attend a car show, make sure to bring your Compaq Portable with you, and the diagnostics programme on 5.25” floppydiscs. There is always some nerd that will appreciate seeing the values of the sensors displayed in ASCII graphics, alternatively some ex Aim-mechanic that will give you some sighs and think “thank god that this is over”.

1985 Schnell LX-6 (@interior )

If the Waldersee was a hit and the Aim a quite strong seller in the emerging 4wd wagon segment, the Schnell LX-6 was the flop. It was sold marginally cheaper than the Waldersee, but in most areas it simply could not keep up. Sure, the performance was a little bit better, but that was hardly requested in this class, and the Schnell did not have neither handling nor brakes (they were actually horribly bad) to keep up with the speeds it was capable of doing. The LX-6 was thirsty, and it was less practical and less comfortable than the Waldersee. And despite the more primitive (but effective) part time 4wd system, it was not THAT much better as an offroad vehicle. So if Waldersee hit on bulls eye and Aim missed the goal a little, Schnell missed it completely. The LX-6 was an oddball in the sales statistics that never really seemed to make it. There was not really a market for this car to start with, and it really didn’t help that it had some obvious flaws.

So, the question is, do the LX-6 have any significance at all in todays automobile world? Well, there is always people around that likes oddballs, and the LX-6 probably ticks the right boxes for some of them. But there were never many of them to start with and even though the reliability and rust protection were relatively good, even fewer of them have survived for over 30 years, so finding an LX-6 is hard, finding an enthusiast even harder. But we are sure that they are out there somewhere. Maybe you are one of them?

1976 TACK Resande Sport (@HighOctaneLove )

Trafikjournalen, issue #3 1978. The headline was “Tack och adjö”*. You might remember it still, if you were around by then. The reason was that we did an investigation about the troubles surrounding the TACK V8.

To start with, things were looking kind of bright for the TACK Resande Sport. 8 cylinders for the price of four has always been a selling point, even if it was a bit doubtful this soon after the oil crisis. And considering how advanced the V8 was, it was almost too good to be true. One has to remember that overhead camshaft V-engines were a rare thing back then. Building an OHC inline engine is kind of straightforward, but a V engine requires a much more complicated transmission for the camshafts, as well as requiring twice as many camshafts, two for a SOHC layout and four for a DOHC layout. So, having a SOHC V8 in the TACK Resande Sport felt exclusive, it was something that was mostly seen in some exclusive german cars at the era, costing many times as much as the TACK. It also had performance that could very well both match and exceed one of the main competitors, the 6 cylinder variants of the AEKI 2/300-series. And to make it even more exclusive, the V8 featured 3 valves per cylinder, which was almost unheard of in the era.

Was this too good to be true? Oh, yes. Timing chains that did stretch. Camshafts that had problems with the lubrication. Casting problems with the aluminium block. There was numerous troubles plaguing the TACK V8, that resulted in everything from ticking noises to complete engine failures. Many owners could confirm that the Resande Sport was nothing but a lemon. In the end TACK had to extend the goodwill and change many faulty engines. Costly for them, and of course it was of no help at all when the replacement engines blew some years later again. No matter if the engine was toast or not, the TACK Resande Sport was ice cold on the second hand market.

And then, somewhere, someone found the solution.

The TACK was by no means a bad car in itself. Maybe not excellent either but except for the troublesome engine it was worth its price on the second hand market. And it was found that an IP gearbox bolted up to the crossmember and propshaft, for some strange reason. So, what became the powerplant of choice then?

The IP 4DS engine. Yes, you heard right. The N/A pushrod 4-cylinder diesel that we first saw in the 60s Celestia and Icarus in its 2 litre form, and that evolved to the 2.5 litre version (still with an abysmal 72 hp) in the 80s Rugger pickup. So all of a sudden, it seemed like every TACK Resande Sport got a diesel swap with this old, slow but rugged power plant. Especially in the northern, and in the western part of the middle of the country, a 4DS swapped TACK Resande sport was the chariot of choice for a while. Hardly worthy of the “Sport” moniker anymore, but a lot of amount of car for your money that now could be chugging around reliable, economical and totally without any refinement or performance.

That was, until every TACK Resande Sport finally rusted away, and nowadays they are more of a novelty that you never see anymore. With or without its original power plant.

1982 AMM Avstånd (@AMuteCrypt )
The AMM Avstånd was not a failure as bad as the AMM Lyxig when it came to understanding the market, but it is still sort of an example where history did repeat itself. Remember, this was the 80s, and it was long before driving around in an American full size pickup became some kind of status symbol. The Avstånd was of course not American, but it tried to bring the idea of the full size heavy duty pickup truck to the Swedish market, and it failed. Having a GVW that made it require a commercial license, it did not compete against other pickup trucks, but more against the light duty examples of “real” trucks, like the Volvo F4, which was preferred by most customers in this case, since they were simply better at doing “truck” duties. It didn’t become any better considering the fact that the gasoline engines were more or less “dead” in the market for heavy duty work vehicles by the early 80s. The AMM Avstånd was a slow seller, but still found some niches to fill, mainly being rebuilt into small firetrucks, where there was use for the performance and where fuel economy did not matter very much.

Today, though, there is some interest in the Avstånd, as it after all was a rather interesting attempt to build a Swedish truck in this class. It is not the truck that will steal the show at a car meeting, but still an interesting piece of Swedish automotive history.

1978 Maestrum 1850 Princess (@voiddoesnotknow )
“Where did all of them disappear”? Well, we ask ourselves that many times when it comes to old cars, and the Maestrum 1850 Princess is really a good example of that, so prepare for an explanation…

The Maestrum 1850 Princess was sort of an automotive version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde when it came out in the 70s. It was easy to drive, with luxuries like power steering, had a well appointed velour interior with walnut inserts scattered here and there, it was roomy, it was comfortable, if not very exciting. All of that was sold for a sane price too. No wonder that the 1850 found its share of buyers then.

It was not without its faults, though. One example was the brakes, that left much to be desired. The servicing was of course not as cheap on this advanced FWD automobile as it would have been on, say, a simpler RWD live axle competitor. Also, some of the engines encountered piston and rod failures. Not many of them, but they did exist, and you should be careful with driving the Maestrum 1850 hard.

But what killed most of them was the tin worm. Holes through the front fenders on 2-3 year old cars weren’t all that rare. At the age of 10, it was not uncommon that it could not even pass the safety inspection anymore, due to rust. And who saved a Maestrum 1850 Princess? Nobody. Absolutely nobody.

So, if you find one, you won’t have to worry about disappearing into the crowd at least. Strange how some cars can be almost completely deleted from our minds.

Flip the page to continue reading…


You hit the nail on the head with your review of the K180 - a car I enjoyed developing so much that I created another trim of it, the K200 Turbo Evolution. It’s too new for the current round (and, as an update of a previously submitted model, is ineligible for the next one), but builds on its predecessor’s strengths with more standard equipment, chassis tweaks, improved efficiency, and more thrust. Here’s a pic:

It should be noted that the example shown above is a US-spec model with rear side markers and a catalyzed engine developing 200 horsepower on regular unleaded (20 more than the original K180 Turbo produced for the same market) - a Euro-spec K200 Turbo Evolution would have made 230 horsepower on premium unleaded, but without a catalytic converter fitted.


i’d be very interested as to what the price range of that AEKI 400 series lineup is

you may be directly competing against the '83 Facelift of the Bricken Dione

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Yeah that was absolutely hilarious, real case of parallel evolution there. I had the idea for the Swallow during the last round, and based it off an older design I had that I wasn’t absolutely happy with, then lo and behold on the day I was going to finish and post it there was the Ritter, almost exactly the same idea but with slight differences! Obviously great minds think alike lmao.

The real kicker for me is interior posting the LX-6 with the same body and the same idea with the rear windows not long after I posted the Swallow.


Okay, let see. This is the 1982 price.

The car as submitted is the 2.2 Turbo Executive Automatic Station Wagon. In all fairness a fairly high spec one. 27,200$

The BASED spec. The AEKI 440 2.0 Sedan. This has the 2.0-litre 2bbl carb engine with 100hp. Coil spring live axle, 4-speed manual transmission, absolutely no feature, normal power steering, rear drum brake, less safety feature. It comes to 14,500$.

The most expensive one would have been the 3.0 V6 Executive Special. 150hp 3.0 V6. This has the unique luxury interior, captain seat at the back, Neebomat air suspension and the latest and greatest in cassette tape technology. 34,500$.

in which case you are straddling the price range of the Dione

the cheapest Dione XI ('83 to '87) is about 21000 AMU with less engine, but probably more features

the other end is more like 28000, but i’d have to try

this could be an interesting comparison


base spec: 80hp out of 2.0L, normal hydraulic, lotsa safety and decent interior at just over 20000AMU
you are actually delving into Mimas (next lower car) territory with that price

top-spec: 155hp out of 3.2L V8 (lore does limit to very specific bore-to-stroke combos), 4 speed digital slushbox, an interior adapted from the shitspec Superkroon and hydro suspension, coming in at ~28000 AMU

note: the chassis between both cars is exactly the same due to (possibly poorly understood) economics of scale

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Hahaha, I had no idea on what bodies to use considering my brand was about to go into the futuristic design 5 years early

AMM: American Motors Mangled.

I realised my mistake after submitting, but it was sadly too late by then.

1976 IVERA 122 GTB (@TheYugo45GV )

“You can’t buy an ESV vehicle, but the Ivera 122 is maybe as close as you can get” was one of our conclusions when we tested it back in 1976. Because when it came to safety equipment, the Ivera 122 GTB was among the leaders of the pack. In fact, it was so ahead of its time, that NHTSA used it as a reference for how a safe car should be built. That is maybe what has put it in the automotive hall of fame.

Though it must be said that it also may have nailed the image that safety had to be boring. Because an exciting car was something the 122 GTB never was. It did build on very much tried and true technology, like a solid rear axle with leaf springs and a pushrod inline six. The styling was elegant but a bit uninspiring. You knew what you got when you bought one, for the better and for the worse. Also, you had to pay quite a price premium for getting a car that didn’t seem to stand out enough from the competition to justify that. Keep in mind that this was the 70s and that safety was still not considered a selling point in the way it is today. The 122 GTB quickly got a reputation for being an old man’s car. Old fashioned in its values as well as in its construction. And, this is where the interesting part starts.

If the Ivera 122 GTB should have had more appeal among younger customers back in the days this would probably have meant that it was the end of the story. But the Ivera 122 GTB was not really the car that could survive neglect and abuse, despite its simple engineering. However, since it was generally bought by people that took care of their stuff, it could survive even in the long run. And nowadays, when people are getting tired of seeing the same cars over and over and over again, car customizers are looking more and more after the oddballs nowadays. Enter the Ivera 122 GTB. Still enough of them in existence to use them as a platform for modding. Easy to wrench on. You probably remember the example that made the jaws drop some years ago, the grey one on air suspension with triple webers and BBS RS wheels?

1982 Mara Kanyon (@AndiD )
For being such a niched vehicle, the Mara Kanyon actually sold really well. The explanation is of course in the price, as usual when it comes to Maras. $12100 AMU wasn’t only cheap for such a competent offroader, it was cheap for a car overall. Yet, the Mara could absolutely give some much more expensive competitors a run for their money off road - it was more or less unstoppable, due to its extreme amounts of ground clearance, four wheel drive and locking differentials.

The price that you had to pay was of course that it was kind of primitive on the road. It was slow, thirsty on fuel, the engine had a very agricultural feeling, it was sparse on safety features and neither handling nor comfort was up to the standards of the best passenger cars of the era. But that was actually kind of appreciated by its customers, in an era where offroaders were starting to become more civilized, many people liked the uncompromised approach of the Mara. And hey - at least it had power steering so it was not without its luxuries either!

The Mara Kanyon also was something else - sturdy and reliable. But most examples suffered use and abuse with minimal servicing for years. It was surprisingly good at taking it, but as any car, it was not built to take it forever. The low price resulted in people seeing it as a disposable item, especially when they started to come of age. Getting another Mara was cheaper than repairing the one you had, in many cases.

The result is of course that not as many examples exists anymore compared to how it was some years ago. And since the Mara always have had sort of a cult surrounding it, as the unkillable and simple offroader it is, that means that ironically enough, remaining examples in good condition are getting pricey nowadays.

We bet that nobody saw that coming in 1982.

1978 Cabrera Avispon COPA (@Petakabras )

The hot hatch was an emerging segment in the 70s, and why not? It certainly wasn’t a bad idea. The performance of some of the entry level sports cars, combined with the practicality of a little city runabout. One fine example of this type of car is the Cabrera Avispon COPA.

Being rear wheel drive, it was kind of different when front wheel drive was starting to become the norm among small cars, but it also gave the Cabrera its fair share of enthusiasts among people that liked a somewhat more “tail happy” style of driving. Handling was good, braking was great (although it suffered a bit from brake fade) and the 120 hp engine gave it kind of frisky performance for its era, not to mention that it looked nice when it was sitting in the engine bay with its tubular exhaust manifold and DCOE carbs.

Automotive journalists liked the Avispon COPA when it came out, and so did the buyers since it was among the top sellers in its segment. That also created a strong second hand market for the COPA. And in the 80s and 90s, it was not rare seeing them being “improved” (well…) with body kits, flared fenders and wide wheels. It was a popular car among the youngsters, and why not? Fun to drive, frisky performance and quite stylish and contemporary looks for the era.

But like many other performance cars, the Avispon COPA did not really have fate on its side. They got driven hard, became crashed, stolen, some of them got stripped down for modifications but never became cars again. It did not improve the survival rate either, that the sheetmetal, like on many other 70s cars, was a bit sensitive to the tinworm.

That means that now, when the years have lead to a renewed interest in the model, there is not many of them left, yet more and more enthusiasts are looking for an Avispon COPA. And in the end, it also means that you have to pay a quite hefty price per kilogram if you want to be the happy owner to an Avispon COPA nowadays.

1978 Anhultz Dione (@Elizipeazie )

The Anhultz Dione is a typical example of one of those cars that are in no way exciting, but simply too damn good. It was not fast, not exactly fun to drive, didn’t feature any exciting technology, and even if taste is something that is individual, we doubt that anyone bought one because of the looks either. We don’t say that it is ugly, just that they are about as uninspiring as the rest of the car.

But there is more to it than meets the eye. For a sane price of $20 000 AMU, Mr Average got exactly the car he needed. It was relatively comfortable, had adequate driving dynamics, featured some gizmos that wasn’t what you found in every car of the era, had a decent safety rating, was quite economical to run and also was practical with its liftback body.

But what gave it the legendary status was how unkillable it was. If there was any car from the 70s that would just keep running and running and running, it was the Anhultz Dione. Major repairs were more or less unheard of on anything else than neglected examples with many miles on the clock, and some examples was known to reach over a million kilometers.

Unfortunately, the protection against rust was not equally good. We don’t say that it was bad, just that it was not up to the same quality standards as the rest of the car. Rust was the thing that finally killed the Diones off, meaning that they aren’t such a common sight anymore, except for maybe in the northern part of Sweden and on Gotland.

But maybe there is simply such a thing as a car that is too good for its own best? Everyone is thinking about the Dione as the “unkillable” car but very few is (yet) thinking of it as an enthusiast car, despite being over 40 years of age. It has simply been such a good appliance that nobody in the world has been thinking about it as a classic.

So our advice? Dare to Dione. Remember that leaders don’t follow the trends, leaders sets them.

1981 CADE SeXi (@Edsel )

What’s spanish, puke green and tends to end up on the lists of the world’s ugliest cars every now and then? Yes. The 1981 CADE SeXi of course.

We might be a little bit harsh now, and we understand that this car has some kind of meaning for the Spanish youth culture that we have never completely understood. Nobody ever wanted to understand, because nobody here wanted to be seen dead in a CADE SeXi. It didn’t have to be puke green to look strange. The tacked on wing, the suicide doors, all of that slapped on a pretty uninspiring shape, even if taste is individual, it was not totally individual in this case because nobody liked the looks of the SeXi. It’s unclear how many that ever was registered in this country, but trying to sell the thing can’t have been a fun task.

Significance today? Very low. How many were sold to start with? How many are left?

Is there any proof that they even existed in this country outside the brochure to start with? Who knows… Some people claims that it was an april fools joke but they should probably not be taken any more seriously than this car.

1983 Ardent Chancellor Limited (@VicVictory )

The Ardent Chancellor shows the struggle that American manufacturers had here in the malaise era. By American standards it was a relatively compact car, which made it a competitor to some of the europeans. Also the looks was nothing that screamed “America” at a first glance. It had similarities to both the IVERA 122 GTB and the Anhultz Dione. And for the most part, it was about on par with those cars, too. But it didn’t stand out in any positive way. It didn’t have the safety equipment of the Ivera, it could not match the Dione when it came to ruggedness. And by 1983 there was another hopeless case around - the AEKI 400 series. It was kind of the benchmark to beat in the class now, and there was probably not a single thing that the Ardent did that not the AEKI could do better. Sure, the Ardent was cheaper, but if you brought that up to the AEKI dealer, he would probably have convinced you about second hand values and made you think twice.

American cars were getting more of something like niche vehicles at the moment, and it could have succeeded among the enthusiasts of US built vehicles if there wasn’t for the decision from Ardent to abandon the V8 for the export markets. With the V6 the Chancellor was seen as kind of an “also-ran”, and the fact that the V6 was shaky and coarse with its 90 degree layout did not help at all.

The Chancellor is another one of those models that seems to be generally forgotten, but still brings up some memories for some people the few times they are spotted. Yet, we doubt that there is any emerging interest for the model, at least not in the closest future.

1982 Moravia Veverky DE (@Maverick74 )
It was already old by 1982. Still, the Moravia Veverky had sort of a revival in the early 80s. Sure, it should be said that the market is sort of small in Sweden for cars of the Veverky’s size, and it was in 1982 too. But the low price, combined with the fact that it actually was a pretty good little car did help a lot. Fun to drive, surprisingly roomy, build quality that could convince even the scepticals. If you wanted a chic city runabout, the Veverky was an attractive choice, and it also filled the duty of being a second car in many families. They had tons of charm and the cute-chic design had a timeless feeling to it, meaning that the car did not feel as old as it really was.

Also, high build quality, often combined with low annual mileage, meant that the cars often kept going for many years. It was always kind of sought after on the second hand market, due to its good reputation, and it was hard to have a less costly car ownership than the Moravia Veverky, which eventually became kind of a cult vehicle in all its right.

Today there is absolutely nothing shameful about being seen in a Moravia Veverky, it is rather seen as a chic and trendy little classic, almost like an accessory. If you don’t believe me you can always look up Instagram where you will probably find more than one attempt to take a stylish photo of one parked in the fashionable parts of some city, among all the pictures of sourdough bread and vintage textiles. Not really what anyone had planned in the eastern block in the early 70s, we guess.

1985 Mons Hawk GT-X (@cake_ape )

The Hawk GT-X wasn’t really what anyone had expected from Mons. If the Waldersee Ritter brought 4WD to the masses, this was the car that brought it to the rally circuit. And it really went like a bomb on the rally courses. Seeing this little rocket from the otherwise kind of conservative Canadian manufacturer sure was a game changer for many people. And of course - the street version did not really have the same performance as the group B special, but still more than enough for most people.

If it came at a price? You bet. Still, it was not really a challenge for the importer to sell the less than a handful examples that still ended up here. And the few that got a chance to own one sure made many people green with envy. In an era when manufacturers from the other side of the Atlantic generally made kind of bland products, this was a real jaw dropper. Sorry if you are getting kind of an overdose with superlatives now. But if you were the slightest into cars in the 80s, you would understand. Especially if you were interested in the rally sport, because that probably also means that this still is one of your dream cars.

And as you probably already know, a very much higher percentage of the few cars produced now are on Swedish territory due to importing. But maybe it has had the most impact when it comes to the lesser GTI model. Because today, finding a GTI in stock condition is probably harder than finding a GT-X replica.

Some cars are destined to be a classic already when rolling off the assembly line. The Hawk GT-X sure was one of them, even though its rarity means that we won’t give it a “very influential” status. Not that we think that anyone would care.

1981 ITA NC V6 (@Prium )
The ITA NC was a step forward for the company. A fully modern luxury sedan that was comfortable, fast and featured lots of interesting technology that the Corbeta failed to give us. It was expensive, but not out of reach, and it felt very modern to drive when it was released back in 1981. Of course, it was still a kind of niched automobile, this was before the AEKI 400 series had raised the bar for what a regular family car could cost, and things like its 4 seater layout made it less practical as a family vehicle. It was also somewhat less well-appointed than the most luxurious sedans, but honestly speaking you didn’t miss much standard equipment in it.

There was some reasons why it was not the turning point for ITA in Sweden, though. Some people were still skeptical after the old fashioned Corbeta. As already stated, it was niched and kind of expensive. There also was trouble for ITA delivering cars to the importer during the Falklands conflict, meaning that many people simply had to look for other cars no matter if they liked it or not. People that drove the NC back when it was new swore by, not at, its qualities but it wasn’t enough.

Then, on the second hand market, they fell like a rock in price. And we really mean like a rock. There was multiple reasons for this. First, luxury vehicles coming of age tend to do this, no matter what. Second, the bankruptcy of ITA in 1985 didn’t really help the image of the brand. Third, they had a tendency to rust a lot. And as all luxury vehicles with a low second hand value, they got a kind of “shady” reputation around them. They were rarely driven by mama’s boys, to put it that way.

However, today the ITA NC has finally gotten the respect it always deserved. Interesting technology, futuristic design and the fact that they were really nice cars have led to the values rising, especially since very few of them are left.

We have went from the dark age in the mid seventies to an era that looks much brighter. We will enter the next era at a time of hope, only to hit a major financial crisis, and also, an era when people are starting to get more conscious as consumers. Meanwhile, the classic sedans and wagons will start to get threatened by new segments of vehicles. How will they affect things, and also, can cars still be fun when we are entering an age where we talk more about catalytic converters than horsepower, more about anti lock brakes than the fancy wheels hiding them, and where air bags are a better sales argument than popup headlights? Stay tuned for the next issue and you will get the answer!

@GassTiresandOil - does not follow naming regulations
@Restomod - No headlamp cleaning equipment

ALSO, I am trying to be kind of forgiving and rather include than exclude, but one of the entries in this round is borderline a meme car surrounded by a sh*tpost and I was close to considering a bin, since it came from a member that I know can do better, and I also expect that in the next round. I am by no means trying to be an ass but since I don’t even feel that I have to call out the name of the user because he (or she?) probably knows it anyway, I feel that my rant is not totally out of place here. After all I could have decided to use my time and energy to something else than this, so I kind of expect some kind of quality on the entries. Thanks!


Very fair verdict not to give the GT-X the very influential status. I debated submitting the GTI because I thought it’d be overall more influential than the GT-X… but then thought, nah, the GT-X is more fun :smiley: