It’s time for another long-overdue installment of RustyButTrusty on the Street. There’s a funny thing about being based in the suburbs, namely, you can actually photograph fewer interesting cars parked by the side of the road when you’re blowing by them at 35mph. Nonetheless, holiday travel and some particularly interesting cars managed to find their way into the camera. Let’s start with a few that absolutely don’t fit in, but can’t be left out if you want a good laugh. And for one of those, let’s start out with
Blue Steel Blue Ice, a late-model Mercedes G-class SUV on the streets of Stockholm.
Generally speaking, any kind of automotive enthusiasm is to be applauded, all the way from resto-mod muscle car to Bro-Dozer to beaten-up J-tin – for the most part, they’re just different expressions of the same appreciation for the mechanical. But if you consider yourself open to alternative lifestyles, this should be a good litmus test on whether you can hold to that principle – a G-class with AMG wheels and personalized plates with the Blue Ice moniker, the body wrapped in a sort of blue-chrome finish, whose owner obviously feels no need to be subtle.
From the absolute opposite end of the spectrum, the Love Truck is a pretty Citroen HY van that’s been given a new life as a food truck. Apparently in excellent restored condition, these seem to be popping up all over the world because, let’s face it, when you’re starting a food truck business, these tick one critical box, their shape, which, combined with their low floor, allows for a pretty straightforward conversion. And yes, the engine is far from powerful, but in many places food trucks spend most of their days parked in one spot.
No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to freeze! And this anonymous company van with the funny name is proof that some Swedes also enjoy English puns… or do they groan?
Back in North America, you’ll see this Audi 4000 4E. The 4E is not the desirable 5+5 with the 5-cylinder and 5-speed transmission, but it did get a 5th gear through which to route its meager power. At this time, Audis were so closely linked to VW that you could see this as an interesting, somewhat more gawky alternative to a Mk1 Jetta.
When’s the last time you saw a Fiat 128 on the road? This car absolutely captures the RustyButTrusty spirit, wearing rough paint and bodywork, but suspension upgrades and a chrome front bumper conversion, with the suggestion of further upgrades under the hood. Note the Grassroots Motorsports sticker in the rear window.
You never know what you’ll find parked by the side of the road. Okay, this isn’t totally random, as it’s some kind of foreign car restoration/repair facility, but how many times have you ever seen an Alfa Romeo 1600 Junior Z parked next to a BMW 2000? The angular shapes in the Momo Vega wheels suit the design of the Junior Z quite well, but with the recent uptick in special-bodied Italian cars of all kinds, it’s surprising to see this one looking so neglected.
Last, but not least (except in size), this Honda Acty Street van was at last weekend’s Volvo show. Hey, if you don’t actually have a Volvo, you might as well outdo them in boxiness, right? These cars have a shorter wheelbase than an MG Midget, a 547cc engine, and are quite clearly a Honda product, even without the badging. Looking at it from the outside, it looked like a 3/4 scale vehicle, with seats and a dash that looked small enough that you might think you were in some kind of funhouse. Bonus points for the lowered Volvo 122 wagon in the background. Seen anything interesting on your local streets lately? Post/link a pic in the comments!