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USA trip: advice needed

Miscellaneous (car related) stuff and BSing. Craigslist/eBay finds, stuff from Hooniverse or elsewhere in the automoblogosphere, youtube or whatever.

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pj134

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  • Location: Near Philadelphia

Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostWed Jan 29, 2014 12:39 pm

Too bad you didn't get to stop in Philly. The Chernobyl special looks like a voiture sans permis that leaked out of France. Mr. Harrell would probably be better at identifying it than most.
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Marto

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostThu Jan 30, 2014 12:35 am

Just a few countries and weird international automotive things to go...

I was in Singapore for a few days on my way to Thailand. Not much exciting in Singapore because owning a car is expensive. So remember that almost every car you see on the roads is worth at least $100,000 including taxes.

And when you are spending that much who cares if you have a world class offroader in a country that is basically one big city?

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Is offroading even legal in Singapore? Sound like something they would ban.

Anyway, I was only in that giant shopping mall of a country before I left for the pickup heaven of Thailand. The national vehicle seems to be the Japanese pickup. I mean, even moreso than small motorcycles! No country loves their pickups more.

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Check out those tyres!

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Check out that stance! This is a poor country with hellacious roads, so respect for whoever can negotiate the blacktop in that.

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Did you know you can sing "workplace health and safety" to the tune of "you don't make friends with salad"?

Back in Australia for a few weeks.

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Did you know Chrysler made a 115hp Charger? I didn't.

Anyway, the next post is the last one for this epic: Vanuatu.
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Marto

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostThu Jan 30, 2014 7:56 pm

And here it all ends. Or begins.

This is a Down on the Street that I submitted early in 2013. It was never published due to quality and technical issues.

April 2013:

A slice of the south pacific that has taken a leaf out of Rasta culture, speaks French, Bislama and English and must be the world’s friendliest place. Plus, everyone drives mini-vans or one of a seemingly random assortment of cars. Yep, Vanuatu – just a 150-minute flight from my home town. Why have I not done this before?

So I have about six good mates who I’ve known since school – some even before. 2013 is the year we all turn 30, and we wanted to do something a bit special. It came down to a trip to Thailand, Fiji or Vanuatu.
Several had been to Thailand before, Fiji is under martial law and several of us weren’t morally comfortable with that, thus leaving Vanuatu. What a place!

And what cars!
Before we get to it, a disclaimer: I travel very light, so these shots were taken with a cheap phone camera. Some came out well, others not so much.

Now, when you ramble down the street in a third-world country you are going to see a lot of battered utilitarian stuff. I did not expect this:
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See there are two economies in the Vanautu capital, Port Vila: white and local. There are lots of French and Australian-run businesses around. They and the tourists are part of the white economy. Life in the white economy is easy and prices are high. So, along with this Lincoln, the country has a sole late-90s GMC Sierra on lifted suspension and a sole fully riced late model Celica. Vanuatu is left-hand drive, so despite its proximity to the home of the Monaro, this isn't one. I can’t say which particular version of the underappreciated big coupe is possibly the only muscle car in the country.
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It might even be an imported Lumina CR8. However, it sounded fully evil and is probably the fastest car in the country. I couldn’t get any closer, otherwise I would have been trespassing and there were dogs. Though few and far between, but there are one or two other quick vehicles on the roads.
I briefly glimpsed a mid-80s Mercedes SL in a driveway in the rich part of town. I also saw this Forester Turbo - or "tB". Given the state of the roads – rough, half dirt and windy – this might be the perfect Vanuatu speed machine. For sale too!
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But these are outlier vehicles. Most of the stuff on the road looks like these - except dirtier:
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Spotting this was a big surprise. Who’d have thought it could handle the awful roads and the casual attitude of the local drivers regarding panel damage (possibly inherited from the French) in such good condition?
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And that’s the thing about little cars, they tend to be tougher than many people expect.
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And from the relatively pristine to this. Pretty much the manliest small car ever. The legends of the Daihatsu Rocky’s toughness might well come solely from this particular car.
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And one last international mystery car for you:
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Anyway, that is a quick glimpse of what you’ll see around Port Vila on Easter Sunday.

Oh, and things like this, of course:
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***

So, that was my epic 2013 abroad. I am now homeless and unemployed in Brisbane, Australia. I am here to sell my car to finance a move to New Zealand. I am going to Queenstown and chasing a dream to be a mountain guide. And then larger ambition to work in Antarctica.

I have a dream and no responsibilities, no health problems and no debts. I'm unstoppable. Life is awesome.
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zsm

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostThu Feb 20, 2014 1:57 pm

Thanks for the photos and updates Marto, good luck!
Well, you know what they say, "The candle that burns exponentially more durably, burns several decades after it was lit and for a completely different reason." - BlackIce_GTS
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