Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The fun pursuit of car-spotting...

My father-in-law found this somewhat tattered Straits Times clipping of a Ford motorcar ad among his stuff, and kindly offered it to me for my blog:

The publication date (gleaned from another segment of the page) was Dec 14, 1931.

I first uploaded the image onto the family's WhatsApp circle and Beng -- the self-appointed number-cruncher -- estimated that a 1931 sticker price of $1,330 would command an $80,000 price tag today. That's not even adding in the taxes, additional taxes and that infamous euphemism, the Certificate of Entitlement (COE). But such a car today would be priceless!

A touch of serendipity followed. I happened to browse through the current AAS magazine and I found this throwback to Singapore's automotive history:

Wow! The first cars to arrive here came in August 1896. Did local motoring enthusiasts commemorate the event back in 1996? I can't remember.

LP, meantime, commented that the address of the Ford showroom in the first image above -- 45, Orchard Road -- was near where MacDonald House still stands. When the terrorists' bomb went off there in 1965, these two cars (below) had been parked outside:

I decided to test my car-spotting ability. The car in front, I believe, was a Nash Metropolitan, usually for being a 1960s-era America-made sub-compact (an era when Detroit made big-sized/big-fendered and/or ostentatious cars). I found this image of a Nash Met on the Net:

As for the other car, my guess is that it was a Holden EK. This image, of the model's station-wagon version, was also found online:

Now I was getting excited. I had taken these pictures of a faded Pontiac when I visited the Teddy Bear Museum in Jeju, South Korea:

So which model was it and which era was it from? I'll hazard this guess:

[Update: Looking more carefully at the Pontiac ad above, I realised that even in 1954, the car featured a single-piece windscreen whereas the car in Jeju had a two-piece windscreen. So the latter is likely an older Pontiac model. Both grilles also seem to be different.]

When I was checking out Teachers Estate a while back (and which I blogged about), I came across this really super classic Jensen sports car, parked next to some shop houses. This limited edition British-made GT (Grand Touring) car is either the Interceptor or the FF:

It seems hard to believe that such a sleek car first appeared in 1966. The FF also achieved fame for it being the preferred choice of metallic steed by James Bond (sacrilegiously ditching the Aston Martin marque) in the book "Solo" written, not by Ian Fleming, but by William Boyd:



I'll wrap up and when I continue tomorrow, I will unveil the Mattmobile!

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog you have and good find about classic cars in Singapore. Well done and hope to see more. :)