Weird Car Wednesday

Believe it or not, this is the first post with this title. “Weird,” “Weirdo” and “Weirdness” have been part of previous titles, though. Also, do not infer that this is the start of a series of posts with this title, although I guess it could be.

Of course, some probably think this car is weird.



The wire arrived on time (our brokerage company did not disappoint, after all) so my wonderful wife and I drove down to the dealership yesterday to pick up the new resident of our garage. The much higher beltline of the Cascada relative to the Corvetttes really stood out to me after the car was parked.

The Cascada has some features not found on our Corvettes, such as a lane departure warning system and parking sensors. However, my new car does not have memory seats or a built-in garage door opener. Good thing we found the only hand-held opener we have for that door and that it works. Yes, we replaced the battery. Of course, I could have purchased a universal garage remote and programmed it for the two-bay door.

During the two previous test drives I had never noticed any turbo lag. I did on the drive home, though. I actually enjoyed when the turbocharger kicked in. The audio/navigation controls are idiosyncratic, but not inscrutable.

The real payoff for buying the car will come when the weather cools down a bit and I can get in some top-down driving. While I don’t believe in an afterlife, I did think of my parents when I got in the car to drive it home. As I have written probably far too many times already, the Cascada was built in Poland, the country where my parents were born.


The real inspiration for today’s post came from an episode of For The Love Of Cars, with Ant Anstead and Philip Glenister, that I watched yesterday. A vehicle like the car below was featured.


See the source image


This is a Saab 96. Something about the design that I cannot articulate is very appealing to me.

I think that for many the Saab 96 is a weird car. At first, it used a two-stroke, three-cylinder engine even though the car was introduced in 1960. That engine was replaced in 1967 by a V-4; yes, a V-4.

For some reason that I don’t even understand, I am fascinated by the concept of a V-4 in an automobile. I tell myself it’s because the extremely short block can be placed almost anywhere in the chassis, but actually I think I like the V-4 just because it’s different. The V-4 used by Saab was built by Ford, which originally was going to use that motor for a new compact car intended for the US market to be called the Ford Cardinal. The Cardinal was never built as Ford developed the Falcon, instead.

The 96’s unusual, but aerodynamic body is also decidedly not mainstream. Remember, though, that Saab began as an aircraft company in 1937. Oh, even though the car-making arm of the business is defunct, Saab is still very much alive and continues to build aircraft and offers related products and services.

Making my attraction to the Saab 96 even stranger is that I envision the car as a blank canvas for a restomod. I imagine just using the body and maybe even abandoning the front-wheel drive layout.

When I was in college a friend of mine bought me a card with a cartoon whose caption read, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, maybe he marches to the beat of a different drummer. Or maybe he’s just a weirdo.” Of course, the first sentence is taken from Henry David Thoreau. I am who I am, for better and for worse.







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