Sunday, 25 October 2009

Tin Snail

I found this today, whilst searching for a replacement for my Land-Rover Discovery, which has reached the point of uneconomic repair.

(No, I'm not in the market for a tiny tin box, but the same place had a Discovery listed as "stunning" "meticulously maintained, truly the flagship of the Discovery range, first to see will buy, any inspection invited". First to see did not buy. I crawled under it in the rain and sank my thumb through the crunchy structural body side sill. Then through the rear floor. From underneath, I could see some not very good welding had been done elsewhere. The "immaculate" interior was worn and scruffy. Now, my car has been abused more than most, and had this one been worn by use, I wouldn't have run away. But it was being advertised as something it very definitely wasn't. It was a mess, and showed signs of bodged maintenance. When I can stick my thumb through structural metal, on a vehicle which has allegedly just passed its annual inspection, I walk away.)

This is a Nissan S-Cargo. A pun, for those without any french, on the french word "escargot", "snail". Also on "S" for "small", and Cargo, as it's a van.
They were built in Japan, for the domestic Japanese market, between 1989 and 1994. Only about 12,000 were produced.

I went into my archives, to my London Design Museum pictures, because seeing this funny little van both brought a smile to me, and a vague memory....

I can't remember who designed this, but it was 1930-ish, or before in time. French, I'm pretty sure, no indication of how the mechanical parts were to be laid out, rear engined, it would have to be. But it was never made, just this wooden mock-up.

Or this, the French Citroen 2CV van.

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1 comment:

  1. not much of a car person myself, which is definitely a liability in this car obsessed culture. that said that wooden car is really cool even without an engine and the citroen has a touch of the modern sculpture to it.


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