If you’ve been interested in cars for a long time, you inevitably reach a point where happening across your garden variety Ferrari 488 or 911 Turbo on the road no longer demands your full attention. Once you’ve been to enough auto shows, races and meetups, some of those supercar sightings begin to lose their luster a bit. For me personally, the discoveries that yield the most joy are the quirky and unexpected.
When I was in England for a semester abroad in college almost a decade ago, one of the most exciting aspects of the journey was simply marveling at all the totally mundane cars never sold in the States. The fascination was usually multiplied if the car in question shared a nameplate with one also sold in North America yet was totally different, like those weird Civic liftbacks sold in the U.K. in the late ’90s.
I remember my happiest sighting from that trip clear as day. I was walking The Lanes in Brighton with a group of friends when I saw a silver Celica GT-Four ST205 making its slow, rumbling passage in the distance. The ST205 is not a car that I imagine is terribly uncommon in the countries in which it was sold, but those countries regrettably never included the U.S., and so the appearance of a Sega Rally star before my very eyes absolutely froze me in my tracks. My friends asked me if I had seen a ghost and, well, that guess wasn’t entirely inaccurate.
It’s with that delightful memory in mind that I pose the question to you: What’s your fondest automotive sighting? I suppose it could be something you discovered at a meet, but the more random the occasion, the better.