I know I’m not the only one who gets a jolt form spotting a car that shouldn’t be where it is. Maybe it’s built for another sort of surroundings, like a Soviet 4x4 in Brooklyn, or perhaps it’s just so mind-numbingly rare that it seems impossible it might be street-parked at all. But they’re out there, and I know you’ve seen them.
A few weeks back I got to drive an Alfa Spider built after the brand left on its hiatus from the North American market. With right-hand-drive, the little red car must have looked out of place on Manhattan streets to passersby, even if they didn’t know the ins and outs of the 25-year import law that kept the car on the other side of the Atlantic until now.
A few days later I was visiting family in Miami when I saw a couple of out-of-place cars myself. First was a Ford Ranger on Puerto Rico plates somehow out and about on the mainland. The second was a silver Mercedes van. It wasn’t a Sprinter and it looked like a Metris but there was something off. This van was just slightly too old to be an American-market model. It was a Viano and the mystery of its appearance on the streets of Miami still eludes me. At least I got photographic proof, though, right?
I know you guys have spotted your own out-of-place machines wherever you are. I’m sure you have questions about them. You’re the Jalopnik commentariat, after all. So share your finds below with us, and include a picture if you’ve got one as well. Maybe someone out there can fill in some of the blanks.