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Odd Classics and Big Bikes

Odd Classics and Big Bikes

This month we were privileged to have driven some great cars and to have experienced one of the rarest Classics that we have come across in recent times. Classics come in various shapes and sizes; and indeed one man’s (or woman’s) classic might very well be another’s “bottom of the list” old car. In fact this debate about what is a classic and what is not has been going on since day one, and to date has no one seems to have a clear answer. The basic rule of thumb is that if you value your car and love to take care of it; it doesn’t matter if it is a Lancia Stratos or a Ford Prefect – that is your classic.

The particular Classic we have featured this month - the Maico 500 - is a diminutive rear-engined micro car. At a glance it looks (from the front at least) like a shrunken VW Beetle! The rear reminds me of an early Gogomobile. The VW Beetle of course made its mark in automotive history for being one of the most recognizable cars around. The Maico 500, on the other hand, has become an oddity at best; for several reasons. One is its absolute rarity – it is not clear how many were built, and indeed how many survive. A Google search shows that there are but a handful of cars in museums. This particular car though is supposed to be one of four cars brought to Ceylon in the late 1950’s to early 1960’s. In fact I could remember as a kid seeing one of these cars running in Colombo regularly on my way to school. Another oddity about this car is the fact that it is rear engined, is two cylinder, two stroke and water cooled. A strange combination indeed.

Getting back to modern machinery, hope you will enjoy Ashraaq’s piece about the Tata Nexon which he had with him and drove over a week-end. Then we have the story of the brilliant new Honda CR-V.

Well, as we have seen in recent times, relatively “bigger” vehicles are coming with smaller and smaller engines. The latest that we tested is the Ford Focus 1.0litre EcoBoost.

If you are a motorcycle fan, you will surely enjoy Dilip Vazirani’s test of the Mahindra Mojo – a liquid-cooled fuel-injected 4-stroke single-cylinder DOHC with 300cc. I for one love big bikes. And this ticks all the right boxes for a big bike in our market where bikes are restricted up to 400cc only.