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Which one is the coolest?

  • Triplex Scimitar

    Votes: 4 20.0%
  • Volvo P1800ES

    Votes: 6 30.0%
  • Lancia Beta HPE

    Votes: 10 50.0%
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Discussion Starter #1
It's a three way poll so sort-of cool wall-ish, but not quite.

I love the styling of the 156sw since it comes from a long line of sporting estates, but which one of it's possible inspirations is the coolest?

1964 Reliant 'Triplex' Scimitar - probably the first sports estate. Originally done as a one-off to showcase the toughness of Triplex glass, it was so loved by the public (and royals - this was owned by the Duke of Edinburgh!) it went into mass production as the Scimitar GTE, probably inspired later sporting estates, and maybe inspired the ridiculous current trend for 'panorama roofs'.

1972 Volvo P1800ES - Designed by an Italian, built by Jensen (at least until Volvo realized British build quality was legendary for all the wrong reasons), engines by Volvo. Quite fast for it's time, very un-Volvo, and possibly the only car ever made which looked good in brown.

1975 Lancia Beta HPE - The closest thing to being the 156SW's predecessor. Maybe the fastest mass produced sports estate to that point, truly spectacular with the Volumex supercharger. But it was a Beta so, er, there aren't many left now.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh yeah, another good reason for the Scimitar being in a 'cool' post - many of the rich and famous owned the production model (slightly restyled and without the all-glass roof) including Princess Anne, Graham Hill, Noel Edmonds (er...), Barry Sheen and Leo Villa (the mechanic for land speed record holders Malcolm Campbell and Donald Campbell)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Yep, there was a definite market for them once upon a time, either to look trendy and be like a Royal, or for transporting one's dogs, golf clubs and green wellies rapidly from one place to another. All three turned out pretty respectable 0-60 times even compared with a traditional 2 seater sports cars, and handled well too (in the case of the Scimitar, better than the Capri 3.0S which it derived most of it's drivetrain from).

They became a bit irrelevant once hot hatches appeared, but the hatches never quite captured the classiness of the sportswagons so most of the 'celebs' moved on to 4x4s instead.

I, for one, am very glad Alfa resurrected the sportswagon :)

(NB: the handling comment doesn't really apply to the P1800ES - it was based on the P1800 which by then was very dated, and the directional stability left a little to be desired. It was however, still better than most early 70s saloons, let alone estates)
 

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The early p1800 dash is a thing of simple beauty.
 
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I am not sure about the Lancia and the Scimitar is ugly, maybe even fugly. The P1800 for me has always been stylish.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'd have the Triplex Scimitar in a flash (it must be a unique driving experience having an all-glass roofed estate) but there's no chance of that since it went straight from Prince Philip to Beaulieu motor museum to an American collector.

If I was sat down with the best production Scimitar (the blisteringly fast se5a with overdrive), the P1800ES and the Beta HPE and told I could have one if I made my decision in 5 seconds, I'd go for the Volvo too, it's just such an attractive car.

And that makes no sense at all - it was based on a 1950s Volvo moose-killer (ensuring less than perfect handling) and the body panels were made by Leyland's Pressed Steel (ensuring the dreaded tinworm would be your friend in the UK). The head should say the Scimitar - arguably the fastest in a straight line, reasonable chance of getting one with a resale-value-busting 'celeb' pedigree (Leo Villa's old Scimitar even has a poignant bluebird in the middle of the dash), cheap to buy and repair, and the bodywork (but not chassis) is rot proof. And the heart should say the Lancia - that rasping, howling twin cam sounded superb and they really did handle well, but somehow it doesn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
E30 325i?
Mmm, not sure about that one - it strikes me as more of an estate with a big engine than a performance coupe-estate (aka sportwagon, sports estate or more recently, shooting brake). The 2002 touring might fit the bill, but that could more accurately be called a hot hatch so I left that one out.

Modern equivalents would be the Jaguar XF Sportsbrake and Ferrari FF. The Merc CLS class is also described as a shooting brake, but just looks like an ugly estate to me; maybe the Germans just don't get the shooting brake concept?
 

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That was easy. Some will say it is my Italian bias, but it's not. I find the other two hideous especially that Scimitar thing. Hearse perhaps? :p
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That was easy. Some will say it is my Italian bias, but it's not. I find the other two hideous especially that Scimitar thing. Hearse perhaps? :p
Well it did look much better in the flesh. I remember when I was tiny I always used to gravitate towards the Scimitar when going round Beaulieu, even past the real Bluebird, March six wheeled F1, 007 DB5 and weird 'Outspan Orange' car thingy. There was something inherently fascinating about a useable car which was 50% glass, and it definitely defined the sporting estate genre, much as the original Range Rover defined the SUV concept.

However I'd be hard pushed to describe Ogle as one of the world's finest design houses, and I'd have to keep reminding myself of a production Scimitar's other fine points over it's looks if I ever went to buy one (which is why I never have).
 

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E30 325i?
My old one - I would love to have this car back, it was originally only a 1.6 8v but that sewing machine of an engine had long since made way for the all aluminium 1.8 16v engine from the 318iS model.
 

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And its been out of MOT & SORN'd since 15th March 2015 - hope its not had it. :(
 

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Well it did look much better in the flesh. I remember when I was tiny I always used to gravitate towards the Scimitar when going round Beaulieu, even past the real Bluebird, March six wheeled F1, 007 DB5 and weird 'Outspan Orange' car thingy. There was something inherently fascinating about a useable car which was 50% glass, and it definitely defined the sporting estate genre, much as the original Range Rover defined the SUV concept.

However I'd be hard pushed to describe Ogle as one of the world's finest design houses, and I'd have to keep reminding myself of a production Scimitar's other fine points over it's looks if I ever went to buy one (which is why I never have).
I like the Scimitar, just not this one :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wow, you lucky :censored:! How on earth did you find one which hadn't rotted away? When I was looking for one in the 90s the only one I came across was held together with Meccano and Isopon!
 
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