About Me

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April 18: Greek oddities, part 1

This is certainly what one thinks of, when one thinks of Greece and we certainly gave this a lot of thought, as we sat on our terrace in Santorini and enjoyed this magnificent vista. But your car guy enjoys more than the antiquities and stunning views, when he and his beloved wife travel through Europe. Those roads hold a multitude of interesting vehicles, that we don't and won't get over here. There are also scenes that are, shall we say, a touch unusual. So let's take a wander thru some of the Greek oddities that caught your blogger's eye.

Such as this flock of smart cars seen on Crete........

Keep in mind that the economy in Greece is on the skids and that might better explain why there were these tiny two seaters everywhere. More than I've seen anywhere else in Europe or definitely over here. Four in one easy to get shot. Go figure. It must warm the heart of Mercedes' management, when they travel in that area.

And, of course, there were the ubitquitous Mercedes cabs, all in silver this time and ranging from old, but never decrepit, to brand spanking new. If you look closely, this line up has examples of both.......

In Europe, those Benz taxis are nothing new, but one seldom sees a BMW being used in this way. And for sure, one never sees an M5, old or otherwise with a taxi sign, like this one.........

With most vehicles being diesels, I wonder how this driver can make any money feeding that big throbbing V8? Sure, he might get there a little quicker, but probably not, considering the crazy traffic. Maybe the EU is channeling some extra coin to these guys?

No parking available, no problem, just pull in and leave your car. Only don't try to leave this seaside lot outside of Athens, a little before the others parked near you. This scene was repeated everywhere. No space, no problem. Oh to be Greek!

As you know, Greece has its economic troubles. My favorite line was asking other Europeans we met, if they had come to Greece to see their tax dollars at work (wry smiles were forthcoming). Outside of Mexico, I have never seen so many old cars in such miserable condition, but still being used for daily transportation. This old something or other was parked near our hotel in Heraklion, Crete.......

And don't let that nearly flat tire fool you, as this could be on the road in a few minutes, joining other heaps in similar condition or worse. I've also never seen so many old car graveyards, as I did over there. Whether on the mainland or on the islands, it made little difference. There would be one after another on the outskirts of any town or city. Even non car people noticed it.

All our cities' police forces have buses to transport their officers in bulk to special events, but usually they are not protected like this one in Heraklion........

Nothing special was going on, but the local constabulary had rolled out this wired up bus near a busy traffic circle in the middle of town. Expecting trouble or just hanging out, either way no sticks or stones were going to damage those windows.

When was the last time you saw one of these old Benz C230 coupes in your 'hood? Probably quite a while ago, since they haven't been part of Mercedes line up anywhere for over ten years.

But in Greece I saw them everywhere, along with the old style SLK roadsters. No new ones, but more of the old ones than one would normally see in a bad Fast & Furious dream (and those dreams were always bad). This was an unusually pristine example, as most were limping along, as befitted their age and condition.

Now to finish off, recognize this?

Not surprised you don't, as this is a real rarity anywhere outside of Japan. Seen on Naxos island, this old luxury mobile is a Toyota Crown. This was the type of car the wealthy would drive in its home country. Never exported to North America and I didn't think Europe, but one left hand drive model found its way to this Greek island. Poor pic, I know, but just managed to catch it, as I was watching an inter island ferry depart.

Car person or not, if you have never been fortunate enough to visit Greece, I highly recommend you put it on your bucket list. The history, the stunning scenery, the food and most of all its wonderful people made this one of our most memorable holidays.

The ruins at Delphi
Now back to the reality of working in good old Toronto.

Until next time.......

No comments:

Post a Comment