It’s 2016, and no year can begin without a few ‘best’ lists, so we looked back over our Finds of the Week to find which were the most popular, as well as our own personal favourites. Some we found surprising, unlikely heroes like the Subaru Sambar and a subtle yet gorgeous Alfa Romeo classic, while it's no surprise to see a Corvette, a GT-R, a Lambo and a Ferrari here. Read on and let us know which was your favourite and what you'd like to see more of in 2016.
2012 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Who doesn’t love a feel-good story? We first heard about this car in a local Norfolk County news site, where we learned that Dave Lentz's widow was selling her husband’s cherished Corvette and donating the proceeds to a cause he would certainly appreciate: Camp Trillium, which offers year-round recreational opportunities for children with cancer and their families on a 143-acre facility.
Turns out our readers loved this heartfelt story, too, making it our most popular Find of the Week ever.
1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R
Not surprising to see the cult favourite Skyline GT-R on this list, as Mark Stevenson found an immaculate example of the R34 GT-R in Nova Scotia, flanked here by slightly less potent versions of the Skyline in the GT-T (white) and GT (yellow, black) trims. If you can't afford the mighty GT-R or one of the more modest Skylines, you'll just have to go back to Gran Turismo and continue living out your fantasies in a virtual world.
1988 Lamborghini Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole
Our readers love pretty much any story that includes Lamborghini in the title, and the Countach is a name indelibly etched into the brains of any child of the 80s thanks to a poster-worthy wedge, V12 power and sounds that fueled the imagination well into adulthood. This particular Countach was a rare quattrovalvole edition in a perfectly 80s white-on-white colour scheme with an admittedly odd front spoiler that somewhat ruins that perfect doorstop-shaped nose… Still, Countach!
1998 Nissan Stagea RS260
Turns out, the GT-R kinda' made this list twice, though the second version is this stealthy Nissan Stagea Wagon, which was produced in limited numbers during its R33 generation with Godzilla's fearsome RB26 twin-turbo inline-six and AWD running gear as a special RS260 trim built by Nissan tuning arm Autech. As Brendan said, "It’s the beast with a backpack, the kaiju in cargo shorts" and a fulfillment of so many clichéd gearhead fantasies rolled into one gorgeous, sinister wagon.
1995 Subaru Sambar Micro-van
File this one in the quirky little van category, which everyone seems to love. The Sambar is a fairly common commercial vehicle in Japan, where tiny “Kei” cars qualified for various tax rebates and incentives owing to severe congestion in many of their major urban centres. Vehicle importers in BC seem to be snapping up as many as they can, as evidenced by them becoming a fairly common sight around Vancouver, and Greg Wilson had a chance to experience this diminutive Subaru’s “tight turning circle, excellent visibility and giant-killing utility”.
2014 Lamborghini LP700-4 Roadster
Here’s another Lamborghini, because Lamborghini. Did we mention Lamborghini? This one we found on a whim when we decided to look up what the most expensive car listed on autoTRADER.ca, and found this fully loaded Aventador Roadster for just a tick under $600K. The Aventador is an insane V12-powered monster making north of 740 hp, and continuing Lamborghini's tradition of insane V12 supercars.
1974 Bricklin SV-1
We had been searching and searching for a Bricklin SV-1 for some time, and finally this very nice example of homegrown Canadian car turned up in New Brunswick, the province in which it was built. As per Benjamin Hunting, "The SV-1 or ‘Safety Vehicle 1′ was an intriguing combination of design decisions, style, and performance," but it was not long for this world and its cutting edge safety technologies were ahead of their time and too costly to get this start-up automaker into the mainstream. Still, it's an arresting vehicle to look at and this immaculately restored time capsule is still waiting to find a new home.
The Detonator – 2015 Ram 3500
While we try not to fall prey to stereotypes, this truck just screams Alberta, where young men are making money, have to get to the remote oilfields in which they ply their trade, and want something that will stand out from the crowd of other lifted pickups. Hard to imagine anything standing out better than this explosively yellow Ram 3500 that was affectionately named The Detonator”, which is a perfect example of Alberta’s truck culture.
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV
Now this is a classy ride. Benjamin Hunting tracked down this beauty of an Alfa Romeo, a 1974 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV in a dark blue with a tan interior at a Ferrari and Maserati dealership in Montreal. He sums it up perfectly in that it is "just modern enough to be comfortable and safe, and just classic enough to have a distinct Italian personality you simply can’t find in a newer automobile."
2011 Ferrari 599 V12 GTB Alonso Edition
Okay, this isn’t technically from 2015, but it was our very first Find of the Week, a special edition Ferrari 599 Peter Bleakney found at a Toyota dealership in Welland, Ontario. This 599 V12 GTB Alonso Edition is one of 40 built in late 2011 to commemorate 60 years of Ferrari F1 victories, with special paint, interior trim and revised suspension for a more track-focused performance.
2006 Audi S4 Avant V8 Manual
Manual transmission. V8. Wagon. All-wheel drive. Enough said.
1977 Honda Civic
Who doesn’t love an underdog? Back before the Honda Civic was the bestselling car in Canada for a gazillion years, it was a humble little runabout that offered ideal efficiency and impressive reliability at a time when the 1970s oil crisis drove fuel prices up and turned people away from big, gas-guzzling American iron. This 1977 Civic hatchback was in mint condition, owned by a Japanese expat, who treated it with love and respect that this icon deserves.
You had to know Jacob would pick a ute, right? Well, this mighty mite pickup car was based on the far more popular Dodge Omni platform, but was chopped and converted to this small, open-bed automotive crossover (before crossovers were a thing). These car-based pickups are hugely popular in Jacob’s native Australia, but far less common here, limited to rare beasts like the El Camino, this Rampage and Subaru’s Brat and Baja. The Rampage was particularly rare, so this owner actually stockpiles them and keep several in his fleet at any given time in order to ensure he has a steady parts supply.
1979 AMC Spirit AMX
Okay, Andy actually just picked the Spirit AMX because of the pictures, but we all loved this mutant offspring of an orphaned brand with huge muscle-car power.