18 March 2023

Miscellaneous classics #10: Scania 3-Series P113

I realised that it has been a very long time since I wrote about a commercial vehicle. While I am aware that it may not be very 'sexy' or good-looking, this 1995 Scania 3-Series has been on my spotting bucket list for a long while! I always have a weakness for boxy/squarish vehicles, and it was a goal of mine to see one of these Scanias so that I could write about it. Being able to come across this unique registered truck (and one which I could run my checks) was entirely coincidental on that day: the truck was no longer there when I passed by the area again 1 week later.. 

AB Scania-Vabis was formed in 1911 as the result of a merger between Södertälje-based Vabis and Malmö-based Maskinfabriks-aktiebolaget Scania. Vagnfabriks Aktiebolaget i Södertelge (Vabis) was established as a railway car manufacturer in 1891, while Maskinfabriks-aktiebolaget Scania was established as a bicycle manufacturer in 1900. Vabis was running into financial difficulties unlike Scania, and the senior management of Scania made the offer for a merger. Development and production of engines and light vehicles were set to Södertälje, while trucks were manufactured in Malmö. The company's logo was redesigned from Maskinfabriks-aktiebolaget Scania's original logo with the head of a griffin, the coat of arms of the Swedish region Scania (Skåne), centered on a three-spoke bicycle chainset. Initially the headquarters were located in Malmö, but in 1912 they were moved to Södertälje.

Scania-Vabis had produced cars up till 1919, where it focused completely on trucks and buses, including bus chassis. After WWII, Scania-Vabis expanded its dealer network and country-wide specialist workshop facilities, enabling it to maintain a huge market share. It also turned towards the export market and by 1960, exports were 50% of output. Subsidiaries continued to be established in places such as Brazil and the Netherlands, and in 1968 the company was rebranded as just Scania. Scania is currently wholly owned by the VW Group ever since VW acquired a stake in 2000. 

The Scania 3-Series was introduced in 1987, succeeding the 2-Series and was available in a variety of engines and body types. The most notable changes were a redesigned bumper and front fascia incorporating a lower-drag grille design. This P113 was powered by a 11,021 cc DS11 inline-6 engine, with a power output of 320 hp. The concrete pump is noted to be from Schwing GmbH, and was apparently made in 1996; both components must have been fitted together to be registered in time on Nov 1996. Its maximum weight including the concrete pump topped the scales at 32,000 kg

Production of the 3-Series ended in 1998, where it was replaced by the 4-Series. While there are plenty of Scania trucks and buses here, older vehicles tend not to be kept for long under our rules. This particular unit continues to survive because it is registered as a 'restricted usage' vehicle, identified by the green-red plate. It cannot be driven on public roads at all times, so these have to be towed from place to place. I also understand that one cannot just register any car under this scheme in order to exempt it from scrapping: the ones I have come across so far are usually related to construction or special usage. Although it may not be as eye-catching as a typical classic car on the road, I hope that this has given an insight on this special truck...maybe you could be lucky to spot it some day!

4 February 2023

More than an old car #204: Honda Accord Euro R (CL1)

I know that it has been a long while since I posted on the blog (and Instagram to a lesser extent). Being caught up with work (which has been hectic as of late), as well as general ennui turns out to be pretty disruptive. While I can't promise that content will return to the regularity of 2022, I will still do my best to introduce classic cars in Singapore for as long as I am able to (which should be quite long since I will always have a soft spot for them)! I saw this 2001 Honda Accord CL1 Euro R in 2020, back when Covid was gathering in force. The fact that I only started to write about it does show something, isn't it?

The 6th-generation Accord was released in 1997 and interestingly, it was released for 3 different markets (Japanese, North America and Europe) with some differences among them. Model codes CF and CL (JDM models) had smaller headlights, tailights, grilles and front bumpers compared to NA/Asia/Oceania (CG). A coupe version was also sold in Europe and the US but not in Japan. However, Japan received the Accord station wagon (which was a fair enough trade-off). The European models (with CG and CH codes as well) featured a more pointed grille compared to the other markets. A sister model known as the Torneo was also announced (of which we have just one remaining)!

Honda Accord 6th generation.jpg オセアニア仕様セダン フロント

欧州仕様セダン クーペ リア

Different versions of the Accord: Japanese, Asia and Europe, along with the pretty interesting coupe

In 2000, the sports-grade Euro R (CL1) was unveiled: while you could be forgiven for viewing the Euro R as a Type R for Accords, the Euro R was more comfort-oriented and could fit 4 adults comfortably. Interestingly, Accord Type Rs exist for the Euro market. The CL1 Euro R was fitted with a exclusive H22A engine, Recaro bucket seats, Momo steering wheel and an aluminum shift knob. A unique specification called the Euro RX featured a special body colour, a rear spoiler and privacy glass among other add-ons.

The CL1 Euro R was powered by a 2156 cc H22A inline-4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 243 km/h with an acceleration of 7.1 seconds [0-100 km/h]. Its dimensions of 4680 x 1695 x 1405 mm puts it firmly in the mid-size category. Despite weighing in at 1330 kg, its fuel consumption of 8.6 litres/100 km was still respectable. 

Production of the 6th-generation Accord ended in 2002 where it was succeeded by the more popular CL7 series. This Euro R (chassis CL1-110866) is the last one remaining here as the other 20 cars have been exported out. It was a single-owner car before it was acquired by a dealer, and was sold 1 week later with an asking price of S$168,000 (although it was likely sold at a lower price)! It is easy to overlook it as unremarkable (even by classic car standards), but do not be fooled by its nondescript appearance. Hopefully, this has given some insights on the variety of old cars on our roads and I hope you will be able to spot this unlikely classic one day!