I recently poked around on Google Earth out of boredom, happening to land in Mexico City. As usual, I decided to document some of the most unusual stuff to be found around the city.
Previously I have gone virtual carspotting in Sardinia and Marseilles France, so this time the vehicles were a little more familiar. Nevertheless, the streets were absolutely covered in interesting autos.
If you missed the first two parts, they can be found below.
Today is whatever was left over from the Volkswagen and old American car themes of the previous two installments. Yes, I will be covering everything from old commercial vehicles to obscure imports. Let’s jump right in.
First up, some well used commercial vehicles.
I had to research this one a bit. Based on the inscription DINA-500, I was able to find a Wikipedia page detailing the history of the company that made it. The Mexican government created DINA in 1951 to build buses and trucks for the country. Based out of Sahagún in the state of Hidalgo, DINA has partnered with larger firms for technology to use in their trucks and buses over the years, but more information in English was noticeably lacking.
At any rate, the DINA 500 pictured above does not have its original grille based on pictures I found on the internet. The factory grille tapered around the edges. You can actually see where it would have gone by the area left uncovered by the truck’s flat custom grille.
Speaking of commercial vehicles, this old step van is the very picture of neglect. It really has a striking patina to it, though personally I prefer a windshield. Still, there are ladders strapped to the roof and the tires are aired up so presumably this still sees active work. Is that a Ford Econoline grille?
I was trying to figure out exactly what Fiat this “Ram Adventure” was when I stumbled across an interesting Jalopnik article from way back in 2014 on the subject. Turns out this is a Fiat Strada.
I just cannot seem to place this sporty 70s Japanese sedan. It really looks like a facelifted first gen Toyota Celica except a sedan. I’m ashamed to say my research has turned up nothing.
EDIT: Fintail pointed out this as a Datsun 710 sedan, aka Nissan Violet. Thanks.
Here’s one I did not expect to see. This boxy European sedan looks really familiar, but I still had to do some research before I
got it. It is a Škoda 130! I didn’t know Škodas were even sold in Mexico but this one seems to indicate otherwise. Wikipedia only mentions the Canadian market for the western hemisphere, so I don’t know. Anyone recognize the two shells behind it?
EDIT: Dang it. Fintail pointed out that is in fact a Renault 12. I didn’t even get the engine placement right. He also said there is another 12 behind it and a different Renault hatch, either a 9 0r 11. I couldn’t tell based on comparing photos.
I didn’t expect to see these Ford Topaz coupes everywhere, but they simply littered the streets. Almost all were this particular shade of white too. Huh.
There aren’t many places where you would see a Peugeot 306 wagon parked next to a Chevy Sonic. These are two very different ways of building a car right here.
And going back to commercial vehicles, what is this? I saw them everywhere but none seemed to have any manufacturer’s mark on them.
Thanks to KnowsAboutCars for pointing out this as a Nissan Vanette.
This Ford Topaz is a sedan. The chonky Nissan next to it is apparently called a Platina. That is one thicc C pillar I can only call the wing “deluded.” I didn’t know Nissan made a car with worse proportions than the Versa but here it is just to prove me wrong. Also worth noting is the bright pink taxi livery painted on that ubiquitous Chevy Sonic.
Thanks to MrSnrub for pointing out the Nissan Platina is actually a rebadged Renault Clio. A Renault badged Clio II hatch actually sits just two cars away. The weird C pillar was because the sedan used the same doors as the hatch.
That about wraps up this escapade into the rabbit hole of Google Earth, for today at least. Did you spot anything that I missed? Let me know.