2007 Orphan Car Show: The Foreigners

Last of the Triumph line. A pair of remarkably rust free TR8s
We already showed you the American contingent at the Orphan Car Show in Ypsilanti, MI a few days ago but it wasn't a completely domestic show. Over the years, there have been many carmakers who have brought their funky machines to our market before finally succumbing to the pressure. Many of them are still in business in their home markets and some, like Peugeot/Citroen, are even thriving.

And then there's British Leyland. During the fifties and sixties, most of the larger British car companies were subsumed into a government-owned mass known as British Leyland. By the 1980s under the Iron Lady, after several of the brands had already become defunct, the rest were ultimately sold off. Some, like Land Rover and Mini have gone on to success, while Jaguar has struggled on and Rover ultimately whithered.

More orphaned furriners after the jump

The Italians (aside from Ferrari) and the French struggled in the US market until the late eighties when they finally packed it in. Like BL in Blighty, the Agnelli family in Turin absorbed most of the auto industry in the boot peninsula, and like the Brits, labor issues in the plants led to a completely contemptuous attitude toward quality control. As a result, even some of those who've never actually seen a Fiat may have heard "Fix It Again Tony."

While many of the Italian cars were at least aesthetically pleasing, the French were another story. As in so many other areas, when it comes to car design, the French seem to insist on being different just to be different. And speaking of different, long before there was Smart, there was Isetta. The front panel of the car is hinged on one side and opens up allowing the driver and passenger to step out easily. In honor of the this years featured marque, Checker someone brought along an Isetta configured as a cab for "4 Very Skinney" passengers.

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