Ran When Parked got to spend the better part of a weekend in Bangkok, Thailand, on our way back home from a business trip in China. Having never been to Thailand before, we were impressed by all of the old cars that are still on the road.
The trip got off to a good start as the first thing we spotted when we got off the metro was a trio of run-down Mercedes-Benz w123s, including a rare long-wheelbase limousine. Their story is a bit fuzzy, but the owner was nice enough to let us photograph them on two different occasions.
Although by no means the dominant form of transportation, Mercedes, Volvos and BMWs from the 1980s are a common sight. All of them are right-hand drive but some are fitted with U.S.-spec bits such as bumpers, and federally-mandated side reflector lights, which is a bit puzzling.
Japanese cars were also a frequent sight. It was interesting to stand face-to-face with JDM vehicles that we’ve read about in books or glanced at on enthusiast websites but never seen in the flesh. We were not able to photograph every interesting car because we were often in taxis or on trains, but one of our favorite Japanese vehicles was a Datsun B110 that showed just how humid Thailand can be and the negative effect it can have on cars over time. We’ve included a picture of it in the gallery below but expect a full article with more detailed shots to come later this week.
Other Japanese highlights included a long-wheelbase Suzuki Santana, a Nissan NV Queen Cab (a modern spin on the Subaru Brat) and a Toyota Crown.
We initially wanted to go check out the Jesada Technik Museum, which looks incredibly promising judging from photos online, but an unfortunate misunderstanding with a taxi driver caused us to spend over an hour going around in circles before we finally said “to hell with it” and headed back into town.
As a consolation prize, our hotel had a wonderful car collection that included several Rolls-Royces and an Alfa Romeo Montreal on jack stands, and it was down the street from a vintage car repair shop that housed several incredible classics, including a Mercedes-Benz 600 (w100), a MG C GT and a Lancia Aprilia with old Thai plates that looked like it had been pulled out of a barn.