10 Vintage and Classic Cars You Can Still Find in Singapore

Published by on . Updated on 18 May 2020

Classic Cars(Photo Credit: COTY)

Despite Singapore’s exorbitant car prices, there is no shortage of luxurious modern cars here. But, what about vintage and classic cars? They are definitely still around, but only if you look hard enough.

It’s no secret that old cars are a pain to maintain and run. Coupled with Singapore’s tight grip on cars and tropical climate, you would have to be a die-hard classic car lover to own one. But, Singapore does have a scheme for registering classic cars in good condition.

Called the Classic Vehicle Scheme, the road tax only cost $280 a year and owners only need to pay 10% of the 10 years Certificate of Entitlement (COE) Prevailing Quota Premium for the appropriate category. The car needs to under a 10-year COE because if the owner buys a COE for five years, they have to scrap or export the car at the end of its cycle.

Under such a scheme, the 35-years or older classic car will sport a red and yellow vehicle plate, and they are only allowed to be driven for a maximum of 45 days a year. With the annual road tax paid, owners get 28 free day licences per calendar year to drive their classic car, with the remaining 17 days costing $20 a day for the licence.

It is not mandatory for classic cars to be registered under the Classic Vehicle Scheme. In fact, some owners register their classic cars as regular cars for various reasons. However, a classic car is still a classic car regardless of how it is registered. here are 10 of them you can see on the roads of Singapore!

1) Ferrari Dino 308 GT4

Ferrari Dino 308 Gt4(Photo Credit: SG Classic Rides)

This Ferrari isn’t just any other old prancing horse on the road. Named after Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari’s son who died from muscular dystrophy in 1956, he wanted to differentiate this car from the rest of the Ferrari range, which boasted mostly big V12 engines. Introduced in 1968 and badged as a Dino, the 308 had a three litre V8 engine producing 218 brake horsepower (bhp).

This Ferrari Dino has a 2+2 seating configuration and was the first mid-engined car under the brand. Ferrari enthusiasts of the time were sceptical of the car due to its lack of the Ferrari badge, which the car got in 1976. Its popularity eventually grew over time due to its pedigree and badge.

Production ended in 1980, with 2826 Dinos made, with 547 of them in Right-Hand Drive (RHD). Currently, there are two other Dinos registered on the roads today, a red and blue one, with the green one in the photo currently deregistered with its road tax expired.

2) Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV

Alfa Romeo 2000 Gtv(Photo Credit: SG Classic Rides)

Fans of the old Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May might be familiar with the saying, “you can’t be a true petrolhead until you have owned an Alfa Romeo”. Alfas were never very popular in Singapore, with its poor reliability. But, they do have a classy image to them, a rallying pedigree and a reputation for being great to drive.

First produced in 1971, the Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV is one old Alfa that’s hard to miss on the road. The Alfa was designed by Giorgetto Giugario for Bertone, a car styling company. A gorgeous small car with all the right curves in all the right places, it was powered by a two litre AR Twin Cam four-cylinder engine producing 131 bhp.

Production ended in 1976 with 37,459 GTVs made. The number of 2000 GTVs on the roads of Singapore is currently unknown. This one in the photo in classic red paint was deregistered late last year.

3) Lancia Montecarlo

Lancia Montecarlo(Photo Credit: SG Classic Rides)

Rust, that’s what people often associate with old Lancia cars. Lancia may have had a pedigree in the second half of the last century for being rally champions, producing great cars and engineering marvels like the first five-speed gearbox and V6 engine, but the actual quality of their cars left a lot to be desired.

But regardless, their cars are still desired by a few brave souls who love Lancias. First produced in 1971 and styled by famous car designer Pininfarina, the Montecarlo is powered by a two litre, four-cylinder Lampredi engine producing 118 bhp.

Production ended in 1982 with 7,800 Montecarlos built. Many were plagued with issues and were beyond repair due to… rust. Lancia never had an official presence in Singapore, so the car in the photo might have been imported in privately. Sadly, Lancia is now just a shadow of its former glory, producing unremarkable hatchbacks under its parent company, Fiat.

4) Ford Escort RS Cosworth

Ford Escort Rs Cosworth(Photo Credit: SG Classic Rides)

Ford may have a reputation as the American car brand that produces muscle cars like the Mustang and the F-150 pickup truck, one of the best-selling vehicles in the world, but across the Atlantic, the brand tells a different story. The German subsidiary of Ford made family hatchbacks to cater to the market in Europe, which differs vastly from the American market.

The fifth generation Ford Escort was first produced in 1990. It was then worked on by Cosworth, an automotive company, to tweak its engine and turbocharger for Ford to enter the Escort into the World Rally Championship.

Its styling was based on its predecessor, the Sierra Cosworth, with the spoiler added by Frank Stephenson, a famous American car designer. The car had a two litre turbocharged Cosworth four-cylinder engine producing 224 bhp.

Production ended in 1996 with 7,145 Escort RS Cosworths made with its popularity growing due to its success in rallying. The car was never officially sold in Singapore and the one in the picture is the only one left on the road as the rest of them have been deregistered.

5) Audi Quattro

Audi Quattro(Photo Credit: SG Classic Rides)

Once upon a time, the German car company Audi was producing four-wheel drive vehicles for the German military. They soon realised that a similar system might work well in the world of rallying. They began testing a prototype with all-wheel drive secretly under the cover of night of what would been known as the Audi Quattro.

As the only four-wheel drive car when the Quattro started rallying (Audi got the rule of no four-wheel drive cars in rallying removed), it brought glory to Audi and the Quattro system by winning the World Rally Championship multiple times. The road-going Quattro began production in 1980, and demand quickly soared due to its success in rallying. The car had a turbocharged 2.1 litre five-cylinder engine producing 197 bhp.

Production ended in 1990 with 11,452 Quattros made in different variants. The one in the photo is the only registered vehicle in Singapore, with another imported from UK currently unregistered. Even though Audi is no longer producing the Quattro, virtually every car Audi made ever since can trace its origins back to this car that started it all.

6) BMW 2002

Bmw 2002(Photo Credit: SG Classic Rides)

Most modern BMW cars are quite aggressive looking, aren’t they? Especially the fast ones, with their flared wheel arches and grooves around the car to make it more aerodynamic. Well, there was a time when BMW made cute-looking cars, and the BMW 2002 is a prime example.

First produced in 1972 (not 2002), the car was part of BMW’s 02 series, a group of compact executive cars BMW made in the 60s and 70s. This was the BMW that the world fell in love with back in the 70s, which placed the German carmaker on the international stage. The truly compact car is powered by a turbocharged two litre four-cylinder engine producing 167 bhp.

Production ended in 1976 with around 6,800 of them made in RHD. Apart from the one in the photo, which was imported from UK, there are two other 2002s registered here in Singapore.

7) Jensen Interceptor III

Jensen Interceptor Iii(Photo Credit: SG Classic Rides)

Jensen is one obscure brand, one that emerged from the period of British Leyland, when the UK were churning out millions of cars each year. Started by two brothers who were working as motor bodywork builders. They took over the company in 1934 when its founder passed away and renamed it to Jensen Motor Company.

The Jensen Interceptor was a hand-built (in an era where ‘hand-built’ often meant the door would fall off) grand tourer first produced in 1966. The car had three distinct versions, and the convertible had a 7.2 litre Chrysler V8 engine pumping out 330 bhp. The car also had its big screen moment, appearing in the Fast and Furious 6 movie.

Production ended in 1976 with 6,408 Interceptors built in total. Among that, only 267 of them were convertibles, and a mere 90 of those open-tops were in RHD. In Singapore, there is only one convertible version, which is the one in the photo. However, it is yet to be registered. There is a registered Interceptor in Singapore, but it is the coupe variation.

8) Rolls Royce Connaught Twenty Tourer

Rolls Royce Connaught Twenty Tourer(Photo Credit: SG Classic Rides)

There is probably no other car brand than oozes more luxury than Rolls Royce. They have been around for more than a century, and they know more about what the distinguished customer wants in a car than any other carmaker. And that includes producing cars in small quantities for the exclusivity feel their customers oh so desire.

For that exclusive special feel, look no further than the Rolls Royce Connaught Twenty Tourer. Named for how many horsepowers it has, the Twenty Tourer was first produced in 1922 as a ‘small’ Rolls Royce for their customers to drive themselves.

It has a 3.1 litre six-cylinder engine, and apart from that, the chassis and the rest of the mechanical parts, the car was built by a coachbuilder, a custom car body builder. It was a popular concept back then, allowing wealthy car buyers to achieve their wildest dreams of what a car can look like. This car’s body was made by a London-based coachbuilder named Connaught, and was one of only three the coachbuilder ever made, hence the car’s name.

Production ended in 1929 with just 2,940 made. This particular car was sent to West Malaysia in 1926, survived the war and was left neglected until its current owner got it in 1981 and restored it fully two years later. This car is currently registered in Singapore and is sitting in a workshop. Apparently, it is also the oldest Rolls Royce in the region in good condition!

9) Citroen 2CV

Citroen 2 Cv(Photo Credit: SG Classic Rides)

French cars, even modern ones, have a reputation for being flimsy and unreliable. Regardless of whether it is true or not, French cars are not selling well in Singapore. While one shouldn’t live on past glories, there was once a French car that gave the Volkswagen Beetle a run for its money, the Citroen 2CV.

First produced in 1948 (pushed back from the 30s due to the war), the car was meant to help French farmers who still used horses to transport heavy goods across their farm. Due to the nature of work the 2CV was meant to do, it had a unique suspension that allowed the car to travel across any terrain while maintaining a smooth ride and the car’s weight balanced.

Production ended in 1990 with almost four million sedan versions made. This particular one had a highly reliable 602cc engine producing 22.7 bhp. It was slow yes, but it captured the hearts of the French people and the world. Besides this example, there are at least two other 2CVs on the road.

This version of the 2CV was made with a thin sheet of metal with a fabric sheet to cover the top, a smart idea during the post-war shortage of steel. It also allowed the car to carry long items. A yellow version of the 2CV was even used as a Bond car in the James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only (1981), making it the cheapest ever Bond car.

10) Chevrolet Corvette C3

Chevrolet Corvette C3(Photo Credit: SG Classic Rides)

A few years ago, Ford made an RHD iteration of the latest Mustang, its flagship muscle car. That meant the Mustang could be sold officially in RHD-only markets like Singapore. Before this, most of the affordable fast sports cars came from Japan, like the Subaru Impreza and the Mitsubishi Evolution, which always have been available in RHD.

Chevrolet’s sport cars have never established a presence in Singapore, with most, if not all of them, only available in Left-Hand Drive (LHD). But that doesn’t mean you can’t see them in Singapore, with the prime example being the Chevrolet Corvette C3.

First produced in 1968, it has a 5.7 litre small-block V8, producing 180 bhp. The design of the Corvette was actually, first leaked by Hot Wheels when they released a toy car version before the actual car was shown to the world.

Production ended in 1982 with over 540,000 C3 made. As mentioned earlier, the cars were all made in LHD configuration. The one in the photo was imported from Australia, where the car was converted to RHD. Besides that, there are two other C3s in Singapore, one in red and the other in blue.

All 10 photos of these vintage and classic cars were taken from the blog, Singapore Vintage and Classic Cars . To see more photos of classic cars in Singapore and find out more information about them, why not check them out? They have a Facebook and Instagram page too!

What is your favourite car in the list? Have you seen any of these cars on the roads of Singapore? Are there any other classic cars we should feature? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 Comment

Indra Raja
woah! would be cool to spot the Rolls Royce Connaught on the roads! ?

over 5 years ago