I've been following this discussion since I can't really do much else.
Managed to have a bit of a motorbike accident. For the digression, the bike
before: http://members.dingoblue.net.au/~ellingly/gsxr/ where you can even
see one of my 2 16s in the background.
Back to 16s:
In Australia, driving a 16 (or a 12 for that matter) does indicate you are a
strange person, but also somewhat cheap. In terms of $AU, I bought my 16ts (no photos at the moment) which was in immaculate condition for $450.
Registered. In terms of a common currency, that's only 75 large McDonalds
meals. I just didn't eat for 75 days to buy it :).
They aren't really seen as a 'cheap' car to buy, that's more reserved for
the likes of Cortinas, Escorts, and other Australian-only (I think) Holden
Camiras. Compared to a 16, they're ordinary cars.
What it means to me when I'm sitting in it is that it's possibly the fastest
armchair I've ever owned. If I want comfort, and still be able to hustle
around, I take the 16. If I want to go faster (and hurt myself...) I take a
motorbike. In that sense the 2 options for me are perfectly matched.
Everyone who has ever gone for a ride in it usually says: "ugly outside, but
gee those seats are nice." Never had any complaints regarding the ride.
In Australia in it's day it was seen as exotic, primarily because front
wheel drive hatchbacks didn't seem to fit with the outback. The people who
own them understand that they are a great car for their load carrying
abilities. That green 16 in the background of one of the motorbike photos
was my grandfather's 16TL that he bought new simply because it had the same ability to carry planks of wood as his older Holden stationwagon, but in
something half the size and more fun to drive.
And hey, as a University student I can't say no to a car that can
comfortably (maybe not safely) seat 4 up on the front seat and 5 up in the
back, yet be not much larger than most cars of it's day.
the hurt one :)