I just stumbled over a multi-brand dealership’s website that’s been seemingly forgotten since 2008. It’s from the beautiful island of Curaçao, which was at the time still a Dutch colony. The country celebrated its independency two years later when these cars were already digitally abandoned.
When I googled for a brochure of the then new Volkswagen Touareg, I didn’t really notice there was still an actual website behind the PDF file that Google showed me. I was browsing for a different model year, when I found the actual website of “Ascend Motors” in Willemstad Curaçao. Apparently they didn’t only sell Volkswagen at the time but also Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Mercedes-Benz. You can still access their online portfolio in period correct corporate design. Today’s screenshots however only reveal a resolution of 640 by 480 Pixels so you better fetch your reading glasses or use the opportunity to recover your old CRT-screen from your parent’s basement to enjoy the full fuzzy-when-close-feeling.
Today the only accessible sites are Dodge, Jeep and Volkswagen. The Mercedes and Chrysler pages only appear in bits when you run an image search on Google. It seems that the dealership has somehow ceased business some time around 2008. I tried calling the phone numbers but both were unavailable. On a short trip in someone’s weirdly private looking Google Street View car, I found out that the address leads to a deserted showroom building. Apparently a lot happened on the Island of Curaçao over the last decade. They have been a sovereign country for the last eight years. On the old websites, you’ll still find prices in Netherlands Antillean Guilders, a currency that was replaced by the USD in 2011 many other former Dutch Caribbean Islands. To make it more bearable for the nice folks in Holland, Curaçao is still part of the Dutch Kingdom.
Enough on the Island’s history. ‘Tis now time to bask in the glory of the New Volkswagen CrossFox with its wonderfully silly off road ornaments, tailgate-mounted spare wheel and bi-colored interior. It seems that the 5-door-spec doesn’t match the car on the pictures, but see how cute it looks with its tiny little bull guard.
The more regular Volkswagen models, like Polo, Golf, Passat and so on offer PDF versions of their original German sales brochures. Some of them look a little dusty though... With these tools, you can play car shopping in 2008. I think it’s remarkable how far car websites have come in the last ten years.
Maybe you are not a Volkswagen aficionado, but someone who prefers a perfect balance of muscular body panels and modern design elements. If so, you should check out the 2008 Dodge Ram. Sadly, the link to the truck’s brochure only sends you to today’s Ram truck website.
Maybe you fancy something more aggressive. How about a funky fresh Caliber? The page says:
“It’s anything but cute. It arrives on the scene with a
certain swagger that’s unmistakably Dodge. It pushes its
way though the crowd with a furrowed brow and the
pull of front-wheel drive or the authority of all-wheel drive
If that doesn’t convince you, maybe one of Ascend Motors trusty pre-owned cars could be the better choice. How about a ‘99 Expedition in Black with golden trim pieces and the divine splendor of the Eddie Bauer Edition? It could be yours for only Nafl. 19 950 – Ex. OB, that is. Call your Ascend Motors sales executive today to find out how many Nafls the OB would be. If you prefer a lovely E38 BMW 7 series, there’s nothing to ask. Just go to Ascend’s and solemnly nod at the sales rep. He’ll show you the way to your very own James Bond BMW.
I almost forgot the Jeep page! It is adorned by an astonishing piece of Photoshop CS2 art that combines a Detroitishly lit Grand Cherokee with the beautiful scenery of the original Curaçaoan backdrop of Shon Mosa beach.
A great vehicle to conquer the 171 square miles of the island and a great advertisement to reach the island’s 180 000 inhabitants.
If you like what you see, check out the websites yourself as long as they’re online. Here are the links. Maybe one of you nifty Internet-Professionals can get a hold on the Benz and Chrysler website.