By on December 17, 2009

which side do you relate to more?

Today’s Bobcat CC tends to reinforce the image of Eugene as an insane asylum refuge for the disaffected, eccentric, permanently drugged, but artistic and creative goof-balls of the world. Well, that’s largely true, and it sure keeps things interesting. But the reality is that there are two Eugenes: south of the river and north of of it. That’s a slight over-simplification, but you get the picture, here: just imagine that the yellow line between the Charger SRT and the Datsun 710 is the Willamette. But there are circumstances that cause the two sides to intermingle, like this little parking lot behind an accountant’s office. Guess whose car is the accountant’s and whose is his patchouli-oil scented assistant’s? Another perspective to assist your efforts after the jump.

a different perspective on eugene

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22 Comments on “Curbside Classic Outtake: The Two Faces Of Eugene Edition...”


  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    The accountant owns the 710. It still runs, so he does spend money on cars.

  • avatar
    npbheights

    For some reason, the Datsun just looks more mechanically stout than the Dodge to me.   Wonder where the SRT8 will be in 35 years… recycled into a chinese toaster probably.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    The 710 is in remarkably good condition considering its age and the poor quality of the tin cans it was made from.
     
    Please elaborate on the difference between northern and southern Eugene. I was once told that there was a significant difference between Eugene and Springfield.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Here are the grossly inadequate but commonly perpetuated stereotypes:
      South of the river Eugene: University of Oregon, very liberal, Democratic, old hippies, neo-hippies, a smattering of anarchists and other radicals, anti-growth
      North of the River Eugene: The moneyed elite, conservative, Republican, pro-growth, but kept in check by South Eugene (city council split 3-3).
      Springfield: Downscale lumber mill town, conservative, pro-growth, home of much of the new commercial development.

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      In 1962 I did a year of grad school at OSU and lived a few months after that in Sweet Home. I remember seeing a sectioned 1946 Ford 2-door sedan in some sort of an impound lot  between the main one-way streets in the north part of Eugene. I asked about it a couple of times but no, it wasn’t going anywhere. Just two or three years ago I saw it in Hemmings, and was glad to see that someone had taken it in hand. From what little I remember of Eugene then, it seemed more like Springfield does nowadays.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    I’m an accountant with a Charger V8.

  • avatar
    obbop

    College cheer:
    Beaver meat beaver meat rah rah rah
    How do we eat it how do we eat it
    Raw raw raw
    Lotta’ of the California hippies of old ended up in Oregon.  Many have been there for decades and are getting old.
    Like me.
    Sniff.
    Much cheaper living, in general, here in fly-over country.
    Get off my dirt

  • avatar
    Brian Tiemann

    My God, the 710 wagon. The first car I remember. My parents bought one (burgundy) in 1976, same year I was born, and it was the car that I grew up with and the shape that stuck in my mind forever as what a “car” should look like. It wasn’t until 1982 that we even got a second car (a green Aries wagon), and the 710 wasn’t sold off until 1987 when we got another Aries (a blue sedan), not having learned our lesson.
     
    I remember the Datsun being raw and crude and mechanically questionable and kinda junky (white vinyl seats, no less), but when we sold it it was my first lesson in saying a warm goodbye to an old mechanical friend.
     
    If only the one in the photo had its hubcaps. Then this would have looked eerily like our driveway circa 1985.

  • avatar
    CyCarConsulting

    The wagon was the secretary’s car. For some strange reason she now drives a new Dodge.

  • avatar
    dmrdano

    Cognitive Dissonance at its best.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    The Datsun is so Jimmy Carter-years ugly. Datsun went from a solid looking 510 to the most hideous things on wheels during this era. Datsuns of this era have their own chapter in the “Ugliest Auto Ever Designed” chronicle of car design.

    They were narrow. They had a high beltline. The tumblehome was right against your ears. The dashboards were narrow vinyl cliffs with deep recessed instrumentation. The seats were built by Little Tykes. The carpeting was fake mouse fur. They rusted faster than an unpainted coffee can in the Amazon.

    Worse, they were still better than what was being manufactured by GM or Ford.

    Yup – for those who didn’t experienced it, the Jimmy Carter years are known as the “maliase years” for a real reason. He, and they – utterly sucked.

    • 0 avatar
      Bocatrip

      I sold New 710s in the 70s for a Datsun dealership on Long Island and almost no one wanted one. The 510s and 1200s sold well, but when the 610, 710, and 810 arrived, it was all downhill. They became heavy and super underpowered. The engines however were bulletproof if serviced properly.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The 710 isn’t even close to being the ugliest car Datsun made…remember the F10?

  • avatar
    nikita

    Paul,  does Springfield still smell like it did when I was there decades ago? The paper mill had gave the whole town an awful stench, much like the “Tacoma aroma” to the north and “Eureka like a pulp mill” to the south.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Yes, but probably not as bad, due to better controls at the pulp plant. Usually the wind blows the other way. My wife calls it the “dirty diaper” smell. The Eureka plant almost totally cut its smell ouput recently.

    • 0 avatar
      Oregon Sage

      Yep, the Springfield aroma is much better than it was 30 years ago. You can still experience that lovely smell in Lewiston Idaho though. They have the added benefit of locating their pulp mill in a steep valley that often traps the odor.

  • avatar
    dmrdano

    My dad had an 810 wagon.  Powerful, great ride, good mileage.  But the rust!  Oh, the humanity!!!  Two years old and the fenders were perforated, four and they were flapping!

  • avatar
    Oregon Sage

    To help reinforce Paul’s stereotyping, I drive my F150 from my home north of the river to mingle with the aging VWs and Volvos in a downtown (south of the river) parking garage. My motorhome, motorcycles and mildly famous 1951 Oldsmobile are also housed up north.
    However, I haven’t voted for a Republican since John Anderson. On the other hand the mayor of Eugene is the kind of flakey liberal that will never get my vote. All posture, no substance.  There are many kinds of liberals in the world.  Tie dye shirts are a sign of cultural liberalism of the type that (south) Eugene has aplenty.  I prefer a good old fashioned public works project, or universal health care myself.

  • avatar
    Jassifrass

    That 710 is mine actually. Im the receptionist. The charger is my dad’s. He’s the accountant and we both live in the south hills. He bought that car more or less because he always wanted a batmobile, not to show off his money. Me and my boyfriend actually own 3 datsuns so far, the other 2 are 620 pickups. It’s not the prettiest car but try to find another one. Iv’e seen one other 710 wagon in town since i got it.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Jassifrass,  Thanks for identifying your cool 710. The other 710 is blue, and I already have pictures of it, and will do a full length Curbside Classic one of these days on it. Unless there’s another one?

  • avatar
    Jassifrass

    the one i saw was blue ish. like teal sort of. it was in really good shape to. i was at the auto parts store when i saw them and chased them down a little to say hi. They were pretty happy to see me too. My boyfriend says he saw one on craiglist about 3 months ago that was blue and really nice too.


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