Category: Down On The Street

By on September 28, 2015

IMG_1549

When I write these little features, I always follow a set of self-imposed rules:

Rule No. 1: The car is always the main character;

Rule No. 2: Avoid using the same personality profile as in a previous story;

Rule No. 3: Inject truth. Use real ownership experiences for each example, and plausible explanations for clues;

And, Rule No. 4: Avoid blanket, prepared or generic scenarios.

I’m going to bend that last one a little bit. I’ve found the right example to illustrate it.

Read More >

By on May 10, 2013

02 - Custom Dodge A100 pickup - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOf all the racing venues I visit during my travels as Chief Justice of the 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court, the ritzy clubs tend to be the weirdest. We went to the Monticello Motor Club in New York a few weeks back, and twice a year the LeMons Traveling Circus rolls into the Autobahn Country Club in Illinois. The reaction of the members, who must navigate the madness of the LeMons pit scene as they drive their GT3s and Facel-Vegas to the clubhouse, runs the gamut from loathing to delight. Most of the time I ignore these guys— I always feel like we’re caddies in the pool in that setting— but as the owner of an A100 I just had to talk to the owner of this truck that showed up at the 2012 Showroom-Schlock Shootout. Read More >

By on May 4, 2013

08 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI was born in Minnesota, my wife is from Wisconsin, and I have a job that ships me to the Upper Midwest several times per year. For all these reasons, I find myself in Door County every summer, eating cheese curds, drinking Spotted Cow, and going to vintage tractor shows. Last year, on my way to becoming a card-carrying Bitters Club member on Washington Island, I spotted these old General Motors survivors sitting in a field. Read More >

By on September 5, 2012

I was in my old East Bay stomping grounds last weekend, to drive the Scion FR-S (review coming soon) and watch the Oakland A’s beat up the hapless Red Sox. I also spotted one of the greatest motor vehicles in history while driving down High Street on the way to The Island That Rust Forgot. It featured the letters “UFO” across a vaguely tailgate-ish rear body panel. I’ve puzzled out the type of vehicle it’s based on. Can you? Read More >

By on May 28, 2012

Vancouver’s a funny place when it comes to car culture. One one hand, we’ve got a downtown core that’s switching over to highly affluent residential living, similarly well-heeled Western regions and, carved into the hillsides of West Vancouver, a community that rates its own “Real Housewives Of…” unreality show.

Fuelled by wealth swirling off the Pacific Rim, there’re a lot of high-status automobiles on the streets: throw a rock at random and you’ll likely hit a Supercharged Range Rover, but only after a bounce off two 911s and a Ferrari California. I’ve seen more curbed dubs, beat-up Vantages and hack-job ‘tuner’ M3s than I care to remember. I even recall seeing an RS4 with doilies on the headrests.

Still, to each his own, and for the residents of East Vancouver that means a backlash against conspic-consump buggies and an affinity for hot-rodding. Quick, hand me a ballpoint before somebody notices I don’t have a neck tattoo. Read More >

By on May 10, 2012

When you need to get your message through to the ignorant hypnotized masses, what do you do? Why, paint that message in small shaky painted type on your Dodge Aspen! Read More >

By on April 12, 2012

During my visit to Vietnam last month, I saw about a million Honda Super Cubs, a Hummer H2, and lots of GM products, but I didn’t see something I thought would be commonplace: Soviet vehicles. Well, except for this lone UAZ-452, that is. Read More >

By on March 22, 2012

I just spent two weeks on vacation in Vietnam, and my pre-trip expectations of seeing fleets of left-behind-by-the-French Peugeots, left-behind-by-the-Americans Falcons, and left-behind-by-the-Soviets GAZs turned out to be ridiculously inaccurate. I saw a few old cars (more on that later), but most of the cars in Vietnam are boring late-model rides like Kia Rios and Toyota Innovas. However, I did see quite a few conspicuous-consumption statusmobiles in Saigon and Hanoi; the grumbling old-time revolutionary veterans no doubt refer to the current Hanoi leadership as CINOs. Here’s an example I spotted near St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Read More >

By on November 9, 2011

I’ve been on a Junkyard Find roll lately, but I haven’t forgotten the old/interesting cars that are still among the living. Here’s a nearly-60-year-old Chevy that lives— more accurately, thrives— on the street near downtown Denver. Read More >

By on October 19, 2011

When was the last time you saw a mint-condition first-gen Tercel on the freeway? This early-80s Tercel (Corolla Tercel, according to Toyota’s goofy “tack on the model name the Americans already know” branding experiment) apparently drove into a time machine around the time the Iranian hostages were released and reappeared on the 405 yesterday afternoon, as I was driving an RX-8 out of LAX. Read More >

By on October 12, 2011

After seeing the sad little yellow Fiat convertible in a Denver junkyard, let’s admire a happy little yellow Fiat convertible that’s still managing to evade the cruel jaws of The Crusher. Read More >

By on September 21, 2011

While in California to check out Billetproof Nor-Cal last weekend, I had the chance to visit The Island That Rust Forgot. It didn’t take long to find this ’67 Barracuda convertible and today’s find. Read More >

By on September 20, 2011

Back when I lived in Alameda, California (also known as “The Island That Rust Forgot”), I photographed and posted nearly 600 interesting street-parked cars and trucks on Jalopnik. The first one was this Cadillac Cimarron d’Oro, back in May of ’07; the next 499 may be found here. I moved to Denver last year… which means the ITRF has had ample time to add many new DOTS candidates. I was on the island for a very brief time over the weekend and managed to shoot a couple of them. Read More >

By on September 13, 2011

I usually limit my cars-in-the-wild photography to street-parked machinery, but I had to make an exception for this fine motor vehicle that I spotted in a Denver parking lot. I’m pretty sure I’m seeing Chrysler K-platform ancestry here, but… words fail me. Read More >

By on September 9, 2011

When scanning old negatives for the most recent installment of the Impala Hell Project series, I found these Ansco Pix Panorama camera shots that I took in gritty, grimy, industrial Hayward, California in 1993. They didn’t add anything to the Impala Hell Project story, so I’m sharing them in a separate post. Read More >

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