The Ford Econoline went from having a forward-control/mid-engine layout to sporting a stubby hood with the engine moved a bit forward for the 1968 through 1974 model years. Every time I see one of these vans in a wrecking yard, it has been so thoroughly used up that I feel compelled to break out my camera; so far in this series we have seen this ’70 cargo van, this ’70 passenger van, this STD-laden ’71 custom, and this extraordinarily biohazardous-looking ’72 camper (plus there’s this grainy black-and-white Econoline photo I shot in 1991, this full-on Southern California custom found in northern Sweden, and this time-capsule Denver customized ’74).
Today, we have this beat-to-hell-and-beyond California passenger-van-turned-work-truck. (Read More…)
The second-generation Ford Econoline van abandoned the forward-control layout of its mid-engined predecessor and was a big sales success. I still see these vans in junkyards (in fact, I found one in Sweden last year), but I tend to photograph only the most hantavirus-laden campers, attractively weathered window vans, or Chlamydia-enhanced customs. I saw this workhorse cargo Econoline (the technical term, coined by angry neighbors, for a featureless Detroit van with no windows is “Molester Van” or “Free Candy Van”) in a Denver yard recently, and it seemed like a good time to shoot this worn-out piece of van history. (Read More…)
We haven’t seen a Ford Fairlane in this series since this ’65 sedan, way back in 2010. We see station wagons here all the time, of course, the last couple being this ’66 Toyota crown and this ’86 Nissan Maxima. Our most recent Detroit station wagon Junkyard Find was this ’72 Pinto (or this ’60 Valiant, if you don’t consider the Pinto to be a proper Detroit station wagon). This ’70 Fairlane is rare indeed; I can’t recall having seen any midsize Ford wagon of this vintage on the street or in the junkyard for many years. (Read More…)
Since my first car was a 1969 Toyota Corona sedan, I always look for these cars in junkyards. I toy with the idea of getting another first-gen Corona sedan someday, into which I will swap a 1UZ-FE engine out of a Lexus LS400, so of course I check the internetz for old Corona ads. Here’s a good one! (Read More…)
Like Dizzy Gillespie’s cheeks playing trumpet vs. at rest, cars are bigger in every direction compared to their predecessors. Perhaps you’ve seen a 1980s Honda Accord in front of the latest platform. Or perhaps an old/new Chevy Silverado. But what about a copiously large Cadillac, like the one made (somewhat) famous in a Moby music video?
What happens when you put that machine, an unrivaled King of The 1970s, against a pair of modern land barges? You already know, but go ahead and click to see anyway. (Read More…)
Dodge stuck with the forward-control/mid-engine van design through the 1970 model year (at which point their Tradesman gained a hood), but Ford moved the Econoline’s engine forward starting with the 1968s. For 1968 through 1974, the Econoline had this extremely short snout, with the engine just barely in front of the driver. You don’t see many of this generation of Econoline these days, so I photographed this one when I spotted it in a California self-serve yard a couple of months ago. (Read More…)
We’re going to take a break from the Turbo Era Junkyard Finds and take a look at the kind of car that our resident lover of Ford personal luxury coupes really appreciates: a down-but-not-out (yet) 1970 Mark III in Denver self-service wrecking yard. (Read More…)
I visited my old stomping grounds in California over the weekend, which means I hit a bunch of self-service junkyards in the East Bay. I was thinking about some of the cars I used to drive during the 80s as I walked the rows of this yard’s import section, when there it was: my very first car! (Read More…)
The Corona was the first Toyota car to appear in large numbers on American streets, starting in the mid-to-late 1960s. By the middle of the 1980s, just about all the boxy early Coronas were gone; they rusted quickly in non-bone-dry regions and weren’t enough loved elsewhere to be kept alive. My very first car was a ’69 Corona sedan, so I had a bit of a nostalgic twinge when I spotted this ’70 hardtop coupe in a California self-serve wrecking yard. (Read More…)
To Americans, there’s a weird mirror-world aspect to cars made by Detroit car companies in Australia; you can tell you’re looking at a GM product when you see an old Holden, for example, because you can usually spot a little Chevelle/Nova/Impala influence in the body lines, but everything just seems a little… off. Let’s watch the ’70 Holden line conquering the Outback and wowing the ladies. (Read More…)
I must admit I’ve lost track of the variations on the DeVille name used by Cadillac over the decades; according to the 1970 sales brochure, this car— which I found at the same Denver yard that gave us the ’82 AM General Postal Jeep yesterday— was a “de Ville” (two words, first starting with lower-case letter). It’s pretty well used up, but you can still see the genuine pre-malaise luxury. (Read More…)
Having just spent a weekend officiating at a race with one of the perpetrators of the latest Motor Trend Car of the Year choice, I got to thinking about past controversial COTY choices… and what choices we might make today, with the benefit of hindsight. Second-guessing the 1971 and 1983 choices is fish-in-a-barrel stuff (though I think the very radical-for-Detroit Vega deserved the award in spite of its terrible execution), but you can find tough choices all the way back to 1949. Today we’re going to talk about 1970’s Car of the Year winner: the Ford Torino. (Read More…)
Working in the 24 Hours of LeMons Penalty Box, the constant refrain of “Four wheels off” over the radio from the corner workers reporting miscreant drivers gets a little tedious. Hearing “Six wheels off,” however, really livens things up for us. That’s just one of the many benefits of having the Team Apex Vinyl Texas six-wheeled Toyota Hilux in a race. (Read More…)
Here’s my dilemma: Bought a 1983 5.0 Cougar for my wife as her “weekend” car, but the TBI was problematic and the seats were terribly uncomfortable. Dumped the Cougar, and bought a loaded 1985 F-150 with 5.0 and power everything, then sprayed it in Mustang Redfire Metallic red, but she wanted something more “sporty.”
So I traded the pickup for a 1971 Torino coupe with a 351W and 3 speed auto (pictured here).
There’s really no reason for an old Detroit pickup to die, but The Crusher’s blind hunger for steel makes no distinction between a Mercury Tracer with fire damage and a solid ’70 Chevy with small-block and manual transmission. (Read More…)