The Truth About Cars » Down On The Street http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:58:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Down On The Street http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Down On the Farm: The General’s Troops Wait For Orders In Wisconsin http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/down-on-the-farm-the-generals-troops-wait-for-orders-in-wisconsin/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/down-on-the-farm-the-generals-troops-wait-for-orders-in-wisconsin/#comments Sat, 04 May 2013 16:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=487152 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.
02 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinLooks like a couple of early postwar Chevy pickups and a GMC COE winch truck from the same era.
03 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThey’re not terribly rusty (for Wisconsin), which suggests that someone still cares for them.
09 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAnd why not? A farm truck is still useful, whether it’s five years old or 65.
01 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/down-on-the-farm-the-generals-troops-wait-for-orders-in-wisconsin/feed/ 10
UFO Spotted In Oakland. Can You Identify It? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/ufo-spotted-in-oakland-can-you-identify-it/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/ufo-spotted-in-oakland-can-you-identify-it/#comments Wed, 05 Sep 2012 14:30:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=458985 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?
Actually, I cheated a little by looking up the license plate in the California smog check database. It’s a 1973 Chevy Luv pickup with a whole bunch of innovative modifications.
I tried to talk to the driver about it, but she seemed reluctant to chat with anyone in a Hot Lava Orange Scion.
The world needs more customized trucks like this!

09 - 1973 Chevy LUV UFO In Oakland - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1973 Chevy LUV UFO In Oakland - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1973 Chevy LUV UFO In Oakland - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1973 Chevy LUV UFO In Oakland - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1973 Chevy LUV UFO In Oakland - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1973 Chevy LUV UFO In Oakland - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1973 Chevy LUV UFO In Oakland - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1973 Chevy LUV UFO In Oakland - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1973 Chevy LUV UFO In Oakland - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/ufo-spotted-in-oakland-can-you-identify-it/feed/ 41
How Honda Survived the Vigor, the Del Sol, and the Lawsuits: Super Cub! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/how-honda-survived-the-vigor-the-del-sol-and-the-lawsuits-super-cub/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/how-honda-survived-the-vigor-the-del-sol-and-the-lawsuits-super-cub/#comments Tue, 03 Apr 2012 18:20:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=437894 For about 15 years, the Civic and the Accord were untouchable in the American marketplace; Honda sold all they could build here plus as many as they could import under the limitations of the Voluntary Export Restraint agreement of 1981. Then… well, Soichiro Honda died and Honda sort of lost its way. Sure, their cars were still good, but the competition had caught up and the Honda magic had worn off for American car buyers. Honda car sales in Japan had never been so great, so what kept Honda going through the lean times? Two-wheelers! I spent two weeks in Vietnam last month and came away with a new appreciation for Honda’s utter dominance of the Asian motorbike market.
Scooters and motorcycles are central to the culture of Vietnam; farmers ride them to their fields, parents use them to drop the kids off at school, furniture stores use them to deliver bedroom sets, and so on. Saigon and Hanoi are boiling maelstroms of bikes everywhere. Want to ride on the wrong side of the street? Go for it! On the sidewalk? Sure! Traffic signals? What traffic signals? Most of the bikes are sub-200cc machines, most are clutchless, and most are Hondas. The Honda Wave is one of the most popular, with the newer Air Blade a big seller as well. Those shiny new bikes were kind of interesting, but nothing approaches the majesty of the most-produced motor vehicle in history: the Honda Super Cub.
If you see a motorcycle piled high with an outlandish quantity of weird stuff in Vietnam, there’s about a 90% chance that it will one of the 60+ million Super Cubs built since 1958.
Hauling 150 kilos of soybeans to your restaurant in Danang? You know what to do!
As James May says in the Top Gear Vietnam Special, after selecting a Super Cub for his Saigon-to-Hanoi steed, this is the machine that put Asia on wheels.
You see a lot of completely beat early Super Cubs in Vietnam, no doubt pieced together from bits of several junked bikes. The Vietnamese I spoke to about the Super Cub were a little puzzled by my interest; to them, the old Super Cub seems to be your entry-level bike, something you sell as soon as you can afford to move up to a Wave or Vespa.
Which isn’t to say that you don’t see early Super Cubs in cherry condition. The owner of this one, parked in front of the Saigon tailor shop where I had some custom shirts made, protects the seat from sun and grime with a plastic stool while parked.
The Super Cub is the real business workhorse of the country. While Toyota Innova minivans are getting more popular for deliveries, the venerable Honda motorbike still rules the narrow streets of Vietnam. Here’s a trailer-equipped Super Cub serving as a beer truck in Hoi An.
It’s good to know that my frosty Biere Larue was brought to this excellent restaurant on a Super Cub. Vietnam is still a regional-beer place, with Danang-brewed Larue the top beer in the central part of the country.
Adding a trailer to your Super Cub makes it tougher to negotiate traffic, but saves time tying stuff down and makes it easier to balance while riding.
It’s easy to find parts for your ailing Super Cub in Saigon and Hanoi; little hole-in-the-wall shops sell every component imaginable. I asked several semi-English-speaking street-corner mechanics (more on them later) about motorbike junkyards, but nobody seemed to understand my question.
You can still buy new Super Cubs, and many do. The Little Cub seems especially popular among young women with office jobs.
The Super Cub was sold in the United States, but the Piper Super Cub airplane meant that Honda had to use a different name on these shores. So, Americans bought Honda Passports.
I’ve never owned a motorcycle in my life, but I’m now shopping for an old Passport. If I find a good one, I’ll head over to eBay and buy some Super Cub badges for it.

41 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 01 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 02 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 03 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 05 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 06 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 08 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 09 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 10 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 11 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 12 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 13 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 14 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 15 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 16 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 17 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 18 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 19 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 20 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 21 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 22 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 23 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 24 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 25 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 26 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 27 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 28 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 29 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 30 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 31 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 32 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 33 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 34 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 35 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 36 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 37 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 38 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 39 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 40 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 42 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 43 - Honda Super Cub in Vietnam - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/how-honda-survived-the-vigor-the-del-sol-and-the-lawsuits-super-cub/feed/ 62
Not What Marx and Engels Had In Mind: Welcome To Hanoi! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/not-what-marx-and-engels-had-in-mind-welcome-to-hanoi/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/not-what-marx-and-engels-had-in-mind-welcome-to-hanoi/#comments Thu, 22 Mar 2012 14:30:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=435886 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.
You see a lot of old-timey heroic-workers billboards celebrating stuff like the founding of the Vietnamese Communist Party and the sure-didn’t-look-like-victory-at-the-time Tet Offensive around the country, but Vietnam 2012 has— in the words of Ice-T— a capitalist migraine.
For most Vietnamese, being on wheels means rolling on two wheels; the bike-centric Top Gear Vietnam Special captured the spirit very well. Those of us in the USA have become accustomed to the idea that you need a full-sized SUV or minivan if you have even one child… but Vietnamese city dwellers know better. Motorbikes can squeeze through tiny 14th-century alleys, they get high-double-digit fuel economy, and they can negotiate your typical no-traffic-signal Saigon intersection without stopping.
The problem with bikes, though, is that they’re quite poor at flaunting your newfound wealth. Oh, sure, you can get a BMW or Hayabusa two-wheeler, but what the up-and-coming Vietnamese businessman really needs is a totally impractical, gas-sucking luxury ride. I saw plenty of Benzes and Porsches and even the occasional Bentley, but this is the king!
You want post-Cold-War irony? This H2 (which probably can’t even fit on 80% of Hanoi’s streets and is lucky to average 3 MPH while trying to force its way through a maelstrom of Super Cubs stacked with 50-kilo sacks of soybeans, pushcarts laden with a half-ton of hog innards, and bewildered cops in Toyota Crowns) was parked in front of a store selling vintage Communist propaganda posters.
I’m sure the grizzled NVA vets who see this thing shake their fists and yell “I lost all my buddies to B-52 strikes at Khe Sanh for this?”, but something like 80% of the Vietnamese population is under 30… and they probably ignore Grandpa and think “I’ll have one of those someday!”

09 - Hanoi Hummer - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Conspicuous Consumption' Greden 01 - Hanoi Hummer - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Conspicuous Consumption' Greden 02 - Hanoi Hummer - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Conspicuous Consumption' Greden 03 - Hanoi Hummer - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Conspicuous Consumption' Greden 04 - Hanoi Hummer - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Conspicuous Consumption' Greden 05 - Hanoi Hummer - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Conspicuous Consumption' Greden 06 - Hanoi Hummer - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Conspicuous Consumption' Greden 07 - Hanoi Hummer - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Conspicuous Consumption' Greden 08 - Hanoi Hummer - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Conspicuous Consumption' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/not-what-marx-and-engels-had-in-mind-welcome-to-hanoi/feed/ 25
Down On The Mile High Street: 1953 Chevrolet 210 Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1953-chevrolet-210-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1953-chevrolet-210-sedan/#comments Wed, 09 Nov 2011 14:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=417284 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.
I’m pretty sure this is a ’53, what with the one-piece windshield and 53-ish gutted grille, but you never know for sure with all the parts-swappage that takes place with these things.
It’s good to know that such cars still get used for transportation these days.

DOTSD-53Chevy-10 DOTSD-53Chevy-01 DOTSD-53Chevy-02 DOTSD-53Chevy-03 DOTSD-53Chevy-04 DOTSD-53Chevy-05 DOTSD-53Chevy-06 DOTSD-53Chevy-07 DOTSD-53Chevy-08 DOTSD-53Chevy-09 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1953-chevrolet-210-sedan/feed/ 21
Back In Southern California: Rare Survivors Abound http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/back-in-southern-california-rare-survivors-abound/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/back-in-southern-california-rare-survivors-abound/#comments Wed, 19 Oct 2011 20:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=415248 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. Since that sighting, I’ve seen a half-dozen Alfa Spiders, an Early Malaise Colt, countless GMC and Ford pickups from the 1950s and 1960s, two Darts, a Wildcat convertible, and a BMW E9. Oh, and a showroom-condition ’76 Mazda GLC with 7,000 miles on the clock. Much more on that car later.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/back-in-southern-california-rare-survivors-abound/feed/ 33
Down On the Mile High Street: Fiat 124 Sport Spider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/down-on-the-mile-high-street-fiat-124-sport-spider/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/down-on-the-mile-high-street-fiat-124-sport-spider/#comments Wed, 12 Oct 2011 15:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=414429 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.
These things didn’t change much during the first few years of production, and I’m not a sufficiently maniacal devoted Fiat aficionado to spot the subtle model-year identifiers on this car, but I’m going to guess it’s a ’70 or ’71 model. I found it parked in front of a Denver church on a Sunday, so it may be one of those much-sought-after “little old lady only drove it to church on Sunday” cars. If so, I’m impressed by the little old lady’s choice of a 40-year-old Fiat over, say, a Buick LeSabre.
This car appears to be a super-original, rust-free example; probably not worth a ton of money (if we are to go by the Hemmings Motor News Classifieds), but a lot rarer nowadays than its British competitor, the MGB. The ’71 124 Sport Spider listed at $3,382 and boasted 90 horsepower, while the ’71 MGB sold for $2,875 and had 92 horsepower. Having driven both types, I’d say both are pretty poky, but the Fiat seems faster.
DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-9 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-1 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-2 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-3 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-4 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-5 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-6 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-7 DOTS-Fiat124SpiderYellow-8 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/down-on-the-mile-high-street-fiat-124-sport-spider/feed/ 28
Down On the Alameda Street: 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible Donk http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/down-on-the-alameda-street-1968-oldsmobile-cutlass-convertible-donk/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/down-on-the-alameda-street-1968-oldsmobile-cutlass-convertible-donk/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2011 13:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=412044 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.
Oakland, which is the mainland to Alameda’s island (separated by about 100 yards of estuary), has been Donk Headquarters for many years now. If you want to split hairs, a true donk must be a box Impala, but I guarantee that nobody on Foothill Boulevard would deny donk status to this machine.

At this point, let’s set the proper mood for contemplating this car by putting on some Too $hort.
Now, some Oldsmobile purists might try to say that a classic Cutlass convertible doesn’t look right with this treatment, but the definition of “purist” (as stated by my friend who enraged his purist Econoline Club peers by dropping a 460 in his low-mile, Canadian-market Mercury Econoline) is “someone who won’t piss in the shower.”
As a former Cutlass owner (purple ’69), I think this car looks good as it sits. First, it’s an ancient A-body convertible that still lives on the street. Second, it livens up a neighborhood full of minivans and Lexuses. Third, if a donk belongs on a race track, it certainly belongs on the street.

DOTS-DonkedCutlass-13-R-1280px DOTS-DonkedCutlass-01-R-1280px DOTS-DonkedCutlass-02-R-1280px DOTS-DonkedCutlass-03-R-1280px DOTS-DonkedCutlass-04-R-1280px DOTS-DonkedCutlass-05-R-1280px DOTS-DonkedCutlass-06-R-1280px DOTS-DonkedCutlass-07-R-1280px DOTS-DonkedCutlass-08-R-1280px DOTS-DonkedCutlass-09-R-1280px DOTS-DonkedCutlass-10-R-1280px DOTS-DonkedCutlass-11-R-1280px DOTS-DonkedCutlass-12-3D DOTS-DonkedCutlass-12-R-1280px Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/down-on-the-alameda-street-1968-oldsmobile-cutlass-convertible-donk/feed/ 47
Down On The Alameda Street: 1967 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/down-on-the-alameda-street-1967-plymouth-barracuda-convertible/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/down-on-the-alameda-street-1967-plymouth-barracuda-convertible/#comments Tue, 20 Sep 2011 13:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=411843 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.
This specimen wasn’t actually parked on the street, though it was in a blue-zone spot in a public parking lot downtown. I’ll make an exception to the “must be parked on the street” rule for a handicapped-placard-equipped Datsun 411.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the forgotten ’67-69 Barracudas, which ended up hidden in the shadows cast by the goofy Valiant-with-vast-fastback-glass versions that came before and the Baby-Boomer-nostalgia-inducing E-body versions that came after. I had a couple of friends at Alameda High with ’67 Barracuda fastbacks, which they were able to buy cheaply because— even in the early 1980s— nobody wanted them. This car is still an A Body, like the Dart/Valiant, but the sheet metal no longer looks quite so Valiant-ish.
Apologies for the crappy phone-camera photos here; one uses the camera on hand when a car like this appears. This extremely rare convertible looks a little rough, but I didn’t see any rust and it appears to be on the road to restoration.
The important thing is that it’s a classic Detroit pony car convertible that still sees the street as its native habitat. Perhaps it will be worth too much for street use in a few years, but for now it’s still out there.

2011-09-17_11-16-24_314 DOTS-67BarracudaConvert-12 DOTS-67BarracudaConvert-01 DOTS-67BarracudaConvert-02 DOTS-67BarracudaConvert-03 DOTS-67BarracudaConvert-04 DOTS-67BarracudaConvert-05 DOTS-67BarracudaConvert-06 DOTS-67BarracudaConvert-07 DOTS-67BarracudaConvert-08 DOTS-67BarracudaConvert-09 DOTS-67BarracudaConvert-10 DOTS-67BarracudaConvert-11 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/down-on-the-alameda-street-1967-plymouth-barracuda-convertible/feed/ 7
Down On the 1993 Hayward Street: Ripped-n-Stripped Victims http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/down-on-the-1993-hayward-street-ripped-n-stripped-victims/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/down-on-the-1993-hayward-street-ripped-n-stripped-victims/#comments Fri, 09 Sep 2011 13:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=410698 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.
The Fish Driver Warehouse was not far from the site of the now-defunct Hayward Pick Your Part, a yard I’d been visiting since the mid-1980s, and the stretch of West Winton Avenue right outside the junkyard gates was a popular spot to yank parts off stolen and/or unwanted vehicles. Nowadays, with scrap metal prices so high, you wouldn’t see a scene like this.
A de-fendered first-gen RX-7 parked in front of a scissors-jack-suspended Pinto wagon. One thing hasn’t changed: old beater RX-7s still aren’t worth much.
I took this shot through the fence of the Pick Your Part holding area. Look, it’s a Rover P5! Anybody want to take a shot at identifying the ancient truck in the foreground and the sedan in the background?

93_Hayward_Abandoned_Cars-4 93_Hayward_Abandoned_Cars-1 93_Hayward_Abandoned_Cars-2 93_Hayward_Abandoned_Cars-3 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/down-on-the-1993-hayward-street-ripped-n-stripped-victims/feed/ 9
Down On The Pasadena Street, 1964 Edition: How Many Cars Can You Identify? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/down-on-the-pasadena-street-1964-edition-how-many-cars-can-you-identify/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/down-on-the-pasadena-street-1964-edition-how-many-cars-can-you-identify/#comments Wed, 31 Aug 2011 22:30:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=409391 Many years ago, I bought a yard-sale box of old 35mm slides in order to score the reusable glass slide-mounts. A few of the original images were interesting, so I hung onto them. With all the scanning of old slides and negatives I’ve been doing for the ’65 Impala Hell Project series, I’ve also been searching for interesting automotive images among the rest of my collection. This photograph from 1964 Pasadena (as in “The Little Old Lady From”, which was a hit song in ’64) contains quite a few interesting vehicles. I’m going to follow up my 1973 San Francisco Car ID Challenge with the 1964 Pasadena Car ID Challenge: what vehicles do you see in this photograph?
The slide is dated 1964 and the Tournament of Roses banners nailed the street down as Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena (yes, the very same Colorado Boulevard terrorized by the Little Old Lady in her Super Stock Dodge), so it was a simple matter of searching business names to find the exact intersection. Patti’s Grill is gone, as is Jack Shannon’s and Bill and Corky’s, but the 35er is still in full effect; this photograph was shot looking west from the intersection of West Colorado Boulevard and North Fair Oaks Avenue.
The front row of cars at the stoplight should be pretty easy, but there’s some fascinating stuff behind them. What’s that lil’ red devil behind the Beetle? And is that a huge hood scoop on the car behind the mean-looking lowered Olds? You’ll be able to see larger version of the images by clicking on the gallery thumbnails below (and waiting patiently— very patiently— for the image to load).
64-Found_Rose_Parade_Photo-Close 64-Found_Rose_Parade_Photo 64-Found_Rose_Parade_Photo2 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/down-on-the-pasadena-street-1964-edition-how-many-cars-can-you-identify/feed/ 29
Down On The Oakland Street, 1994: Before Taurus Beaters Were Cheap Enough http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/down-on-the-oakland-street-1994-before-taurus-beaters-were-cheap-enough/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/down-on-the-oakland-street-1994-before-taurus-beaters-were-cheap-enough/#comments Wed, 24 Aug 2011 13:30:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=408487 The reason I’m only doing ’65 Impala Hell Project posts every week or so is the fact that it takes for-freakin-ever for me to search and scan endless sheets of 35mm negatives and slides for images that are relevant to the story (the 1999-vintage SCSI film scanner I’m using sure isn’t helping matters). There is an unexpected bonus that comes with this process, however: I keep running across interesting car photos shot during my travels.
I shot this panoramic photograph out the window of my Impala in early 1994, just south of the Nimitz Freeway on High Street. That spot looks much different now, thanks to a new onramp configuration and Shell station upgrade, and you won’t see dudes hauling a pile of crap on the roof of a Malaise Era Torino wagon any more; look for Tempos and Tauruses in that role today.

94-WretchedFordWagon Pickles 94-WretchedFordWagon-Detail Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/down-on-the-oakland-street-1994-before-taurus-beaters-were-cheap-enough/feed/ 19
Down On The Mile High Street: Volkswagen Beetle http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/down-on-the-mile-high-street-volkswagen-beetle/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/down-on-the-mile-high-street-volkswagen-beetle/#comments Fri, 12 Aug 2011 19:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=406871 I don’t see quite as many Old Beetles on the streets of Denver as I did when I lived on the Island That Rust Forgot, but a few of the clattery old Germans still serve as daily transportation in the Mile High City. Even though I’ve owned several Beetles, I still can’t nail down exact model years at a glance; we’ll leave that to you Volkswagen zealots aficionados.
Judging by the taillights, bumpers, and flow-through air vents, I’d say this is an early-to-mid-70s Beetle. By 1974, the Beetle’s 1600cc engine was rated at an even-worse-than-the-MGB 46 horsepower. Can you imagine what Beetles with the air-conditioning option were like to drive?
I thought this was a Super Beetle at first glance, but it doesn’t have the long hood of the Super. Even with its allegedly more modern McPherson strut front suspension, the Super had even scarier handling characteristics than the torsion-bar regular Beetle. Hey, what’s that black stuff on the engine lid?
Air-cooled VWs often have a little problem with fires in the engine compartment, thanks to the hot engine and leak-prone fuel pump and lines. The driver of this car was on the ball when his or her engine started to burn and put out the fire in time.

DOTSD-SuperBeetle-10 DOTSD-SuperBeetle-01 DOTSD-SuperBeetle-02 DOTSD-SuperBeetle-03 DOTSD-SuperBeetle-04 DOTSD-SuperBeetle-05 DOTSD-SuperBeetle-06 DOTSD-SuperBeetle-07 DOTSD-SuperBeetle-08 DOTSD-SuperBeetle-09 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/down-on-the-mile-high-street-volkswagen-beetle/feed/ 26
Down On The Mile High Street: Take That, Homeowners’ Associations! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/down-on-the-mile-high-street-take-that-homeowners-associations/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/down-on-the-mile-high-street-take-that-homeowners-associations/#comments Thu, 21 Jul 2011 13:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=403754
It just does my heart good to see a suburban Denver neighborhood in which there’s no meddlesome HOA to tell a man he can’t have a vintage customized Econoline on the street and a Mustang drag racer in the driveway.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/down-on-the-mile-high-street-take-that-homeowners-associations/feed/ 46
Down On The Mile High Street: Subaru Justy GL 4WD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-mile-high-street-subaru-justy-gl-4wd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-mile-high-street-subaru-justy-gl-4wd/#comments Wed, 22 Jun 2011 13:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=399802
Denver is home to plenty of AMC Eagles, BMW 325iXs, the occasional Vanagon Syncro, and just about every other oddball four-wheel-drive vehicle made. Until yesterday, however, the only Justy 4WD I’d ever seen was this Crusher-bound example. Then this extremely clean red Justy 4WD showed up in my neighborhood.

Is it sick to want one of these things? With three cylinders and (in most cases) a misery-enhancing CVT transmission, it’s tough to explain to normal folks why anyone might want a Justy as a winter car.

But who cares? This thing is probably rarer than an Aston Martin Lagonda!

DOTSD-RedJusty-10 DOTSD-RedJusty-01 DOTSD-RedJusty-02 DOTSD-RedJusty-03 DOTSD-RedJusty-04 DOTSD-RedJusty-05 DOTSD-RedJusty-06 DOTSD-RedJusty-07 DOTSD-RedJusty-08 DOTSD-RedJusty-09 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-mile-high-street-subaru-justy-gl-4wd/feed/ 37
Down On The (Two) Mile High Street: 1947 Dodge Fire Truck http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-two-mile-high-street-1947-dodge-fire-truck/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-two-mile-high-street-1947-dodge-fire-truck/#comments Tue, 14 Jun 2011 22:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=398606
The street-parked old cars I photograph in my Denver neighborhood live at one mile elevation, give or take a few feet. Drive about 100 miles southwest from here, however, and you’ll end up in Leadville, which stands at two miles above sea level. Last weekend, I ventured out to Leadville and found this painfully original 1947 Dodge brush fire truck parked downtown.

Technically speaking, Leadville is 408 feet shy of two miles high, but even just 10,152 feet of altitude means that oxygen for internal combustion is in short supply. Fortunately, this old Dodge has Chrysler flathead six power and super-short differential gearing, which means it can still climb a steep goat trail in a blizzard, oxygen or not.

The owner, whose facial hair is remarkably similar to my own (we might have to sign him up for 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court duty), found this truck in a barn on a cattle ranch, where it had been sitting since the middle 1980s. All its equipment was more or less as it had been during its 35 years of fire duty at the ranch, and it came with a parts truck.

The siren still works.

The tube-operated VHF radio, which was used to communicate with fire-fighting aircraft back in the day, is still installed and functional.

You want original? Here’s a 1949 Colorado tax sticker.

There’s even a vintage bullet hole in the windshield post. The slug is still embedded in the weather stripping.

The truck was sold in Leadville and hasn’t been anywhere near sea level since. The owner uses it it for daily-driving use around town, but avoids highways due to the gearing-limited 45 MPH top speed.

In my opinion, this is the best-looking grille of all the quasi-postwar Detroit trucks.

We’ll check out the neighbor’s nicely preserved Corvette in a future DOTS installment.


Most of these photos were shot with my stereo camera rig; if you have any sort of 3D glasses, head over to Cars In Depth and check out this Dodge rampaging in three dimensions.

Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-43 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-01 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-02 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-03 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-04 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-05 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-06 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-07 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-08 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-09 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-10 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-11 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-12 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-13 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-14 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-15 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-16 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-17 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-18 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-19 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-20 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-21 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-22 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-23 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-24 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-25 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-42 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-25 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-26 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-27 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-28 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-29 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-30 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-31 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-32 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-33 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-34 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-35 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-36 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-37 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-38 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-39 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-40 Leadville47DodgeFireTruck-41 11LeadvilleMtEvans-3D-043 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-two-mile-high-street-1947-dodge-fire-truck/feed/ 24
Down On The Brazilian Street: 1969 Simca Esplanada http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-brazilian-street-1969-simca-esplanada/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-brazilian-street-1969-simca-esplanada/#comments Thu, 09 Jun 2011 15:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=397912
I find it impossible not to get obsessed with the idea of a 1960s Chrysler product with factory-installed Ardun-hemi-headed Ford V8-60, and now TTAC reader Paolo has sent us some photos of his extremely clean Esplanada.

Four-on-the-tree, red upholstery, a snazzy V8 emblem on the horn button, and what appears to be a shortwave-band Chrysler radio in the dash. Imagine having this car and a Monteverdi Hai 450! Dudes with ordinary Chrysler Hemi cars of the era— you know, like a Hemi Road Runner or something— would dissolve like slugs in rock salt, from the overwhelming envy.

Chrysler of Brazil replaced the Esplanada with the Dodge Dart for the 1970 model year. The Dart was a fine car, but it’s unfortunate that Chrysler didn’t offer the Esplanada alongside the Dodge.

DOTSBE-SimcaEsplanada-5 DOTSBE-SimcaEsplanada-1 DOTSBE-SimcaEsplanada-2 DOTSBE-SimcaEsplanada-3 DOTSBE-SimcaEsplanada-4 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-brazilian-street-1969-simca-esplanada/feed/ 10
Down On The Mile High Street: Baffling Honda Accord Pickup http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-mile-high-street-baffling-honda-accord-pickup/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-mile-high-street-baffling-honda-accord-pickup/#comments Thu, 09 Jun 2011 13:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=397888
Back in the “good ol’ days” at Jalopnik, Davey Johnson, Jonny Lieberman, and I would spend our days searching for examples of homemade El Camino-ized cartrucks. It sort of peaked in early ’07, when we found the Starionmino, but it’s taken until now for me to find a genuine El Accordamino live and in-person, parked just a block from my house.

I caught it out of the corner of my eye while driving by and thought, “Whoa, a Dodge Rampage parked right in my neighborhood. Cool!” I returned to shoot some photos, because street-driven Rampages are about as common as Aston Martin Lagondas these days, and… wait, what the hell is this thing?

The front half is clearly an ’84 or ’85 Honda Accord, and— in spite of the faded paint and general beater-ness— the conversion job appears to have been very nicely done. I don’t see any of the adobe-grade Bondo, corrugated roofing material, and pop rivets that are the hallmark of the two-12-packs-and-a-torch backyard El Camino-ization job.

I thought that perhaps I might be looking at a Rampage rear half mated to an Accord front half, but a glance at some Rampage photos killed that theory.

The rear strut mounts appear to be very Accord-y, so this may be a heavily modified Accord rear body with a RWD minitruck’s tailgate grafted on. You couldn’t get an Accord wagon in the mid-80s, so it’s not a quick-and-dirty wagon-to-truck hack job.

I’m out of theories about this fine vehicle, and I wasn’t able to track down the owner. Can any of you identify this tailgate? That might be a start…

DOTSD-Accordamino-01 DOTSD-Accordamino-02 DOTSD-Accordamino-03 DOTSD-Accordamino-04 DOTSD-Accordamino-05 DOTSD-Accordamino-06 DOTSD-Accordamino-07 DOTSD-Accordamino-08 DOTSD-Accordamino-09 DOTSD-Accordamino-10 DOTSD-Accordamino-11 DOTSD-Accordamino-12 DOTSD-Accordamino-13 DOTSD-Accordamino-14 DOTSD-Accordamino-15 DOTSD-Accordamino-16 RampageExample Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-mile-high-street-baffling-honda-accord-pickup/feed/ 17
Down On The Mile High Street: 1966 Ford Thunderbird http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1966-ford-thunderbird/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1966-ford-thunderbird/#comments Wed, 08 Jun 2011 13:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=397741
Here’s a car that I’ve been seeing in my neighborhood for a year now; on a busy street that makes photography tough, it kept getting sort of overlooked by me when I went out hunting cars with camera in hand. Yesterday, however, I decided that a 45-year-old, 4,400-pound personal luxury coupe that still survives on the street deserves to be admired.

Thunderbirds of the middle 1960s sometimes get overlooked; not quite as swoopy and/or sporty as their predecessors, yet not as absurdly, bloattastically Malaise-ified as the T-Birds that grunted off Dearborn’s assembly lines in the following decade.

This one isn’t quite perfect, but it appears to be a good solid rust-free survivor.

A 275-horsepower 390 was the standard engine for 1966, but optional powerplant choices included 410- and 425-horse 427s (dual-quad carburetors on the latter), plus a 345-horsepower 428. Sadly, a manual transmission wasn’t an option.

DOTSD-MaroonTBird-01 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-02 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-03 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-04 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-05 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-06 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-07 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-08 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-09 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-10 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-11 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-12 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-13 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-14 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-15 DOTSD-MaroonTBird-16 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1966-ford-thunderbird/feed/ 28
Down On The Mile High Street: 1967 Chevrolet Impala http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1967-chevrolet-impala/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1967-chevrolet-impala/#comments Tue, 03 May 2011 13:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=393463
With all the relatively solid big Detroit cars from the 1960s getting eaten by The Crusher in these days of $4/gallon gasoline and $250/ton scrap steel prices, how does a rough survivor like this sedan manage to stay out of the Chinese steel foundries?

The probable answer: because it keeps running!

The mid-to-late-1960s full-sized Chevy cars (and I can’t sweat this is actually an Impala, since all the emblems and most of the trim are gone; we might be looking at a Biscayne with Impala taillights, or a detrimmed Caprice) tended to be very sturdy and simple to fix, and they were manufactured in such vast numbers— well over a million units for the 1967 model year alone, counting wagons— that parts are still easy to find. Engine blows up? No problem— just drop in a random 350 from Pick-N-Pull and off you go.

DOTSD-67Impala-10 DOTSD-67Impala-01 DOTSD-67Impala-02 DOTSD-67Impala-03 DOTSD-67Impala-04 DOTSD-67Impala-05 DOTSD-67Impala-06 DOTSD-67Impala-07 DOTSD-67Impala-08 DOTSD-67Impala-09 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1967-chevrolet-impala/feed/ 31
Down On The Mile High Street: 1968 Volkswagen Beetle http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1968-volkswagen-beetle/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1968-volkswagen-beetle/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2011 13:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=392985
Given the way that Beetles have had all their parts swapped over the decades, I’m always reluctant to try to nail down an exact model year of a street-parked example, particularly when it’s a primered-out survivor owned by a guy who spends a lot of time at junkyards. If we are to go by the taillights and hood latch, this car should be a ’68… or it might be a ’64 with a fender swap… or a ’74 pan with a ’68 body. Anyway, the important thing is that it’s an old air-cooled Volkswagen survivor that gets used as a tow vehicle.

This car is the daily driver and freight hauler for an artist who’s something of a legend in my south Denver neighborhood. His studio is an overwhelming house-sized collage of found objects, including thousands of automotive emblems; I’ll have to get over there and document his place with my stereo camera one of these days.

Here’s a short video that gives you the idea. This VW makes a couple of cameos.

Some folks would say that a Toyota truck with a good heater would be the ideal Denver art-material-scavenging machine, but a Beetle with a small flatbed trailer works just as well (provided you dress warmly in the winter).

DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-20 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-01 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-02 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-05 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-06 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-08 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-09 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-10 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-11 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-12 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-13 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-14 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-19 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-18 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-03 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-04 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-07 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-15 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-16 DOTSD-PrimerBeetle-17 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1968-volkswagen-beetle/feed/ 13
Down On The Mile High Street: Toyota MasterAce http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/down-on-the-mile-high-street-toyota-masterace/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/down-on-the-mile-high-street-toyota-masterace/#comments Wed, 20 Apr 2011 13:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=392011
Here in North America, Toyota’s marketing wizards figured out that a vehicle name that sounds like “Master Race” would be something of a liability, so they put in a bunch of grueling all-nighters and produced… the Toyota Van Wagon. Not so fast, said Volkswagen, claiming that the name sounded too much like “Vanagon,” and Toyota lopped off the “Wagon” to create a van name so boring that we still can’t quite believe it ever existed: Toyota Van.

Despite the terrible name (why couldn’t we have had Toyota Space Vans, as Europe did?), the Toyota Van turned out to be an excellent machine. Cockroach-grade indestructible with car-like manners, you’d think the thing would have sold like crazy on these shores.

The mid-engine layout ate up a lot of interior space, however, and Chrysler’s minivan was so much better suited for American tastes that sales of the Toyota Van were mediocre at best. Today, you still see them in use as work trucks, as is the case with this example I found parked on the Denver street. Californians might also see an Audi-powered race version in the near future.

DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-22 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-01 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-02 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-03 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-04 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-05 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-06 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-07 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-08 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-09 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-10 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-11 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-12 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-13 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-14 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-15 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-16 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-17 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-18 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-19 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-20 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-21 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-22 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-01 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-02 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-03 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-04 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-05 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-06 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-07 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-08 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-09 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-10 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-11 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-12 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-13 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-14 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-15 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-16 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-17 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-18 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-19 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-20 DOTSD-SpaceVanBlack-21 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/down-on-the-mile-high-street-toyota-masterace/feed/ 19
Down On The Street: Peugeot 504 Diesel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/down-on-the-street-peugeot-504-diesel/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/down-on-the-street-peugeot-504-diesel/#comments Wed, 30 Mar 2011 13:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=389031
When I returned to my old DOTS stomping grounds to help defile a once-proud race track, I figured I might find an interesting street-parked car or two on the Island That Time Forgot. First there was this semi-custom ’62 Continental, but then I spotted the real prize.

Thanks for the picturesque background, San Francisco! The only French car I’ve ever owned was a 504 (gasoline-powered), and it was both cool and very maddening. So comfortable, yet so difficult to keep running. Believe it or not, you used to see a fair number of 504s on American roads… and, someday, I’ll get another one for myself.

This one is a much-battered diesel model, in full Ahmadinejad-grade white-sedan trim and apparently rigged to run on some flavor of biodiesel. Such stories this survivor could tell!

DOTS-504Diesel-22 DOTS-504Diesel-01 DOTS-504Diesel-02 DOTS-504Diesel-03 DOTS-504Diesel-04 DOTS-504Diesel-05 DOTS-504Diesel-06 DOTS-504Diesel-07 DOTS-504Diesel-08 DOTS-504Diesel-09 DOTS-504Diesel-10 DOTS-504Diesel-11 DOTS-504Diesel-12 DOTS-504Diesel-13 DOTS-504Diesel-14 DOTS-504Diesel-15 DOTS-504Diesel-16 DOTS-504Diesel-17 DOTS-504Diesel-18 DOTS-504Diesel-19 DOTS-504Diesel-20 DOTS-504Diesel-21 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/down-on-the-street-peugeot-504-diesel/feed/ 23
Back Down On The Alameda Street: 1962 Lincoln Continental http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/back-down-on-the-alameda-street-1962-lincoln-continental/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/back-down-on-the-alameda-street-1962-lincoln-continental/#comments Thu, 24 Mar 2011 18:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=388497
Back in my Jalopnik days, I started the whole interesting-street-parked-car-photos thing with the original Down On The Street series. At that time, all the cars I shot were located in my old hometown on Alameda, California, and I got up to 600 or so before moving to Denver last summer. Now I’m back in Alameda, in preparation for my role working the 185-car Sears Pointless 24 Hours of LeMons race, and it wasn’t long before I spotted this fine machine parked near downtown.

It’s a very straight, mildly customized ’62 Continental, suicide doors and all, and it clearly gets regular street use.

Though a bit too slab-sided to look very graceful, the lines of this era of Continental have aged well.

The San Francisco Bay Area has been a car-club hotbed since, well, the dawn of the automobile. I’m not familiar with the Antioch Dragoons; the club could be 9 years old, or 90.

DOTS-62Continental-01 DOTS-62Continental-02 DOTS-62Continental-03 DOTS-62Continental-04 DOTS-62Continental-05 DOTS-62Continental-06 DOTS-62Continental-07 DOTS-62Continental-08 DOTS-62Continental-09 DOTS-62Continental-10 DOTS-62Continental-11 DOTS-62Continental-12 DOTS-62Continental-13 DOTS-62Continental-14 DOTS-62Continental-15 DOTS-62Continental-16 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/back-down-on-the-alameda-street-1962-lincoln-continental/feed/ 49
Down On The Mile High Street: 1969 Ford F-100 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1969-ford-f-100/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1969-ford-f-100/#comments Tue, 22 Mar 2011 21:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=388297
Now that my ’66 Dodge A100 is back on the street, I find it pleasing that a Ford pickup of similar vintage lives in my Denver neighborhood.

This 42-year-old truck clearly gets used for real-world truck activities, proving once again that the vintage of a Detroit truck doesn’t matter as much as its ability to start, drive, and haul stuff every day.

A new ’69 F-100 Styleside with the long wheelbase listed at $2,430 for the base model with the 150-horsepower 240-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine and 3-speed manual transmission. That’s about $14,650 in 2011 bucks, a pretty good deal when you consider that the cheapest 2011 F-150 MSRP’s at north of 23 grand. Of course, today’s full-sized Ford pickup has more power and is way more comfortable, yet gets better fuel economy, but still: you can haul that big load of pork salivary glands and lymph nodes to your sausage factory just as well in either one!

With my van, this truck, and this ’51 Chevy pickup just around the corner, my neighborhood has vintage representatives from each of the Detroit Big Three. We’ve also got this mid-60s Land Rover Station Wagon and this Toyota FJ40 work truck rounding things out; all that’s missing are the elderly Jeep, Studebaker, and International Harvester trucks.

DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-15 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-01 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-02 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-03 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-04 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-05 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-06 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-07 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-08 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-09 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-10 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-11 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-12 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-13 DOTSD-60sRedFordPickup-14 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/down-on-the-mile-high-street-1969-ford-f-100/feed/ 18