Saturday, July 4, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1968 Kaiser Jeep Jeepster Commando C101

Each year on the 4th of July I like to feature a vehicle from an independent American manufacturer. That means nothing from Ford, General Motors or Chrysler. I call it Independent's Day. So why did I pick a Jeep? Because once upon a time, decades before it became one more brand in the FiatChrysler Automobiles stable, Jeep was a plucky little independent. And it's an interesting story.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1980 Datsun 280ZX 10th Anniversary

Over a decade ago I saw a 10th Anniversary Datsun 280ZX at a car show. It was metallic gold and black and I instantly fell in love with it. It was the first time I ever really noticed that special edition of a car I previously never got that excited about. It wasn't until later that I realized the 10th Anniversary was also available in red.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Pleasanton Street Sighting - 1973 Dodge Royal Sportsman

My last post here dealt with a 1973 Ford Econoline van. In that post I mentioned that Ford's van sales were down that year. Now we look at its primary nemesis in the marketplace, the Dodge B-Series. I see this fantastic Royal Sportsman passenger van on the road often in my area, much more often than I ever see it parked. This van even popped up in traffic while shooting the 1957 Austin-Healey 100-6.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

San Ramon Street Sighting - 1973 Ford Econoline E-100

Many moons ago I used to enjoy going to K-B Toys at my local mall. I was a budding diecast collector who loved the Johnny Lightning brand of 1:64 scale collectibles but could rarely find or afford them. Luckily for me, K-B Toys used to put them on sale periodically at the unheard-of price of three cars for $5. This was around the time that JL produced their Boogie Vans series of 1970s custom vans. I picked up some good stuff for dirt cheap. I fell in love with a couple of the Boogie Vans, namely a metallic blue 1977 Dodge B-150 with American flag graphics, and a white 1977 Ford Econoline 150 decorated as a dealership parts chaser. My small assortment of diecast vans helped foster an appreciation of vintage custom vans as more than an old steel box full of dirty carpet left over from the disco era.

Monday, June 22, 2020

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1958 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday Coupe

I don't make it to San Francisco much anymore. I've been out of college for several years, working full time, and now with the coronavirus pandemic going on I've barely gone anywhere for the past few months. These pictures are two years old but they continue a long-held tradition. When I go to the city I always try to see if our friend Fifties Guy has anything new. This visit was after I participated in my first Radwood car show in South San Francisco, where I shined up and displayed my 1999 Buick Regal GS. I'd already paid the bridge toll to be on the peninsula, so I headed up north for a little while. Sure enough, I was greeted by this all-original 1958 Oldsmobile finished in what I believe to be Champagne Mist Poly.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

11 Years of California Streets

Hello to all of my readers,

Some of you have been with this blog for over a decade; some of you may have just found it for the first time. Today is the eleventh anniversary since I first started posting on California Streets, and I just wanted to reflect on things.

If you haven't visited in a while, you may notice the site looks different. I decided it was time for our first facelift, most noticeably the main content area has been opened up much wider with photos you don't have to click on to view larger than 400 pixels. And finally the mobile version matches the desktop version's dark colors to spare your eyes. I hope you like it.


Over the past few years I've noticed a lot of changes in life. Most of the carspotting blogs and feature series this one is patterned after have been suspended as bloggers get older and turn their attention to work, raising families and the other rigors of real life.
 Much respect goes out to such posters as Phil Greden aka Murilee Martin, formerly of Jalopnik and The Truth About Cars, now at Autoblog and Autoweek, Lord knows he gets around and is still posting. He was my direct inspiration to begin my own blog.
Tony and Ben Piff of OldParkedCars, longtime carspotting stalwarts who sadly haven't updated in a while, but who posted a fascinating array of cars from Oregon for many years.
Bill Stengel, Gardner Murray and Jack Murray of The Street Peep, who accepted some of my photo shoots for their site that didn't quite fit my focus here. I miss the eclectic mix there.
My friend Colin Stacy of The Automotive Way, who helped keep me going here and inspired me to occasionally branch out into diecast features and other specialty topics.
The fine folks who published Seattle's Classics, Seattle's Parked Cars and others that gave us a glimpse of what graces the streets around the world.
I'm pleased to see others still active in their stead, such as M. Joseph Goodfriend of Seattle's Old Cars. Some do write-ups, profiles, commentary. Some let the photos do all the talking.

Once more I would like to voice my appreciation of our friend "Fifties Guy" in San Francisco for being a good sport over the past decade plus. I think I've featured over 20 of his past and current vehicles here and they have served as inspiration to continue exploring and photographing cool old cars ever since I first spotted that black '58 Oldsmobile so long ago. His 1959 Mercury was the 20th car posted here. Over 700 features later, here we are.

Thank you for reading.

Jay Wollenweber

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1974 Datsun 610 Coupe

As long as we're looking at a string of 1970s cars, how about the '74 Datsun that was parked behind the '74 Ford Pinto Squire from my last feature? I haven't posted too many older Japanese vehicles and this one has been frustratingly elusive. I had seen it here and there around town for over a decade and this was only the second time I had the chance to get photos.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1974 Ford Pinto Squire Wagon

I seem to have a 1970s theme going on with my last couple of posts, so why not carry it on with another earth-toned disco era beastie? This one's the fifth Ford Pinto to appear on California Streets, but it's the first Squire station wagon that wasn't found in a junkyard.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Livermore Street Sighting - 1979 Ford Ranchero GT

I don't know what it was about the 1970s, but someone decided maroon and gold looked good together on cars. I don't mean to offend any Arizona State or House Gryffindor fans, but when I was a kid, I did not like the combination. In 1980 my dad bought a 1966 Mustang convertible that had been repainted maroon and gold. I suppose it's a classic color combination for clothing and such, but on that car I hated it. This '79 Ranchero came from the factory like that. Except on this vehicle, it's not plebeian maroon. It's Cordovan.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1977 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Many of you are no doubt stuck at home during the now infamous COVID-19 lockdown. I've been out of the loop on blogging for the past months and not producing much content, even though I continue to photograph cars and have a fair number of them archived. So, for your viewing pleasure, let's look at a 1977 Chevy Corvette Stingray. I enjoyed photographing this one during the sunny summer months last year.