Monday, July 19, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1963 Ford Galaxie Country Sedan

For every super-clean classic car I see on the streets, it seems like there's one in deplorable condition. Such cars often look like they've been lived in, or broken into, or abandoned. And then there's one like this, which despite looking straight out of the ghetto....
...actually lives one block from the world-famous Painted Lady Victorian houses in Alamo Square. You know, those multicolored houses on the hill that everyone recognizes when they see pictures of San Francisco. Those babies can go for over $3 million. And then there's this little old blight on the neighborhood, a well-used but not well-loved 1963 Ford Galaxie Country Sedan.
Let's start with the obvious: this "Country Sedan" is a wagon. No need to remind me. It's actually badged Country Sedan and it won't be the last car featured here to bear that name (hint, hint). A Country Sedan is a Country Squire without the fake wood paneling. A squire refers to an assistant knight or village leader, not a station wagon. Yet it was Ford's name for any vehicle with the fake wood, even on the Ranchero, for decades. Silly Ford.
Yes, it's beat to hell and back, with baked paint and body damage that far exceeds the value of the car. All four hubcaps are long gone, as is most of the side trim, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a straight body panel short of the roof (and that's pretty badly rusted, too). The sad fact is, these aren't fantastically valuable. Unless it has immense sentimental value, I doubt it will ever be fixed. The progressive bumper stickers say a lot about the owner, and I don't think this person's biggest priority in life is how their car looks. Quite frankly, I'm surprised they drive something like this. I fear it may disappear to the scrap heap once they save up enough for a down payment on something "greener".
What else makes me sad about it is, I've known about this car for two years now. It looks worse every time I see it. Trim falls off, more dents and rust appear. Watching old cars deteriorate can be painful, and every few months when I pass by this car's usual spot and it isn't there, I wonder if it still exists. Here's hoping it doesn't soon fall victim to the jaws of the Crusher.

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