Saturday, April 10, 2021

Danville Street Sighting - 1981 Rolls-Royce Corniche

Today is my friend Colin's birthday, so today I'm featuring a car he really likes. It's a 1981 Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible.

In the interest of full disclosure, my conscience requires me to admit that yes, this was shot half a block outside of the Danville Concours d'Elegance charity car show. It's on a public street and I haven't been to a car show in over a year. I miss them. Fricking COVID.

The Corniche name was introduced in 1971 as a convertible version of the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. The Silver Shadow debuted in 1965, first as a four-door sedan, then a coupe, and finally a convertible in 1967. Mulliner Park Ward provided the convertible bodies for over twenty years. The Corniche would become a fairly unique product, as it long outlived the Silver Shadow upon which it was based. Gradual changes and improvements were made but the car always kept the same 6.75 liter V8 engine and GM-sourced TH400 Hydra-Matic three-speed automatic transmission. The Corniche gained fuel injection for 1977 and a revised rear suspension in 1979. This car has four-wheel independent suspension and disc brakes, rack and pinion steering and self-leveling rear suspension. It was a fairly advanced package for a car that looked over a decade old when it was new.

I suppose people buy a Rolls-Royce mainly for the interior. You're paying for handcrafted luxury with fine leather, woods and metal pieces. The interior of this car features contrasting piping on the seats and a beautiful burled wood dashboard with elegant chrome air vents. Everything inside has a classic look that unites the 1960s and 1980s. The exterior is more 1970s to me. The traditional upright R-R Parthenon grille and the Flying Lady hood ornament are there as they should be. The wheelcovers remind me of early '70s Fords. The energy-absorbing federal bumpers are covered in body color plastic shells. The more I look at them the more I yearn for the older chrome bumpers with over-riders. The fact that this 1967 body lasted until 1995 is downright amazing. It was always a very limited production, very exclusive luxury automobile. Only about 200 were sold per year on average during the Corniche's first 17 years. Today they're a classic that's modern enough to drive and enjoy, presumably mechanically reliable and can still be serviced. And it will hold your golf clubs.


Photographed September 2016

Friday, December 25, 2020

Old Sacramento Street Sighting - 1952 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe

I usually like to do something special for my Christmas feature. I visited Old Sacramento with a friend last December when the historic area was all decorated for the holidays. We encountered this lovely gray 1952 Chevy sedan parked in front of a shop. I liked the building's festive decorations so it seemed appropriate for today. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1958 Austin-Healey 100-6 BN4 Roadster

'Tis the season once more for holiday cheer and I'll try to do my part by featuring fun cars photographed around Christmastime. This one's a lovely blue and white Austin-Healey roadster all dressed up for the season.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Santa Cruz Street Sighting - 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe

As I always like to say, when in doubt, Tri-Five. I've been slow in posting again here, so today we're looking at a 1956 Chevy Bel Air hardtop.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Saratoga Street Sighting - 1973 Ford Mustang Grande

In the past I've said a few times here, that just because I love the Ford Mustang doesn't mean I'll post a lot of them. It has to speak to me or at least be uncommon or interesting to make the cut. Here's the luxury spec from the Boxstang generation, the Grande.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - "1929" CMC Gazelle

Here we are again on Halloween. After the horror show that 2020 has been, Halloween seems a bit lackluster. My good friend suggested that my Halloween feature should be a car disguised as something it's not. We figured a kit car would fit the bill perfectly. Here is a 1929 Mercedes SSK roadster -- I mean, a Classic Motor Carriages Gazelle.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1954 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup

These pictures are old but I quite like the subject matter, so let's take a closer look. It's a 1954 Chevy 3100 pickup truck.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Alamo Street Sighting - 1995 Mercury Tracer LTS

Riddle me this: What makes a car "special"? What makes a car "sporty"? Where do we draw the line on what makes a vehicle interesting enough to document and preserve? How does rarity figure into the equation and should cars be saved simply because they're rare? For your consideration, today we're looking at a 1995 Mercury Tracer LTS.

Monday, August 31, 2020

San Ramon Street Sighting - 1935 Plymouth PJ Deluxe Touring Sedan


Summer is winding down and I'm really feeling screwed out of car shows. Thanks to COVID, 2020 has literally been the year without car shows at least in my area. Every so often I get to see a private owner taking a vintage car out for errands or a weekend drive, but not since the 4th of July have I really seen a gathering of more than one classic at a time. And that was only two cars in a parking lot. So today we'll try to satisfy your appetite for classic American iron with this 1935 Plymouth I pulled out of the archives from 2017.

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.