Wednesday, June 30, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 2003 Daihatsu Move Custom

And now for something completely, utterly different. This, my friends, is a Daihatsu Move. Yes, brought over from the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan. Notice it's right-hand-drive. You won't find too many of these here in America.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Santa Cruz Street Sighting - 1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria

I've been saving this one for a long time. Almost a year ago, my friend and I went to Santa Cruz and were wandering around downtown looking for something to do. Lo and behold, this beautiful 1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria came rolling down the street. No sooner had it parked than my friend and I started taking pictures.

Monday, June 28, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1965 Volvo P1800S

I figured it's time to clear out some of my really old blog-bound pictures, and this car was one of the very first vehicles I photographed. I took these with my old camera well over a year ago, before I even started California Streets. In fact, I started this blog because my submissions to's "Down On the Street: Bonus Edition" were never getting posted. So here we are, and here is the second Volvo to be featured on California Streets.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1981 Toyota Corolla Liftback

My, my. A Corolla. You must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel to be featuring a Corolla, Jay...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1963 Ford Falcon

It's funny, I imposed a rule on myself against posting a bunch of Mustangs, but not one against posting Falcons. I suppose in a way I have, since I've passed up many Falcons in the months following the creation of this humble blog. This particular Falcon was one of my earliest blog shoots, taken several months ago. It intrigues me, as it's a perfect example of a custom car long past its prime.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1956 Chrysler Windsor 250 wagon

This is one I really wish I could find again. Another member of Fifties Guy's menagerie of vintage tin in The City, this 1956 Chrysler Windsor 250 station wagon appeared on eBay shortly after I photographed it. It's a rare (one of 2700), unrestored example with low mileage for its age. The owner was present when I first saw it, and was working on his 1959 Plymouth Fury in the garage at the time. Because he was there, I didn't want to wear out my welcome and decided to make the photo shoot a quick one. Unfortunately the Jeep parked in front made it impossible to get a decent front or 3/4 angle. Sad day.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1978 Chevrolet Chevette

It was the mid-1970s. Detroit was still rolling out hundreds of thousands of ginormous boats with no end in sight. Smaller, imported cars were slowly taking a larger share of the market. And yet, in the years after the OPEC oil embargo and gas crisis of 1973, American cars in general failed to get much smaller or lighter. Compression ratios were lowered and catalytic converters were added, improving fuel economy and reducing emissions by neutering whatever power the engines previously made. Some call it the Malaise Era. During this era, Detroit was on a slow learning curve, figuring out the hard way that people shopping for new compact cars didn't want to spend their hard-earned money on poorly built junk. Chevrolet's first compact of the 1970s was the Vega, a good car but for its poorly designed, failure-prone engine. In 1975, Chevy released the Chevette, a three- or five-door hatchback with a four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel-drive. The Chevette was cheap, simple and crude even for its time. This was both a blessing and a curse, because the little cars were terrible to live with but often wouldn't die. Most Chevettes I've seen were rusted, faded and in sorry visual condition - much like this blue 1978 example - but they run. People even race them in small-time rallies and ice races. Some even drop in a V8, install a roll cage, beef up the rear end and take it drag racing.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

San Ramon Street Sighting - 1966 Jaguar E-Type 2+2

Likely due to their unfortunate reputation for poor reliability, this blog has featured very few British cars. Sports cars in particular rarely get a nod, because I simply can't find them parked on the street like I can a '65 Ford Falcon. So when I found out about a Jaguar E-Type in my neighborhood, I grabbed my camera and walked a mile to find and photograph it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1959 DeSoto Firesweep Sportsman

The 1959 DeSoto is one of those cars for which I harbor an irrational affection, a car fraught with some of the worst late-1950s excesses and yet it still exudes class and style. It is my favorite Chrysler product made in 1959 and the very last model year of DeSoto that I like. I have always been hit-or-miss on Chrysler Corporation. When they get it right, it's tolerable or even rather nice. When they get it wrong, boy is it wrong. I'm talking about you, 1962 lineup. A classic case of "getting it wrong" was DeSoto after 1959. Some fans really like the curiously angry-looking 1960 DeSoto, but even those people will rarely defend the horribly deformed 1961 model with its canted headlights and mismatched double grilles. That was the end of the road for DeSoto, as sales withered and died like a feverish Hernando de Soto.