Saturday, June 18, 2011

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1972 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75

The first thing you'll probably notice about this 1972 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75 is that it doesn't look like the average person's modern concept of a limousine. That's because it isn't a stretch limousine. This is not your pink Hummer with neon party lights and a dozen drunks throwing up inside it. It's a formal limo, made for transporting important people in smooth, refined luxury. Well, at least it used to be.

Friday, June 10, 2011

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1971 Ford Ranchero

There are some vehicles I've been hesitant to feature here on California Streets. Some are just not that rare, not particularly photogenic, or maybe I just don't get enough pictures for an exciting feature. I have an informal name for stuff like that: "Quick Takes". It usually applies to cars that are interesting but I have fewer than five pictures of them. In this case, I have six.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1968 Plymouth Valiant Signet

In my last feature I commented that the Coke-bottle shape of the 1967 Plymouth Barracuda made the Valiant look on which it was based look like the box the Barracuda came in. After looking at this 1968 Valiant Signet two-door sedan, see if you don't agree somewhat. Now don't get me wrong, I like a lot of late-sixties Chrysler products including several model years of the Plymouth Valiant and Dodge Dart twins. But any way you slice them, they are pretty straightforward cars. These were marketed as "senior compacts", smaller and cheaper than other Mopar offerings and also generally plainer to look at with square bodies and relatively little chrome ornamentation, but better equipped and more powerful than a basic economy car like a VW Beetle. Note the "fanned-out" effect on the taillights and the defiant dogleg crease on the lower body that dare to add some character to an otherwise conservative, blocky car. All Valiants up until 1964 were built with a slant-six engine, then the 273 ci V8 was offered as an option. Then, in 1968, the now-venerable 318 V8 joined the Valiant lineup for the first time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1967 Plymouth Barracuda

As you probably know, I'm a sucker for '60s muscle cars. However, like most people I've always been dedicated more to the Fords and Chevys than the Mopar products. It's not that Chryslers, Dodges and Plymouths of this period were bad; far from it. Some of the greatest muscle machines ever made came from the Pentastar. And in 1967, a slow-selling variant of the Plymouth Valiant economy car came into its own.

A Letter to "Fifties Guy"

I received a comment recently from "Anonymous", the San Francisco car collector I have commonly referred to as "Fifties Guy" here on California Streets. Since he's come across this humble blog which has featured over a dozen of his cars, I wanted to address that fact.

Dear Owner:

Thank you for responding. You may have seen me out in front of your house with my camera (probably multiple times) in the past couple of years and I apologize if I have ever made you or your family uneasy or felt that your privacy was being invaded. Your collection of street-parked classics fascinates me and I always like seeing what's parked out there. It's a fairly unique phenomenon for a San Francisco resident to be able to maintain a car collection of that scale. I want you to know that I respect you and will respect your wishes.
For privacy reasons I have held off on featuring cars which were parked in your driveway. The yellow 1954 Hudson which appeared on the post "A Note to My Readers" was photographed way back in June 2009, and unless I have your permission, other photos of it will NOT appear here in the future. When composing shots and prepping pictures to post, I prefer not to show identifiable addresses, street signs or faces of people when possible. When writing posts I usually try not to use exact street names either.

Again, thank you for writing to me and thank you for collecting those awesome '50s cars.


Jay Wollenweber