Monday, December 31, 2012

Alameda Street Sighting - 2008 ZENN LSV

We now live in a world where the electric car has gone mainstream. Unlike the small leased fleet of GM EV1s or the smattering of electric-converted Ford Rangers and Toyota RAV4s of the 1990s, people are now rushing out to buy Nissan Leafs and Chevy Volts (the latter actually a gas-electric hybrid of sorts). Luxury and performance electrics like the Tesla Roadster and Fisker Karma sedan now exist and can command six-digit prices. The Tesla Model S just won Motor Trend Magazine's 2013 Car of the Year award, a first for an all-electric vehicle. But it's been a bumpy ride for electric cars, and the road to mainstream adoption is littered with small upstart companies that hoped to make a difference. In a blog that features all manner of cars from A to Z, it seems fitting to end the year with ZENN.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Oakland Street Sighting - 1987 Yugo GV

I've wanted to write this post for a long time. Think like three years. Basically, ever since I started California Streets I've wanted to feature a Yugo, and today it comes to light. It shouldn't be too surprising when I tell you they are hard as heck to find!
The Yugo has a horrible reputation in the United States as the worst car in history. Is it warranted? Probably not. People love to hate cheap cars that are terrible. Even I like to hate terrible cars. But at the same time I find myself coming to love cars everyone else hates. I'm one of those people whose fantasy garage includes a Ford Pinto and an Edsel and numerous AMC products. Meanwhile I frequently loathe cars that are rock-steady reliable, popular and yet so ungodly boring I can't understand why anyone buys them.
The Yugo came to market in the United States when Malcolm Bricklin decided there was room in the market for a cheap hatchback at the very bottom of the price spectrum. Bricklin had already brought us some stinkers in the form of early Subaru imports (the 360 as a VW Beetle competitor) and the fiberglass Bricklin SV-1 "safety sports car" with its unusual gullwing doors. Now he set his sights on the little Fiat 127-based hatchback built in Yugoslavia by Zastava Automobiles.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Santa Cruz Street Sighting - 1973 Volvo 1800ES

If I asked to you name a Volvo sport wagon, chances are you'll come up with the 850 T-5R wagon, or perhaps the later V70R. But the first sporty Volvo wagon was actually more of a shooting brake, a two-door affair intended as a send-off for the aging but much loved P1800 sports coupe. I've previously featured a P1800 coupe and even done a "Best of the Rest" post on five others. But this is the first 1800ES wagon I've had the chance to shoot in detail. Given the rarity of the ES, of which only 8,078 were built between 1972 and 1973, I'm glad I did.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Oakland Street Sighting - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III

For years now, Mercedes-Benz has been running holiday season commercials depicting Santa Claus driving a red Mercedes as his Christmas sleigh. An SL roadster? How pedestrian. Santa's too pimp for that. A fat man who dresses in red and white fur and gets little people and animals to help him do his work needs something big and classy. And in proper pimp car fashion, the car should match Santa's favorite wardrobe. The jolly old elf also has to make his rounds delivering toys to millions of kids in one night, so he needs something powerful and fast, with a large trunk for the bag of gifts.

Enter the 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Santa Cruz Street Sighting - 1934 Ford V8 Pickup

It's late December, winter has officially begun in the northern hemisphere and for many of you, a look out your window yields a view of snow. As you don your foul weather gear to go shovel the front walk and scrape the ice off your windshield, think of how lovely California is this time of year. Ha! It's storming and cold as I type this. But I digress. Let's pretend the weather's still nice and take a look at this 1934 Ford V8 pickup from Hula's Island Grill in Santa Cruz, photographed on a beautiful day back in October.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Alameda Street Sighting - 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Holiday sedan

Rounding out this week's trio of beat-up 1970s Oldsmobiles is a 1973 Eighty-Eight Royale Holiday four-door hardtop. If you're familiar with the work of director Sam Raimi, you may know that he owns a yellow 1973 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight sedan. The car featured rather prominently in the Spider-Man film as Uncle Ben's personal vehicle. This is not that car!
I have to ask: why aren't big family cars offered in cheerful colors like this anymore? If anything, it would give more people reason to refer to their car as the Banana Boat. There aren't many ordinary cars that wear the color yellow very well, but I actually like it on this one. Most family cars these days are beige or some greyscale tone between white and black. It's boring. Then again, the last custom-painted yellow late-model Honda Accord I saw looked stupid.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1972 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Holiday coupe

This week we're looking at early 1970s full-size Oldsmobiles in less than concours condition. As I said in my previous feature of a 1970 Ninety Eight sedan, the more luxurious-sounding the name was on these cars, the worse they tend to look now. This one is a 1972 Eighty-Eight Royale Holiday coupe.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pleasanton Street Sighting - 1970 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight LS Holiday sedan

I don't know what it is about vintage full-size near-luxury sedans. The more ornate their ornamentation, the more optimistic the name, the more trashed they tend to be. This one is a 1970 Ninety Eight LS (Luxury Sedan) Holiday four-door hardtop, the top model in Oldsmobile's lineup. The 98 came with a 455 Rocket V8 and was available with a host of convenience options befitting a luxury cruiser, including standard power seats, power windows, power steering and power front disc brakes, available tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 8-track tape player, and of course a luxury vinyl roof. Rear fender skirts were standard.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Collector's Corner - ERTL & Yat Ming Shelby Cobra 427 S/C

There are certain cars which are so important in the history of the automobile that it's virtually required for true enthusiasts to own a model of one. One such vehicle is the car Motor Trend magazine once called the most important vehicle of the last 50 years. Mind you, that was in 1999 and they were talking about the very first 260 V8 powered Shelby Cobra, known as CSX2000. The Shelby Cobra 427 S/C was a much different kettle of fish. A handful to drive, a blast in a straight line, and uncomfortable and unsafe for most everyone. The concept of a lightweight sports car with a powerful engine resonated with enthusiasts and continues to this day. The Cobra has been replicated in scale by a number of companies, and today we look at the two from my collection.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1969 Chevrolet Corvair Monza

Some of my readers by now might be getting sick of Corvairs. Honestly, I've seen a lot of them in San Francisco, and the vast majority to date have been the higher-spec Monza edition. Most have been convertibles, primarily second-generation models made after 1965. So it makes me very happy to see something different. In this case it's a Monza coupe, but not just any coupe. It's a 1969 model. Only 6,000 Corvairs were built in the final year of production, of which 2,717 were Monza coupes.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Alameda Street Sighting - 1977 Chevrolet Monza 2+2

I never would have guessed that people collect obscure and unloved GM compacts, let alone the H-body Chevy Monza. Someone in Alameda apparently does just that. This one's a 1977 Monza 2+2 hatchback.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Alameda Street Sighting - 1957 Cadillac Sedan DeVille

Cadillacs of the 1950s have always been rather hit-or-miss in my opinion. They're all classics, but not all of them are something I'd want to cruise around in. The early '50s cars in particular have a certain sameness about them that makes me feel ignorant when I have to Google the various model years to tell the difference. Cadillac design really got interesting in 1957, when the fins got bigger to compete with Detroit's other more extroverted offerings. The front end styling was still familiar Cadillac, but aft of the B-pillar everything looked new. The C-pillar was thicker and now reversed, as was the reverse-slanted A-pillar (formerly vertical), giving the greenhouse a crisp, symmetrical look with wraparound windshield and rear window. Out back, the fins have more of a designed-in look that abandons the little P-38 fighter-inspired tail fins that dated back to 1948, and are capped with chrome trim that continues downward to the little blister taillights and exhaust outlets built into the bumper.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Street Sightings Wish List

The holiday season is upon us and Christmas is fast approaching. Kids are making their wish lists for the toys and stuff they want Santa to bring them.

I once made a list of cars I would not be likely to feature as street sightings. Here's my wish list of vehicles I would most love to find, photograph and feature.

Alfa Romeo Alfetta
Alfa Romeo Giulia / Giulia Super / GTV / Giulietta
Alfa Romeo GTV6
Alfa Romeo Montreal
AMC Concord / Eagle
AMC Matador coupe
AMC Pacer
Any member of the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg family
Bricklin SV-1
1950s-early 1960s Cadillacs
1950s-1970s Chrysler/Imperial (Forward Look to Fuselage)
Citroen DS21 / Familiale
Citroen GS / 2CV / Dyane / Ami / Mehari
Citroen HY van
Citroen Traction Avant
Checker Marathon
Chevrolet Corvair sedan / Lakewood wagon / Corvan 95 pickup
Clark Cortez motorhomes
Classic Motor Carriages kit cars (i.e. Classic 359 for novelty purposes)
Datsun 411
DeLorean DMC-12
DeSoto anything
DeTomaso Pantera
1958-1959 Dodge Coronet / Lancer
Dodge M37 / Power Wagon
Dodge Omni GLH
Dodge Charger Daytona / Plymouth Superbird
1957-1958 Dodge Sweptside pickup
1958-1960 Edsels
Ferrari F40
Ferrari F50
Fiat 128
Fiat 131 / Brava
Fiat 850
Fiat Strada
Ford Fiesta (1st gen)
Ford Model T
Ford Model A
Ford Pinto Squire / Cruising Wagon
Hearses and flower cars (particularly vintage)
Honda Z600
Hudson / Terraplane
Indy 500 Pace Car edition vehicles
[Lincoln] Continental Mark II (1956-1957) also other classic 1950s-1970s Continentals and Mark series
pre-1995 Lotus sports cars
McLaren F1
Mercedes-Benz 280SE coupe / convertible (pre-1971)
Mercedes-Benz Heckflosse / fintail
1950s-1960s full size Mercurys
1930s-1950s Packards
1958 "Packardbaker"
Peugeot 504
Peugeot 505 wagon
1970-1971 Plymouth Barracuda
Vintage Pontiacs particularly 1957-1959
Pre-1980 oddball English roadsters - Sunbeam, Triumph, Morgan etc
Qvale Mangusta
Ramblers / Nashes
Renault LeCar (or any Renault)
Vintage Rolls-Royce / Bentleys
Saab 9-6 coupe/ 9-5 wagon
Saab 99 Turbo
Saab Sonett
Shelby anything (GT350 / GT500 / Cobra also Shelby-branded Mopar products or Series 1)
Soviet/Russian cars (Lada/GAZ/Volga/etc)
Big old funky station wagons
Studebaker Grand Turismo Hawk
Toyota FJ55 Land Cruiser
Volkswagen 412 wagon
Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 34
Volvo 122S Amazon wagon
Volvo 1800ES
Willys 4WD All-Steel Station Wagon
Willys Jeep
Woodie wagons of any kind (particularly off-brand cars and unpopular model years)

Others... what would you, my readers, like to see here?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Danville Street Sighting - 1963 Buick Wildcat convertible

I'm not an expert on 1960s Buicks. Aside from the Riviera, it seems most of the Buick line was an upgraded version of the more common Chevrolets and Pontiacs. The 1963 Buick Wildcat may have a passing resemblance in profile to the 1963 Chevy Impala. That's because it is based on the full-size B platform Chevy, albeit with many changes. Wildcats were an interesting creature, more of a large sporty car than a general boulevard cruiser.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Alameda Street Sighting - 1962 Studebaker Lark

Studebaker is one of the few brands that usually makes me stop and take notice when I see one on the street or at car shows. Avantis, Hawks and the classic 1950-51 bulletnose cars are the iconic models everyone remembers, but the 1960s Larks are cool as well. Consider that they were developed on a shoestring budget from late-1950s body and chassis components and you're left with an oddball compact sedan that looked very different from most of the cars on the road.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Collector's Corner - Maisto 1955 Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle

Is there any car on this earth more recognizable than the Volkswagen Beetle? They built more than 20 million of the things and sold them all over the world for several decades. For sure, the Bug has made an indelible impression on people - and kids everywhere recognize it. Heck, they play games that involve punching each other when they see one. So it makes sense for model manufacturers to produce a VW Beetle. Maisto, Revell, Solido and a number of other companies make one.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Danville Street Sighting - 1943 Dodge WC-52

In the United States, November 11 is Veterans Day. It's a day when we honor those in uniform who have fought for our freedom. In honor of our armed forces, I'm featuring a World War II military truck, a Dodge WC-52.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rental Car Review - 2013 Buick LaCrosse

I recently went on a road trip with a good friend of mine visiting from Canada. The destination was southern California, but our plans expanded to Las Vegas as well. Instead of putting a bunch of miles on my car or his pickup, we elected to rent a car.

The rental company had exactly two vehicles available: a Toyota Yaris 5-door hatchback and a 2013 Buick LaCrosse. Neither car was something we wanted, but since the trip would involve mostly highway driving we selected the Buick.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Santa Cruz Street Sighting - 1963 Ford Thunderbird

For those readers who cringed at the 1961 Thunderbird I featured last time, rejoice! Here's a beautiful 1963 T-Bird I found in sunny Santa Cruz. This car is nearly perfect and I'd wager it's been restored. For some reason I love 1963 Ford products in metallic beige. I have a diecast display model of a '63 Ford Galaxie 500XL painted this color, which I chose because it was subtle and elegant compared with the bright reds and blues of the time period. Mind you, I complain about modern beige cars but I don't see it as too much of a double standard. Modern cars are boring to start with and beige makes them even worse!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Alameda Street Sighting - 1961 Ford Thunderbird

It breaks my heart sometimes to see a classic car being kicked around. At some point it ceases to be a beautiful machine and metastisizes into that ugly old car everyone avoids in parking lots and curses on the highway (you know, the vehicle everybody blames the bad smell on whether it's at fault or not). There's only so much a car can take before it becomes cost-prohibitive to repair. This is typical of cars from the 1970s onward, the big boats that aren't worth very much and thus make no economic sense to restore after a wreck. Those cars usually end up unceremoniously dropped off at a junkyard when their owners decide it's better to take the scrap value and run rather than invest another dime in their old jalopy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Alameda Street Sighting - 1973 Cadillac Superior Hearse

Last year I marked the occasion of Halloween with a car named after the Spanish word for 'devil', a Lamborghini Diablo. This year I have no Dodge Demons or Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts or monster trucks. What I do have is a vintage Cadillac hearse.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Collector's Corner - Polistil Morgan Plus 8

You're looking at one of my first large-scale models, if not the very first. This is a 1:16 scale Morgan Plus 8 by Polistil, an Italian model company that forged an unlikely alliance with Tonka to sell diecast toys here in North America. It didn't work out so well and Polistil went under in 1993.
According to this blue "hill climb" edition Morgan was first released in 1987.

Friday, October 19, 2012

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1963 Lincoln Continental

This isn't the first time I've stumbled upon a 1963 Lincoln Continental sedan. In fact, this is the second one I've found in San Francisco. What surprised me, is where in the city it lives. This giant boat parks on a very narrow, winding street on a steep hill - not its natural habitat by a long shot. This is why parking laws tell drivers to curb their wheels. You don't want an out-of-control, unmanned '63 Continental barreling down your street.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Alameda Street Sighting - 1973 Mercury Comet

I usually prefer to go my own way in choosing what appears on my blog, but the inspiration for it remains Murilee Martin's Down On The Street series of posts on Jalopnik. He confined his focus to cars parked on public streets on the island of Alameda just south of Oakland. When I began blogging, I stayed out of Alameda because I didn't want to invade a fellow car blogger's turf. I got lots of good stuff in San Francisco because I was going to school there. Since Murilee Martin now lives in another state, I enjoy making the occasional trip to Alameda in the hope of finding something new. In some cases I stumble upon one of Murilee's old finds.
I was driving through town with two friends who wanted to see the Pacific Pinball Museum (I've told that story before; it was the day I spotted the green '55 Chevy 210). It was late in the day and we wanted to get there before the place closed, so I bypassed an apparently clean red Ford Maverick. As I got closer and then drove past, I saw that it was actually a Mercury Comet. I've only seen maybe five of these 1970s Comets in the last several years. The next time I was in Alameda, I managed to find the car again and take pictures.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Danville Street Sighting - 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II

All my life I considered it sacrilegious to cut up a fine luxury car like a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, particularly a classic one. It was one of the things you just didn't do. So of course, someone did.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1979 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

I'm not a huge fan of Cadillacs. Growing up, one of the most common and stereotypical Caddies was a 1977-1992 Fleetwood Brougham. It was traditional American luxury in the chintziest way. The body was big and old-fashioned, sitting on a full frame with super-floaty suspension and wire hubcaps and a padded landau top, all driving home the belief that this was a luxury car. Inside you got your typical complement of leather and fake wood in a color that tried to match or compliment the exterior paint. Top it off with whitewalls and color-contrasting pinstriping and you have the perfect car for the senior citizen of the '80s. By the time I was growing up, many were reduced to faded, broken second-hand daily transportation or pimped out cars for ballers on a budget. Cash For Clunkers killed off a slew of these cars, making them less common now.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1974 Kent Cortez motorhome

Imagine you want to go into the motor home business. What formula will you use for your vehicle? How will it be constructed? Will you use a donor chassis? What powertrain will you employ? These are all things to consider and they can make or break the resulting camper. Probably for that reason, most RVs are conventional rear-wheel-drive and are often built on an existing truck or bus chassis with a gas or diesel engine powerful enough to propel the big vehicle up a grade with several people and their gear on board.
Now imagine that it's 1963 and you're the Clark Equipment Company. You make forklifts. You want to make a foray into the growing RV market. Where do you start? Well, forklifts are made of steel and have front-wheel drive. The Clark motorhome was designed with an all-steel body from the ground up, and front-wheel drive to maximize interior space with a low, flat floor free of a transmission and driveline hump. Early models were powered by a heavy-duty Dodge slant six hooked up to a manual transmission. The RVs eschewed a truck's ladder frame in favor of unit-body construction and employed four-wheel independent suspension for a smoother ride. What was this new vehicle called? Why, Clark named it after one of the greatest mass murderers, I mean explorers, in history, the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés.

Monday, October 8, 2012

San Jose Street Sighting - 1949 Ford Tudor

I'm a big fan of the "shoebox" 1949-1950 Fords. They were not the first all-new cars following World War II; that distinction goes to the 1947 Studebaker line. However the 1949 Ford was almost completely new with the exception of its old six and flathead V8 engines. It made the previous model look antiquated overnight.
My love of the '49 Ford began years ago. I found a picture of one in a magazine that was a mild custom in light blue with frenched headlights, and I drew it as part of a project I was then working on. Then Hot Wheels came out with a '49 Ford in pearl white and I bought it. I pestered my parents for a Testors-branded (actually produced by Motormax) 1/24 scale die-cast model kit of a green '49 Club Coupe for Christmas.

I assembled it in an hour and have loved it ever since.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1983 Honda Civic Wagon

Sometimes when looking for cars I end up photographing something entirely unexpected. For some reason I'm drawn to station wagon versions of Japanese economy cars, because they're rarely seen compared to the sedan and hatchback versions of the same models. One day I was in San Francisco with two friends who are huge fans of the atrocious Tommy Wiseau film The Room. This 1983 Honda Civic wagon happened to be parked across the street from a pizza parlor that was used as a flower shop in the movie. I had my camera with me so I decided it couldn't hurt to shoot it. On a normal day I'd want nothing to do with Honda Civics, not even an early one, just because I see so many of them. But this wagon spoke to me for some reason, a combination of the body style and the patina.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Santa Cruz Street Sighting - 1963 Rambler American 440 Convertible

It was a cold, dull day in Santa Cruz and my friend and I had nothing to do. We didn't feel like blowing money at the Boardwalk so we hopped in my car and drove through town. I always love finding off-brand cars, so when we passed this Bahama Blue 1963 Rambler American 440 convertible, I stopped and grabbed my camera.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1971 Ford Maverick

It's interesting how certain car models become icons. The Ford Mustang, the Volkswagen Beetle, the Corvette. Meanwhile, in the United States the Ford Maverick has nearly reached the realm of obscurity. It's the nondescript old beater on the corner with the missing hubcaps, or a budget V8 muscle car for people who can't afford a Mustang. I've seen them kicked around, daily driven, junked, restored, preserved, even one with a Toyota Supra turbo powertrain set up for autocross. The fact is, though, the Maverick was always considered sort of an economy car in North America, the replacement for the Falcon, and it always played second fiddle to the Mustang as a performance option.
In Brazil, though, there are very, very few Mustangs. Locally built Volkswagen Gols and Fiat Unos rule the streets. In that part of the world, the Maverick is a muscle car. And one of the most sought-after Mavericks in Brazil is the 302 GT.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

San Jose Street Sighting - 1962 Dodge W200 Power Wagon Town Wagon

One of the things I've always liked about postwar Dodge trucks is that they look like they mean business. They just have a tough overall appearance that says, "I'm here to work hard and don't even think of messing with me". Such is the case with the Power Wagon. Even the name evokes a badass work truck. The name dates back to the end of World War II when Dodge developed a civilian version of its M37 military truck. The original Power Wagon was almost medieval in its design by the time it was dropped after the 1968 model year, what with its 1940s cab, separate fenders and exposed radiator cap, but it was still a brutally effective 4x4 truck. The Power Wagon name spread to other 4WD Dodge trucks, including this W200 Power Wagon Town Wagon. The Town Wagon was a carryall, basically a proto-SUV. It was also available as the Town Panel, a delivery van-type vehicle with no side windows made for hauling cargo.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Collector's Corner - Maisto Ferrari F50 Berlinetta and Barchetta

Occasionally I like to do a photo shoot with two of my models together. In this case it's two Maisto Ferrari F50s, a Berlinetta and a Barchetta. The F50 was one of my favorite sports cars when I was a kid. Created in the mid-'90s to commemorate 50 years of Ferrari, the F50 was utterly outrageous in every way. Some people to this day think it's one of the ugliest things out there. I was smitten with it because it just looked so exotic. I drew it, I raced with it in Need For Speed, and I ended up with three of them in 1:18 scale (a friend gave me another red coupe years ago). In fact, the red 1997 First Editions Hot Wheels F50 Barchetta I got as a gift at age nine was the first toy car I treated with the utmost respect, and from that day on did my best not to damage my collection. So you could say that the F50 had a little bit of an impact on me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

San Ramon Street Sighting - 1965 Chevrolet C-10 Fleetside pickup

I'm a sucker for mid-'60s Chevy trucks. The 1964-'65 C-10 fleetside trucks are some of my favorite pickups, and I have no idea why. I just really like them.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pleasanton Street Sighting - 1963 Ford Falcon Club Wagon

A while ago, I featured a Ford Falcon Club Wagon I found parked on Haight Street in San Francisco. It was a well-used example and was in rather ratty condition. The van, being a Falcon-badged variant of what is more commonly called the Econoline, confused some people. The post made it to an Australian Falcon forum, and mind you, the Aussies take their Falcons very seriously. They couldn't believe that such a thing existed, because clearly it was an Econoline someone put 'custom' Falcon badges on. Well, it wasn't the only Falcon Club Wagon van out there.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Alameda Street Sighting - 1955 Chevrolet Two-Ten

Picture yourself at a car show. What do you most expect to see there? If you said a plethora of 1955-1957 "Tri-Five" Chevys, most of them sitting on chrome five-spoke custom wheels, then we probably go to the same car shows. Or maybe we don't, because the Tri-Five Chevy is an extremely popular choice for classic car owners. Don't get me wrong, it's popular because it's a beautiful car, a solid design with room under the hood for some cookie-cutter GM small block crate V8 and they look great with American Racing Torq-Thrust or Torq-Thrust II wheels. They usually end up painted black-and-white or red-and-white or blue-and-white or something-else-and-white. They look really nice all done up. I've become so bored of Tri-Five Chevys, I typically walk right past them at shows unless an owner has actually done something unique with theirs.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sacramento Street Sighting - 2003 Lamborghini Murciélago 40th Anniversary Edition

I don't usually feature modern exotic sports cars. I might take a picture or two but rarely do I stop and do a full shoot. The typical Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Gallardo or Lotus Elise just doesn't get me excited. A Murcielago? Eh, maybe. I'm more likely to stop and do a photo shoot of a Ford Pinto than the most cliched Lambo of the 2000s. If I'm going to shoot a Murcielago, it had better have some presence.

This one has presence.

I was exploring Sacramento after visiting the California State Auto Museum and passed this striking Lamborghini parked on a street. I promptly pulled a U-turn and parked so I could photograph it.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

San Jose Street Sighting - 1937 Ford Fordor Touring Sedan

You see them at every swap meet and cars for sale corral: The project car. Frequently it's something covered in dirt and leaves that someone lugged out of a barn after thirty years. Sometimes it's a wrecked vehicle that needs a rebuild. And sometimes it's a car that runs but is ugly and someone either ran out of time and money or simply realized they were in completely over their head. I suspect this car is the latter.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Santa Cruz Street Sighting - 1973 BMW 3.0S

Nowadays the BMW 7-Series is one of the standard choices in the luxury sedan class. But 40 years ago BMW was only a bit player in the United States, known primarily for motorcycles and the 2002 coupe and occasional sales of a four-door sedan based on the 2002's "New Class" platform. Buyers looking for a luxury coupe could get the E9 CS, either as the 2800CS or later the 3.0CS. The E9 was developed from the New Class, and in the late 1960s it gained a stablemate in the form of the New Six (E3) six-cylinder large luxury sedan.