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.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

San Ramon Street Sighting - 1960 Chevrolet Corvette

Sometimes the greatest street sightings are the ones that fall into your lap. This beautiful 1960 Corvette showed up on my block one day and I didn't even know about it until I went outside to get ready to go somewhere. There it was, just down the street.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Collector's Corner - Auto Art Saturn SC 3-Door Coupe

Some people collect only AutoArt models, because they have discerning tastes and expect only the best. AutoArt has a tradition of creating highly detailed display replicas with an equally high price. They're up there with Kyosho and Minichamps and Exoto in the realm of cars you don't let your children play with. The average AA sells for around $120 new.

This is an AutoArt. It is a Saturn. And I paid less than 8 bucks for it on eBay.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

San Ramon Street Sighting - 1965 Ford Falcon

I hate seeing tow tags on cars. It means that the car was left in one spot too long and either someone complained or the police decided it was abandoned. When you see a vehicle with a tow tag, you never know if that's the end of the road for it. There used to be a Chevy El Camino that sat in the same parking space near my local Taco Bell for what must have been years. It was in good shape, but it was always there. When people started throwing garbage in the back, the police tagged the car. Usually when you get tagged, it means you have 72 hours to move it or the city comes and tows the car away. Then there's meter maids, street cleaning, permit parking, you name it, that allow for even less time before the car goes to impound. The El Camino sat for over a week with a tow tag before it disappeared for good.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1975 Land Rover 101 FC Military Ambulance

Flickr has been an excellent resource for finding new cars to photograph in San Francisco. Frequently it's because some automotive-minded city resident carries a camera around everywhere and takes a picture or two of almost every interesting vehicle they encounter. I like to challenge myself to figure out where the picture was taken based on the background. Then I go there with my camera. It's a crap shoot, really. The nature of street-parked vehicles is that they move around. It's very common for me to go out in search of a specific list of vehicles to locate and photograph, and I go home at the end of the day with an entirely different crop of cars because none of the ones I planned to shoot were there.
I had a hunch one day while I was in the city with a friend. We were sightseeing and after visiting COIT Tower we explored Telegraph Hill looking for the famous red and green parrots that live there and like to eat berries off of some bushes that grow at the top of Montgomery Street. I also knew from Flickr that a vintage Land Rover military ambulance lived in the area. Lo and behold, I found it.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Collector's Corner - Sun Star 1963 Ford Galaxie 500XL

Another of my favorite 1:18 scale models is the 1963 Ford Galaxie 500XL by Sun Star. This company has done great things with American cars, replicating such obscure models as the 1953 Nash Airflyte and the Kaiser Henry J. The '63 Galaxie was an excellent candidate, since it was a popular platform for NASCAR racing back in the day and made for lots of opportunities to release in various NASCAR liveries in addition to stock. My personal favorite version is the metallic pewter/champagne one seen here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pleasanton Street Sighting - 1986 Vixen 21TD

I don't usually pay attention to recreational vehicles. They're typically a truck chassis with a bus-shaped fiberglass body that follows a similar general shape template across the spectrum for window and door placement and such. Manufacturers make their own "unique" styling touches like sculpted fiberglass front and rear fascias, fanciful graphics and off-the-shelf headlights and taillights frequently supplied by Ford or some other big car company. This motorhome throws much of that out the window.