Friday, July 26, 2013

San Jose Street Sighting - 1972 Buick Riviera

One of my favorite car designs of the 1970s is the boattail Buick Riviera. This personal luxury coupe with its unique tapered fastback roofline was made between 1971 and 1973. It was a fresh departure from the odd-duck '70 that looked like a fatter version of the now dated 1966 model. The '71 Riviera's pointed prow and forward slanted front, and rear roof reminiscent of the C2 Corvette set it apart from more conventionally styled big coupes. The sharp styling was diluted somewhat on the 1973 cars, which wore a bulky front bumper with wraparound turn signals incorporated into the headlamp bezels, and the jutting point on the rear end was dumbed down to almost nothing.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Oakland Street Sighting - 1939 GMC AC 1-1/2 Ton Stakebed

Patina is an interesting thing. Some vehicles don't look right unless they have some degree of wear and tear, while others don't look right unless they appear brand new. What is it about an old faded, scratched, rusty work truck that makes it cool? Perhaps it's the way that it tells its own history in every bit of oxidation, discoloration and indentation.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Santa Cruz Street Sighting - 1971 Volvo 1800E

I still see a fair number of old Volvos. In fact, Volvos made before 1990 are extremely common, mainly the 240 series cars - to the point that I don't pay attention to them. To a lesser extent, the 140 series and 164 are also still out there. The older Amazon and PV544 can still be found, as can the sporty P1800.
I've previously featured a P1800, and even did a Best of the Rest post as proof that these stylish coupes have survived in decent numbers. This car in fact made that post, and upon seeing it in better light I decided to photograph it again.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Danville Street Sighting - 1971 Ford Bronco Sport

The Ford Bronco is one of history's great off-roaders. It came from humble beginnings as a small, six-cylinder truck with just enough amenities to make it more civilized and conventional than your average Jeep CJ. The beauty of it was its customizability and simplicity. It used F-100 and Falcon technology, basic construction and offered an extensive options list. Whatever didn't come from the factory could be added or modified. A V8 engine was offered, initially a 289 but later enlarged to a 302. Ford got an impressive 11 years out of the first generation Bronco, with hardly any substantial body changes.

Monday, July 1, 2013

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1970 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus Pickup

There are a few Volkswagen Type 2 Bus pickups already on this site. All of them, however, have been the early T1 model, or "Splittie". In 1968 the T2 was introduced, called the "Bay" Bus for its large curved windshield. The pickup versions of these Buses sold relatively well through the 1960s, but were curbed sharply by the U.S. Chicken Tax, a 25% tariff on imported light trucks. That tax all but eliminated VW pickups from the American market in the 1970s. The passenger vans were not affected and sold in large numbers well into the end of the decade, paving the way for the T3 Vanagon, T4 Eurovan (and later the T5 Transporter not sold in the States). The VW Rabbit also offered a pickup version, but for the American market it was built in Pennsylvania and avoided the tax.