Thursday, October 31, 2013

Alameda Street Sighting - 1972 Cadillac Superior Crown Landaulet Funeral Coach

Second in my Halloween hearse double-feature is a 1972 Cadillac Funeral Coach, which looks to be a Superior Crown Landaulet. Unlike the 1970 Superior hearse featured previously, this one has the half-roof bordered by a stainless roof band. Interestingly, it appears that the roof is not covered in vinyl as I initially thought, but it is actually a textured finish called a crinkle top. It's a 3-way hearse, meaning a casket can be loaded via the rear door or either of the rear-hinged suicide doors on the sides. It is in remarkably good condition and clearly shows pride of ownership. In fact, it's owned by a lady known as Miss Lynda, described by as "hearse owner and burlesque star" and "Grim Rides Poster Girl". The site gives her credit for doing everything right in finding the perfect hearse, and it shows.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kensington Street Sighting - 1970 Cadillac Superior Crown Sovereign Funeral Coach

It's something of a tradition for me to feature a hearse for my Halloween post. This year I have two to share. The first is a 1970 Cadillac Superior Crown Sovereign Funeral Coach. That's kind of a mouthful. Specifically, it is a Cadillac Funeral Coach, with coachwork performed by Superior Coach Company, and the model as offered by Superior is the Crown Sovereign. These professional cars were offered as an end-loader or side-loader ("three-way"), the latter of which came with rear-hinged suicide doors to aid in sliding a casket through either side of the car. Other options included the Landau or Landaulet trims, a padded vinyl roof covering which covered the whole roof as on this car, or in the case of the Landaulet, only half the roof was covered. The vinyl ended at a stainless steel band which extended from the C-pillar up and across the roof.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Alameda Street Sighting - 1956 Nash Metropolitan Convertible

There are some cars that, when you see them, you just have to smile. One of the cutest vehicles to come out of the 1950s has to be the Nash Metropolitan.

Friday, October 25, 2013

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1988 Isuzu Impulse

Rounding out my week of 1980s products from orphan brands is a car from a company that is still in business, but which no longer builds cars. It's a 1988 Isuzu Impulse.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1989 Merkur Scorpio

This week we're looking at 1980s models from orphaned brands. Second up is a 1989 Merkur Scorpio.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Berkeley Street Sighting - 1982 Plymouth Sapporo

It's been a few years since we last looked at a Plymouth Sapporo, a butterscotch 1979 model in San Francisco. These coupes are getting to be very rare, so it's pretty special to me when I find one that runs. This '82 Sapporo, found by chance on a quiet street in Berkeley, is a later example. The Sapporo and its Dodge Challenger twin were rebadged versions of the Mitsubishi Galant Lambda coupe, and sold in the U.S. from 1978 to 1983. They were something of a midsize sport/luxury coupe and were decently equipped and sporty for their own time. Propulsion came from a 2.6 liter Mitsubishi four designed to operate on lean-burn settings until real power was needed. Transmissions were a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Collector's Corner - Bburago 1992 Dodge Viper RT/10

When I was a kid, I loved the Dodge Viper RT/10. It was a perfect car for a bedroom wall poster, especially in red. And Bburago knew exactly what they were doing when they churned out thousands of 1:18 scale red Vipers to meet the demand of children who thought the V10 truck-engined sports roadster was the awesomest thing ever.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1959 Panhard Dyna Z16 Grand Standing

Browsing Flickr has its perks. That's where I first found out that there was a classic Panhard living in the Bay Area. That's all fine and good, but it had to be found if I wanted to photograph it, and the Bay Area is a big place. As it turned out, the owner and I both attended the California Mille this year in San Francisco. So yes, this is one of those cars that I shot very close to a car show, but it is on a public street that was open to traffic and parking at the time. Note the 1970 Citro├źn Ami 8 Break parked in front. I photographed that car outside the 2011 California Mille.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1982 Toyota Starlet S

Admittedly, when searching for notable cars to photograph and document here, I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the compact economy runabouts of the 1980s. But every now and then there is a bright star among the sea of rattly little crapcans. One such econobox that now has something of a small cult following is the Toyota Starlet.