Friday, December 25, 2020

Old Sacramento Street Sighting - 1952 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe

I usually like to do something special for my Christmas feature. I visited Old Sacramento with a friend last December when the historic area was all decorated for the holidays. We encountered this lovely gray 1952 Chevy sedan parked in front of a shop. I liked the building's festive decorations so it seemed appropriate for today. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1958 Austin-Healey 100-6 BN4 Roadster

'Tis the season once more for holiday cheer and I'll try to do my part by featuring fun cars photographed around Christmastime. This one's a lovely blue and white Austin-Healey roadster all dressed up for the season.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Santa Cruz Street Sighting - 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe

As I always like to say, when in doubt, Tri-Five. I've been slow in posting again here, so today we're looking at a 1956 Chevy Bel Air hardtop.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Saratoga Street Sighting - 1973 Ford Mustang Grande

In the past I've said a few times here, that just because I love the Ford Mustang doesn't mean I'll post a lot of them. It has to speak to me or at least be uncommon or interesting to make the cut. Here's the luxury spec from the Boxstang generation, the Grande.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - "1929" CMC Gazelle

Here we are again on Halloween. After the horror show that 2020 has been, Halloween seems a bit lackluster. My good friend suggested that my Halloween feature should be a car disguised as something it's not. We figured a kit car would fit the bill perfectly. Here is a 1929 Mercedes SSK roadster -- I mean, a Classic Motor Carriages Gazelle.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1954 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup

These pictures are old but I quite like the subject matter, so let's take a closer look. It's a 1954 Chevy 3100 pickup truck.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Alamo Street Sighting - 1995 Mercury Tracer LTS

Riddle me this: What makes a car "special"? What makes a car "sporty"? Where do we draw the line on what makes a vehicle interesting enough to document and preserve? How does rarity figure into the equation and should cars be saved simply because they're rare? For your consideration, today we're looking at a 1995 Mercury Tracer LTS.

Monday, August 31, 2020

San Ramon Street Sighting - 1935 Plymouth PJ Deluxe Touring Sedan

Summer is winding down and I'm really feeling screwed out of car shows. Thanks to COVID, 2020 has literally been the year without car shows at least in my area. Every so often I get to see a private owner taking a vintage car out for errands or a weekend drive, but not since the 4th of July have I really seen a gathering of more than one classic at a time. And that was only two cars in a parking lot. So today we'll try to satisfy your appetite for classic American iron with this 1935 Plymouth I pulled out of the archives from 2017.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1968 Kaiser Jeep Jeepster Commando C101

Each year on the 4th of July I like to feature a vehicle from an independent American manufacturer. That means nothing from Ford, General Motors or Chrysler. I call it Independent's Day. So why did I pick a Jeep? Because once upon a time, decades before it became one more brand in the FiatChrysler Automobiles stable, Jeep was a plucky little independent. And it's an interesting story.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1980 Datsun 280ZX 10th Anniversary

Over a decade ago I saw a 10th Anniversary Datsun 280ZX at a car show. It was metallic gold and black and I instantly fell in love with it. It was the first time I ever really noticed that special edition of a car I previously never got that excited about. It wasn't until later that I realized the 10th Anniversary was also available in red.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Pleasanton Street Sighting - 1973 Dodge Royal Sportsman

My last post here dealt with a 1973 Ford Econoline van. In that post I mentioned that Ford's van sales were down that year. Now we look at its primary nemesis in the marketplace, the Dodge B-Series. I see this fantastic Royal Sportsman passenger van on the road often in my area, much more often than I ever see it parked. This van even popped up in traffic while shooting the 1957 Austin-Healey 100-6.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

San Ramon Street Sighting - 1973 Ford Econoline E-100

Many moons ago I used to enjoy going to K-B Toys at my local mall. I was a budding diecast collector who loved the Johnny Lightning brand of 1:64 scale collectibles but could rarely find or afford them. Luckily for me, K-B Toys used to put them on sale periodically at the unheard-of price of three cars for $5. This was around the time that JL produced their Boogie Vans series of 1970s custom vans. I picked up some good stuff for dirt cheap. I fell in love with a couple of the Boogie Vans, namely a metallic blue 1977 Dodge B-150 with American flag graphics, and a white 1977 Ford Econoline 150 decorated as a dealership parts chaser. My small assortment of diecast vans helped foster an appreciation of vintage custom vans as more than an old steel box full of dirty carpet left over from the disco era.

Monday, June 22, 2020

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1958 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday Coupe

I don't make it to San Francisco much anymore. I've been out of college for several years, working full time, and now with the coronavirus pandemic going on I've barely gone anywhere for the past few months. These pictures are two years old but they continue a long-held tradition. When I go to the city I always try to see if our friend Fifties Guy has anything new. This visit was after I participated in my first Radwood car show in South San Francisco, where I shined up and displayed my 1999 Buick Regal GS. I'd already paid the bridge toll to be on the peninsula, so I headed up north for a little while. Sure enough, I was greeted by this all-original 1958 Oldsmobile finished in what I believe to be Champagne Mist Poly.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

11 Years of California Streets

Hello to all of my readers,

Some of you have been with this blog for over a decade; some of you may have just found it for the first time. Today is the eleventh anniversary since I first started posting on California Streets, and I just wanted to reflect on things.

If you haven't visited in a while, you may notice the site looks different. I decided it was time for our first facelift, most noticeably the main content area has been opened up much wider with photos you don't have to click on to view larger than 400 pixels. And finally the mobile version matches the desktop version's dark colors to spare your eyes. I hope you like it.

Over the past few years I've noticed a lot of changes in life. Most of the carspotting blogs and feature series this one is patterned after have been suspended as bloggers get older and turn their attention to work, raising families and the other rigors of real life.
 Much respect goes out to such posters as Phil Greden aka Murilee Martin, formerly of Jalopnik and The Truth About Cars, now at Autoblog and Autoweek, Lord knows he gets around and is still posting. He was my direct inspiration to begin my own blog.
Tony and Ben Piff of OldParkedCars, longtime carspotting stalwarts who sadly haven't updated in a while, but who posted a fascinating array of cars from Oregon for many years.
Bill Stengel, Gardner Murray and Jack Murray of The Street Peep, who accepted some of my photo shoots for their site that didn't quite fit my focus here. I miss the eclectic mix there.
My friend Colin Stacy of The Automotive Way, who helped keep me going here and inspired me to occasionally branch out into diecast features and other specialty topics.
The fine folks who published Seattle's Classics, Seattle's Parked Cars and others that gave us a glimpse of what graces the streets around the world.
I'm pleased to see others still active in their stead, such as M. Joseph Goodfriend of Seattle's Old Cars. Some do write-ups, profiles, commentary. Some let the photos do all the talking.

Once more I would like to voice my appreciation of our friend "Fifties Guy" in San Francisco for being a good sport over the past decade plus. I think I've featured over 20 of his past and current vehicles here and they have served as inspiration to continue exploring and photographing cool old cars ever since I first spotted that black '58 Oldsmobile so long ago. His 1959 Mercury was the 20th car posted here. Over 700 features later, here we are.

Thank you for reading.

Jay Wollenweber

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1974 Datsun 610 Coupe

As long as we're looking at a string of 1970s cars, how about the '74 Datsun that was parked behind the '74 Ford Pinto Squire from my last feature? I haven't posted too many older Japanese vehicles and this one has been frustratingly elusive. I had seen it here and there around town for over a decade and this was only the second time I had the chance to get photos.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1974 Ford Pinto Squire Wagon

I seem to have a 1970s theme going on with my last couple of posts, so why not carry it on with another earth-toned disco era beastie? This one's the fifth Ford Pinto to appear on California Streets, but it's the first Squire station wagon that wasn't found in a junkyard.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Livermore Street Sighting - 1979 Ford Ranchero GT

I don't know what it was about the 1970s, but someone decided maroon and gold looked good together on cars. I don't mean to offend any Arizona State or House Gryffindor fans, but when I was a kid, I did not like the combination. In 1980 my dad bought a 1966 Mustang convertible that had been repainted maroon and gold. I suppose it's a classic color combination for clothing and such, but on that car I hated it. This '79 Ranchero came from the factory like that. Except on this vehicle, it's not plebeian maroon. It's Cordovan.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1977 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Many of you are no doubt stuck at home during the now infamous COVID-19 lockdown. I've been out of the loop on blogging for the past months and not producing much content, even though I continue to photograph cars and have a fair number of them archived. So, for your viewing pleasure, let's look at a 1977 Chevy Corvette Stingray. I enjoyed photographing this one during the sunny summer months last year.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 1965 Ford Mustang GT 2+2 Fastback

Ever have those moments when you forget an anniversary or birthday until the last minute? Yeah, me too. Today is April 17. Happy birthday to the Ford Mustang.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Danville Street Sighting - 2009 Pontiac G8 GT

Today is my birthday, and it's my party and I'll cry if I want to. It still bums me out that the Pontiac brand is gone, even ten years later. Especially after a couple of bright spots amid the general decline of GM's Excitement division. The Pontiac G8 was a rebadge of the Australian Holden Commodore, engineered for left hand drive and other compliance with American road laws. It lasted only two years here in the states based on the VE Commodore, then enjoyed an almost equally brief resurgence with a Chevrolet badge as the Chevy SS based on the redesigned VF. Today the Holden factory in south Australia is itself shut down, no longer building the iconic rear-wheel-drive coupes, sedans and ute pickups that carried such monikers as Monaro, Commodore, Maloo, Statesman and Caprice. For decades the Commodore platform was a strong seller in Australia, but rising fuel costs, environmental concerns and the spreading worldwide plague of the SUV ate into Holden car sales. General Motors imported some cars into the US, apparently as an excuse to keep the Australian factory open. Frustratingly, the Pontiac G8 and Chevrolet SS were barely advertised and always remained niche products for enthusiasts in the know.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Campbell Street Sighting - 1993 Toyota Supra

It could be argued that the fourth-generation Toyota Supra is one of the most iconic sports coupes of the 1990s. It enjoys notoriety as one of the stars of the original Fast & Furious film and has long been associated with road course racing, amateur street racing and drift culture alike.