I’ve seen this car driving around in my neighborhood a number of times but had never seen it parked until one day when I was driving the Healey to the store on a quick errand. I was in a hurry but couldn’t let the opportunity to check out this cool Bimmer pass so I stopped for a few pictures.
When I was in college I worked at a Cadillac dealership as a lot attendant. This was the early 90s, interesting to me American cars were few and far between. The Eldorado Touring Coupe of 1991 caught my attention with its body color trim and rectangular exhaust tips. These cars featured 180 horsepower 4.9 liter V8s that were a significant step up from the 150-ish horsepower engines put in prior year Eldorados.
This brown Triumph passed by me in the opposite direction while I was biking to work. It was burbling through a parking lot on its way to its parking spot. I was stunned to see such a clean looking GT6 and quickly turned around to give chase and shoot some pictures.
So today, while I was pulling my race kart chassis out of storage to prepare for this season, I came across this Saab sitting in the corner of the parking lot.
I have a thing for odd-ball cars. (Clearly, not as much as Bret does. ) However, any modified Saab certainly qualifies. The thing is, like with my last Street-Parked post, I don’t know much about this car! Not the model, nothing! (facepalm)
This truck lives in my neighborhood and doesn’t ever move. I think it is loaded with charm. I believe this to be a 1947 to 1949 truck, let’s call it a 1948.
We are fortunate in my neighborhood to have an independent gas station that sells non-oxygenated fuel; this is gasoline that does not have ethanol mixed in. This is a good thing for owners of old cars which tend have issues with the oxygenated fuel sold at big chain gas stations drying out the rubber bits in their fuel systems. I take The Healey to this station for fuel and frequently encounter other old cars while refueling. Today’s Street Parked car was parked in the service area (yes, this is a gas station where actual mechanics work) waiting for its turn on the lift.
The Ford Mustang II is an important piece of motoring history. No, really. Many people consider this car to embody the worst of the Malaise Era: too small, too slow, too poorly built. I believe we need to look at the Mustang II illuminated in the era it was born to understand why it exists, and why it is actually a cool car.
The photos for this article were all supplied by a reader from the Miata.net car talk community who calls himself Analogeezer. Analogeezer and the gang at Miata.net’s Car Talk forum have been a wealth of great stories and anecdotes about most of the Street Parked cars (and many other topics).
The nice thing about my weekend morning runs, is that I usually find something exciting parked on the street. This morning, I saw a Lamborghini LP-640 and a 997 Porsche Turbo. However what really caught my attention, is something that I know nothing about!
UPDATE: This car is actually a 1964 Bel Air, thanks for setting me straight everyone. That’ll teach me to not carefully check my memory!
Matte finished cars normally don’t catch my eye. Even when I do notice them, they hardly ever look good to me. This big sinister Chevrolet is different, the matte paint job really works. The car looks both elegant and frighteningly evil.
The streets of Cuba are littered with Ladas. Car guys, when they think of Cuban cars, usually think of lovingly preserved American cars from the 1950s, just like the ones they see at summertime show and shine gatherings. That isn’t always the case. There are plenty of old American cars in Cuab, and most of them look like they have been in continuous service for over half a century with poor OEM parts support. This street in the mountain town of Santa Clara is typical of what you would see in Cuba. A 1952 Chevrolet with a homemade grill and what looks like hand made rear fender trim is parked behind a Lada 1200, which is parked behind another nondescript 1970s car. But wait, the Lada is festooned with racing and high performance (and Canadian!) themed stickers and graphics.
I just returned from a trip to Cuba where jaw dropping old cars are numerous at every stop light. This is the first of many Cuban Street Parked features we’ll be running; be sure to come back and see what Cuban treasure we have next (hint: old American cars with Scuderia Ferrari stickers). I didn’t need to venture far to find this 1956 Ford Fairlane Convertible as it was parked in the dropoff/pickup loop of my hotel in Havana. This was the first old American car in Cuba I got a close look at and I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
I almost never find anything for a Street Parked post. Yet, here I am on Vashon Island, and I stumble on this Fiat 850 Abarth at a gas station! It was just tucked over on the side of the road, so I pulled a quick U-Turn to grab some pictures.
The Mercury Bobcat is a rebadged and very slightly tarted up Ford Pinto. This car is a street parked holy grail! I haven’t seen a Bobcat in at least 15 years and nearly crashed when I rode my bike past this one on my morning commute. Savor the glory of this orange bastion of 1970s domestic small car compromise.
Sorry for the image resolution, but this was a Street-Parked from a mobile phone. Despite the overcast skies, this car still stood out with its bright yellow!
|StartingGrid| photographer Savannah Blake found this mobile-snap of a Lamborghini Gallardo parked in a local Costco parking lot. Clearly the required ride, we all need to get groceries…
Does anyone know of any other random exotics that you know of just sitting around doing the usual daily business?
This is a page listing all of the Street Parked articles I’ve posted. Can you believe there are so many old and interesting cars still in use? I started this series with some amazing finds: the hand built Diamond T and Alfa sprint car, but as the series continues I find myself liking the forgotten cars the most.
Have a cool old car you’d like to see featured on StartingGrid? Comment on this post and we can see about writing a feature.
I saw this charming little wagon while strolling through Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood. Today’s subject is a Fiat 500 Topolino Belvedere made some time between 1951 and 1955. This is the original, original Fiat 500. The car my brand new 500 Abarth was styled after was called the “Nuova 500″, or “New 500″. This car was the first mass market Fiat sold to every Italian, starting in 1936.
This is the last of the Mercedes Benz SL roadsters that could be considered a sports car. This series of SL, commonly known by the chassis code W113, was produced between 1963 and 1971. These cars are also known as the “Pagoda” SL due to the shape of the car’s removable hardtop.
As a child of the 70s and 80s growing up in California in these cars were everywhere. It seemed to me that every Jazzercise instructor drove one of these and looked great doing so.
In 1967 the fourth generation of Dodge Dart was released. It was bigger than the third generation, but was still “compact” and weighed under 3000 pounds. This car is a base model Dart 2 door sedan with the venerable 170 cubic inch (2.8 liter) slant six engine. It seems that by the late 60s the trend of trying to make smaller American cars was fading. This Dart is a fairly sizable car for being an entry model, it would dwarf a VW Beetle.
In 1993 Land Rover sold 525 Defender 110s in North America. Five hundred were sold in the United States and 25 were offered in Canada (a place where a vehicle like this could be very handy). Land Rover had been selling its Range Rover luxury SUVs in North America since 1987 and were looking to broaden their offerings to include more utilitarian vehicles.
Autocrossing LeMons Racing Photographer friend of StartingGrid Alan Dahl spotted this rare Malaise Era Pontiac of Canadian origin and sent in these shots. Yes, I said Canadian origin; this car was developed on the H-body platform as a small car for the Canadian market. The Astre shares its H-body underpinnings with such legendary crusher fodder as the Chevrolet Vega, Buick Skyhawk, and Oldsmobile Starfire.
I encountered this cool old Chevrolet while on a visit to an auto parts store to pick up parts for our LeMons car. This is a 1941 Special Deluxe coupe. I’ve heard some folks refer to these as “Business Coupes”. I’m not sure what differentiates a business coupe from a non-business coupe so I’ll just leave the business coupe business to others and just admire a cool old car.
GM’s Art and Color group (run by the famous Harley Earl) designed this car and I think they did a great job. I particularly like the front fender detail, they give the car a wide stance while also giving the hood a powerful height.
The small styling is excellent on this car, the chrome strip and hood vents are particularly cool with an art deco vibe.
The interior of this humble Chevrolet is nice, not up to the standards of a Buick but plenty nice enough for a working man’s car.
The 1941 Chevrolets were powered by a straight six producing 90 horsepower. These cars weighed less than 3,500 lbs, so that 90 horsepower engine probably provided adequate performance. I’ll have to learn more about cars from the 40s, what was the Miata of the day back then?
For more Street Parked goodness click here
This gorgeous Cadillac is smaller when viewed in person than one would think a 1960s luxury car would be, especially one equipped with a 7 liter v8.
Well, not really, but it felt like it for a second.
Lisa and I were out for a walk, when we ran into this impromptu car meet outside of a bubble tea-cafe. Once again, all I had with me was my cell phone camera.
It’s rare to see an R32 Skyline in this area, but this meet had two of them. Ever since I learned about the Motorex debacle years ago, which made all Skylines outside of the R33 illegal, I’d personally be nervous running this car on US streets.
One thing that I do know, is that I need a better camera ASAP, if I keep running into these cool things.
The Mazda Rotary Engine Pickup, or “REPu”, was one of the more interesting vehicles Mazda made in the 1970s. Before the surge in fuel prices caused by the OPEC shenanigans of 1973, Mazda was offering the fun but inefficient rotary engine in just about every car it sold. The REPu was the most utilitarian rotary powered option.
Is there a better name for a muscle car than “Marauder”? No. Especially when that name is paired with “X100″ fender badges. X100 indicates that this Marauder is equipped with the 429 cubic inch 365 horsepower big block engine instead of the pedestrian and frankly too small 390 cubic inch engine.
With all the modifications you can do to your automobile, it is very hard to stand out in this day and age.
What hasn’t been done? What has been done too many times? What makes your ride unique?
Bright green wheels are nothing new but this one really stood out to me and he has a fish as a hood prop.
This Chevelle epitomizes the street parked survivor that catches my eye. This car was bought as a standard car with the smallest v8, the 307, and has faithfully fulfilled daily driver duty for over forty years. That it has survived and continues to see regular use is remarkable.
This 1960 Plymouth Savoy is a real attention grabber. More noteworthy than this car’s giant tail fins is the fact that this car introduced to the world the legendary Slant Six engine. The leaning tower of power got its start in this car.
I parked next to this stunning Mopar the other day. My Miata looked like a little red dinghy rafted alongside this classy and cool sleeper yacht. Look at those sidepipes with the open cutouts. I bet this thing makes great sounds.
This car came with either a 383 or 440 cubic inch engine and made at least 325 horsepower. The top of the line “TNT” 440 made 365 horsepower and 480 lbs/ft of torque which was enough power to launch this car to 60 in 7 and a half seconds. That was quick for its time.
This car, with its not stock exhaust and probable other modifications, almost certainly has more power than when it was new.
A car like this is meant for cruising. Look at that interior, it’s begging for a street to rumble down on a sunny day.
The shot above was taken from the driver’s seat of my Miata. While my Miata is low, this 300 would tower over it even if I had a stock suspension.
Nineteen Sixty Six was the first year of Chrysler’s 300 series of cars to not have a “letter car” option. Each year, Chrysler would offer a loaded 300 with a letter after its name; the letter changing every year. The last of the “letter cars” was the 1965 300L.
Lack of letter model notwithstanding, these were fairly exclusive cars with only 2500 convertibles being made. This is my current pick for the best car for a summer cruise.
For more Street Parked goodness click here
This body style was cutting edge when introduce in 1961. The character line that runs the length of the car terminates in a subtle tail fin. For me, the most interesting view of this car is from the front quarter. The bumper integrates cleanly into the leading edge of the fender in a way that cuts a striking profile.
These are busy looking cars, there are styling details everywhere. The 1963 model added a triple set of gills to the doors making the profile draw the eye forward.
For more Street Parked goodness click here
StartingGrid pal Alan Dahl sent in a couple shots of this street parked Volga Siber parked somewhere in Russia. Does this car look familiar to you? It should, behind that chrome grill lurks a Dodge Stratus.
Tesla’s service center for the Northwest is located in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, I walk and bike by it several times a week. There are always a handful of Tesla Roadsters in the shop for whatever maintenance an electric car requires. Having seen Tesla Roadsters every day for the past couple of years, they are no longer attention grabbing for me.
What has been grabbing my attention is the cars the folks who work at Tesla drive. These guys get it, they’re clearly driving enthusiasts. Two lowered Miatas with 949 Racing 6UL track day wheels and a very nice E30 don’t just by chance happen to park in the same lot. It’s always a good thing to see folks who work on high end cars having good taste in their own cars. When the answer cannot be “Miata”, it is very frequently “E30″.
Want more Street Parked goodness? Go here.
So this weekend, I was picking up a speedometer cable for Kyoko from another local Miata-phile, David DeRegt. While I was there, I got a quick look at his V6 powered Mazda Miata. I grabbed a picture on Twitter, and my followers wanted to know more about it.
This car was originally built by another local autocrosser, Mark Snell, before it was picked up as David’s project. When it was Mark’s car, it had been featured in the briefly-run ’Forever MX-5′ magazine. See video below of Mark and the “KLata”
Now David is working on a “new” Street-Mod Miata project, and his “KLata” is now up for sale. A fun Miata fact- My old Miata, Kasumi donated her hood and headlights cover for this car. Check out David’s sale thread. Worth a look, as it has the stat sheet has more information.
My pal Anders saw this Jaguar E-type kayak hauler street parked in Long Beach, California. If you ask me, hauling boats is the perfect use for an E-type coupe. The 5.3 litre V12 in this Series 3 car provides adequate power to shorten the distance from home to shore access. I wonder if this car ever shows up at Cars and Coffee?
For more Street Parked goodness click here
This tidy Maverick burbled by as I was strolling down the Las Vegas Strip. It’s hard to pin down a year on these as they didn’t change much during their 1970 to 1977 run, however I’m betting this is a later Maverick due to the presence of the ugly Malaise Era front bumper. The early Mavericks have a trim little chrome blade front bumper that isn’t nearly as impact resistant as the big basher on this car. This car almost certainly has the optional a 302 V8, which sounded nice and politely rumbly.
Only in Las Vegas. This car is a replica of the Las Vegas airport’s lead/emergency car from 1956 to 1968. It somehow seems appropriate for a car like this to guide to gates the airplanes that carried the Rat Pack and Marilyn Monroe.
The Jaguar Mark 2 is an interesting car. It was designed under Sir William Lyons’ maxim of “grace, pace, and space”. The design appears to have worked as the Mark 2 is equally at home hauling the over-privileged to fashionable shops or hauling hoons around race tracks.
This handsome little TR3A pulled up as I was waiting for the walk signal in the Mercer mess. This is the way to commute.
For more Street Parked goodness click here
The Packard Motor Car Company has a long history of building high end luxury cars. This car, a 1956 Packard Patrician, is the last of its kind and a surprise to see parked on the street.
Most of my vacations to Maui don’t offer much in the way of interesting car photo fodder. Sure, there are plentiful rent-a-Ferraris being driven by newlyweds and orthodontists and a plethora of potato popping Harleys, but really unique cars are rare here. Imagine my surprise when I saw this 2000 Detomaso Mangusta parked in the condo complex next door.
In honor of St Patrick’s Day I present this green 1963 Triumph Spitfire Mark 2.
VW’s Type 1, aka the Beetle, used to be ubiquitous in traffic. Many was the time I finished a road trip battered from “punch buggy” beat downs thanks to the sales success and longevity of the great Type 1. I believe this one is an early 1960s model – most likely a 1962 as stated by the license plate.
There is nothing like a grocery store car park filled with anonymous SUVs, crossovers, and tinted windowed Bimmers to make something like this Jaguar stand out like a roman candle going off in church.
Look what I found on my bike commute to work this morning! Another early 50s Chevrolet pickup! Yesterday’s Street Parked 1950 Chevy pickup was helpful by including its model year in pinstriping. This truck offers no such easy clues about its birth year. The push button door handles lead me to believe this is a 1952 or 53 Chevy pickup – the earlier trucks had twisty door handles.
I read on Jalopnik this morning that the Shelby GT350 was released on this day (January 27) in 1965. About a year and a half ago, I encountered the very first Shelby GT350 street car ever built. I wrote about it on my LeMons team’s blog, but think this audience (all 5 of you) might also find it interesting. Here it is,
shamelessly copied uncut and in its original form. Click any of the pictures for ginormo-sized views. Happy Birthday Mustang GT350!
The conventional wisdom among Seattle folk is that Opening Day of boating season heralds the start of summer, with the apogee of summer in the great northwet being Seafair. In my house, summer doesn’t begin until the third weekend of May, when the University District Street Fair crowds “The Ave” with more blindingly white people in shorts and t-shirts than mankind was ever meant to see. My lovely wife and I always visit the Street Fair on Saturday morning in an attempt to beat the crowds. We make a point to devour the best Piroshky in the world and look for our favorite vendors before escaping the crowds.
Typically, we park our Miata and stroll through quiet streets to the freshly pitched easy-ups of the vendors. This year was different. As we were strolling down Roosevelt, approaching Scarecrow Video, I noticed an unusual car parked on the street.
Apparently we only like to post photos of snow covered cars, after the snow has already left.
Here is a snow-caked NA photo found by Savannah. It’s crazy how fast the weather can change around here. Just another reminder of the snowstorm that we just weathered here in the Pacific Northwest.
Maybe Savannah can provide more detail of where she found the car in the comments.
Seattle’s hills and mild climate make for treacherous snow driving as our snow melts and refreezes our streets into curling sheets just waiting to send bendy buses jack-knifing into phone poles.
During our most recent icepocalypse I enjoyed a stroll through my neighborhood and found today’s two inline six powered cars parked less than a block from each other. One is a historic icon of motoring, and the other is a JDM Skyline GT-R.