Ferrari fans are everywhere. On my trip to Cuba I was surprised to see Scuderia Ferrari stickers on an interesting variety of cars. Here are a few cars I was able to get pictures of after noticing the sticker. Normally each of these cars would have gotten a whiplash inducing response from me. In Cuba these are run of the mill cars; perhaps not the Alfa, that one was a surprise. The 1952 Chevrolet above also appears to have a Ford 5.0 badge.
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.
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.
This week’s Ferrari Friday subject is a car I saw and photographed at the 2007 Northwest Historics. This is a 1949 166 MM Touring Barchetta and is one of the very first Ferraris built. Enzo Ferrari starting producing cars under his own name in 1947, following a long career with Alfa Romeo (I’ll feature a Scuderia Ferrari Alfa racer in coming weeks). The very first Ferraris were the two 125S cars and single 159S produced in 1947. These were followed by the run of 39 166S cars in 1948 and 1949 which produced the car featured here.
Jon Shirley owns this 166 MM and drove it at the 2007 Northwest Historics as well as in rally events. This car is no stranger to racing, having won the 1949 24 Hours of Spa with Luigi Chinetti behind the wheel.
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).
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.
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.
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.
1 Diamond T Dually Dual Cowl Phaeton
2 Alfa Sprint car 1 plus 1
3 Florence Lancia Delta Integrale HF 16v
4 1970 Plymouth Satellite Seattle Police Cruiser
5 Fiat 500 Freakout!
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.
Chevrolet’s Citation X11 is an example of the worst of American car making. For this series I typically write about cars that I find desirable. However when Alan Dahl sent me this set of pictures, I knew I needed to feature this car.
The Petrolicious gang is back with another great video! This one beautifully captures the essence of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ. Zagato designs odd looking little cars and this one is typically striking in look. Beneath the funky sheetmetal is Alfa’s excellent all aluminum twin cam four in “Veloce” spec with twin Weber side draft carbs. The sound these cars make is intoxicating. This one is 1.3 liters and offers plenty of involvement in running through canyons. If there ever was a car that epitomized the adage that “it is more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow”, this is it. With modest power, you get to rip through 3 or 4 gears where a more powerful car would only give you two. Tons of fun.
Credit and thanks to Petrolicious!
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.
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.
Photo credit: Josh Clason – Depth of Speed
Depth of Speed has released another excellent video! This one is about a Zombie VW rabbit and the enthusiast who built it. The owner did most of the work himself using cast offs and gifts from the VW community. Check out the racing seats he upholstered using leather jackets. This is his first project, he learned by doing. I think he did a great job.
Vimeo video is after the break.
Yesterday brought a lovely evening to Seattle. This necessitated taking a ride in the Healey. What better excuse for a Healey ride than a pizza run? There are few things in this world better than rumbling around in a sportscar on a warm summer evening. A full belly and a full moon inspired the shot above. I wish I had a real camera with me and not my iPhone; however the best camera is the one in your hand.
Want to read all the posts on The Healey? Click here
This is the very first Tesla Model S delivered in the Northwest. I happened upon this car as I was walking home tonight and the Tesla Service Center guys were nice enough to let me in to drool with them all over this car. I’ve written about the Tesla Service guys before, they’re motoring enthusiasts of the highest order.
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.
Pujo! is on his way down to Shelton for our race weekend. Stay tuned to StartingGrid for updates as the weekend progresses.
Here’s the schedule:
Friday, 20 July 2012
7am: Gates open
8:30am-5pm: Testing with a 1-hour break for lunch. Details above.
Noon-5pm: Mandatory Friday tech inspection. Every car and at least one driver per team must be present for Friday tech. No Saturday tech will be offered.
Saturday, 21 July 2012
7am: Gates open
9:30am: Mandatory drivers’ meeting
10:30am-8pm: Race session I
8:30pm-?: Optional LeMons Drag Racing (ie, blow up your diff on the 1/4-mile for the promise of one measly Get Out of The Penalty Box Card).
Sunday, 22 July 2012
9:15am: Mandatory drivers’ meeting
10am-3pm: Race session II
3pm: Checkered flag
6pm: Gates close
Feel free to come by and say Hi! I’ll be the guy in the gorilla suit.
Go here for more details.
The Healey was mostly dormant for a few decades before we exhumed it. It had its original 48 spoke wire wheels with ancient retread tires. This was not a setup we wanted to drive any distance. New wheels and tires were easily ordered through the nice folks at Hendrix Wire Wheel and Moss Motors.
We’ve been working late nights at Chase Race getting Pujo! ready to race. In order to comply with the strictly enforced budget cap in the LeMons series, we are often forced to find creative ways to do things. The latest Pujo! Penny Pinching Project® involves the relocation of our electrical kill switch and the installation of a push button starter.
Here is a quick update on the Perils of Pujo!. Of large importance to a race car is keeping oil on the inside of the engine. Pujo!, as you saw in our last installment, had become quite adept at converting the oil inside the engine into smoke outside the engine. To determine the source of the oil, we consumed some beer, grabbed some hammers and took apart the turbo.
Photo credit: John Jackson – Not Stock Photography
The latest episode of what is beginning to become one of my favorite shows is out. This week’s Depth of Speed is about a guy named John Jackson who drives around the country in a 1964 Corvair 95 van taking pictures of cool cars.
Happy Independence Day! Keep the pointy end forward and the tires down today.
After a couple of drives around the neighborhood, the first system to raise its hand for attention was the cooling system. The radiator developed a healthy leak in its core.
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.
The first work party on Pujo! was a tremendous success. Being a team of drinking gourmands, Doug and I set the tone for the day by first procuring adequate beer to fuel the wrenching. The choice of the day was Churchkey, a northwest brewed pilsner perfect for hydration and idea inception when hammers and cursing fail to reveal a solution.
The Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys are competing in the 24 Hours of LeMons race in Shelton in July. Since that’s just a little over a month away, we should probably put down the wine for a few minutes and pick up some wrenches.
StartingGrid’s latest project car is this 1960 Austin Healey 3000. This car is a driving adventure. It makes incredible sounds and is an attention magnet. It seems that everyone has an uncle or in-law who had a Big Healey at some point in their life. In the short time we’ve had this car, we’ve already had several conversations with folks who have shared stories of adventures they or their family members have had in Healeys. My wife and I have signed on to be Healey adventurists.
I too have an in-law who had a Big Healey. This car was owned for nearly four decades by my father-in-law. He kept it in his heated garage and tinkered on it, lovingly maintaining and improving it, but rarely driving it. He’s a busy guy with a ton of competing interests, adventure for him does not necessarily involve roadside field expedient repairs of a half century old sports car. Being a rocket scientist (no, really) he’s doing the smart thing and replacing the Healey with a Miata.
I’ve been working on bringing the Healey out of hibernation and hope to make it a reliable daily drivable car. While I don’t intend on commuting in this car, you will see it Street Parked as my wife and I take summer evening spins and impromtu runs into the mountains to echo the hills and valleys with the sounds of this straight six.
Maybe you’ll see the Healey at an event soon? I’m not a show and shine sort, favoring instead driving and racing. Stay tuned for more updates. I’ve already completed a few projects and am so far really enjoying working on this car. The Big Healey has a long history of being a sturdy adventure partner. They were entered in LeMans and did well in international rally competition. It should be happy to put up with the occasional autocross, right?
Aaron Severson of Ate up with Motor wrote a great history of the Big Healeys.
Davin’s post of the Lamborghini creeping out of a driveway resonated with me as my
newest most recent addition to the fleet is at stock ride height but scrapes over everything. That’s the exhaust in the picture above. It’s about three and a quarter inches off the ground.
These exhaust clamps dangled another half inch or so lower, making this car able to drive over things only a little thicker than a crushed soda can without scraping.
Some quick hacksaw work increased the ride height to a streetable level. I can’t go anywhere near a speed bump though. Speed bumps, it appears, are a newer invention than is this car.
Stay tuned for a formal introduction. You’ll be seeing a lot more of this car.
Photo Credit: Josh Clason – DepthofSpeed.com
Depth of Speed has released a new video about an instructor at the Art Center College of Design and his recently acquired 1970 Skyline GT-R. The video is a feast of straight 6 symphonies. I found a bonus video with track footage of this car too. This “Hakosuka” was bought from Salt Lake City’s JDM Legends – here’s their blog post
about the sale of the car and its adventure road tripping 700 miles to its new home.
Isn’t the sound this thing makes great? These cars originally came equipped with a 2 liter twin cam straight six that made 160 horsepower. This car does not appear to have its original engine; the JDM Legends post makes reference to this car having an L28 – one of the pictures shows a single cam straight six in this car’s engine bay. The L28 is most commonly found in the 280Z and is a fine engine for this car, especially when fitted with a trio of Weber or Mikuni carbs.
This car is super unique, undeniably cool, and certain to draw admiring crowds wherever it goes. Be sure to check out the JDM Legends
website. This shop is one of the first places I’d call after winning the megahellalotto, “First generation Celica with an 18RG please”.
The Thunderbird evolved in its early generations in a wild pendulum swing of style. The first generation cars were svelte and compact compared to their heavy and awkward looking “Squarebird” successor. This car, known as the “Bulletbird”, gave the car a sleek, futuristic appearance complete with “rocket exhaust” taillights.
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.
Beneath the hood is housed a massive FE 390 cubic inch (6.4 liter) V8 engine that produced up to 345 horsepower. The Thunderbird was a powerful boulevard cruiser.
The Thunderbird was always a personal luxury coupe and the 1963 model clearly fits the bill with its red leather interior.
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.
BMW just revealed this jaw-droppingly stunning double bubble equipped coupe. I’m in love with it, I really am. Hit the link below to visit BMW blog for the story and a bunch more photos.
Photo credit: Dodge
The first round of the 2012 Global RallyCross Championship is this Saturday, May 26, at Charlotte Motor Speedway
. Yes, rally cars racing at a giant NASCAR oval track. I think this is a good fit, The X-games have shown that rally events have been popular and a giant NASCAR speedway offers more room for rally action than does an X-games stadium.
Over lunch I discovered Depth of Speed
. It’s a trove of automotive treasure. Here’s a video they made about a gentleman with an addiction to 510s and other Datsuns. This video captures marque enthusiasm really well; that guy down the street with all the old Datsuns could have a really cool story.
I’m going to keep an eye on Depth of Speed, I really like how this video was shot. Professional and artful.
Video credit: Depth of Speed
The 24 Hours of Nurburgring is happening now! If you want to watch on a live stream go here. The Video stream is in German, however you can mute the video and hit the Radio LeMans link on the upper right of the page and a popup will appear with English commentary to the video stream.
The photo above is of the P4/5 Competitzione of Scuderia Glickenhaus, a car worthy of its own post. It is competing today. As of this writing, they’re in 31st place. You can follow them at their Facebook page.
Australia has given us many great things. Among them have been been: Alan Jones, the Boomerang, and the Ute. My favorite Aussie invention is the GM Zeta platform. The Zeta underpins GM’s excellent Camaro and the M5-esque Pontiac G8 (RIP) as well as the new Caprice Police car.
photo by Anders Otterness
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
Photo credit: Edmunds Inside Line
Fiat popularity is experiencing a groundswell in North America with sales growing each month. The diminutive scamp 500 is the only model currently on sale here in North America and is available in an array of flavors, from econo grade Pop to chic Lounge and jaw droppingly fun Abarth. In the next year or so, Fiat will be adding this car, the Panda-esque 500L, to its North American line up. I predict the 500L will sell well as Fiat does a really good job building four door hatch/wagon things. The thing that mystifies me is why is this car disguised?
It has already been revealed in all its Panda-like glory to the public at the Geneva Motor Show. Could they be trying to hide the differences that the North American version will have? Perhaps, but this car appears to be a Euro-spec 500L due to the lack of amber and red side reflectors. To add fuel to the mystery, this car was parked in the garage of the building that houses Edmunds Inside Line‘s offices in Detroit. What’s going on here? Is Fiat just teasing us while they prepare a special edition Abarth 500 convertible for me to buy?
More pictures after the jump. Caution: awesome Italian interior styling ahead.