This past summer I got to re-visit one of my old hangouts, Ruby’s Diner, at the back side of the Redondo Beach Pier. The car show crowd at Ruby’s tends to pack up and leave rather early, but I was fortunate enough to catch these cool rides minutes before their owners departed.
I’m not the world’s biggest aircooled VW fan, but I was smitten by this super clean Beetle convertible. The paint and bodywork on this thing is flawless, though I could do without the funny headlight visors. The smoothed and painted running boards, along with the chromed classic 8-spoke Empi wheels, are a nice touch.
The white interior in this thing is just as nice as the outside, and provides a nice contrast to the shimmering green paint. The unusual upholstery pattern, sport steering wheel, and fancy angled dashboard vents make me wonder- could this topless Beetle be one of the rare Wolfsburg or Champagne editions? Can any VW experts out there verify this?
I can’t even remember what this particular car is, but I believe it’s a Buick.
I’m not sure if that plush button-tufted cloth upholstery was a factory option, but it doesn’t look like a bad place to spend a few hours snuggled up with someone special while getting away from it all.
This 68-72 GMC longbed was a real stunner. The darkly tinted windows and tight parking configuration kept me from getting any good interior shots, but it’s just as nice inside as outside. The vintage slotted mag wheels are a nice addition, and their five-lug configuration denotes this truck as a half-ton, or a 1500-series in factory parlance. In all honesty, I’m not a big fan of slammed, long bed, single cab trucks. To my eye they just look odd. But this thing is so sharp I can easily overlook it. In this generation of trucks, I’ve always preferred the GMCs over their Chevrolet counterparts as they just look tougher and more aggressive with their massive heavy-looking grilles and dual headlights. The Jimmies of this era also still use leaf springs, rather than the long-arm / coil sprung setup of the Chevys. Check out the neat early 60’s Plymouth Valiant just behind it.
I only had the chance to take one pic of this gorgeous ’68 Camaro RS. Note the Camaro’s silver sibling far off in the background.
Saving the best for last, I’m totally luvvin’ this restomodded early dual-headlight Chevy LUV pickup. The wheels appear to be modified factory steel rally wheels from a ’73-’87 4WD Chevy or GMC full size pickup or Blazer / Jimmy. It’s interesting how the small and lightweight LUV uses the same beefy 5X5 inch, six-lug bolt pattern as its full size 4WD siblings. I’ve noticed that many older Datsun and Nissan pickups use this same bolt pattern as well, as evidenced by the number of well-worn, older examples I’ve seen fitted with factory 6-lug GM C/K junkyard wheels.
One look in the engine compartment shows that this rugged little trucklet means business. The apparently healthy small-block, with its tall velocity-stack air cleaner and huge Holley double-pumper carb perched atop a single plane, high-rise intake indicate that this truck’s days of hauling lumber and gardening supplies are long over, and it is now exclusively dedicated to hauling ass instead. Even so, any trips to Home Depot and back should be completed in record time, so long as one doesn’t exceed the payload. At the firewall you can clearly see the factory hood latch assembly still in place, although I suspect this truck hasn’t had a need for it for quite some time.
If this were my own truck, I’d probably change a few things. For one, I’d probably paint the rest of the truck to match the wheels and valve covers. For another, I’d probably run lower-profile tires in the rear to get the back end down a little more. Finally, I’d probably run an injected LS-series powerplant hidden under the stock hood to give it a killer sleeper vibe. The owner probably likes it as it is, though. Some years ago I halfway started LUV shopping, and was rather shocked by the high prices that well-preserved examples command nowadays. When I finally got the chance to sit in one, it was a deal breaker. My long legs and bad back were not happy. Nowadays LUVs are as uncommon a sight as H-body cars on the street, so spotting this one was a rare treat.
I’ve driven my 1975 Corvette to Ruby’s on two occasions in the past, and I’ve been making slow and steady progress on it since last summer. The next time I drive it up there, it’s going to be all one color, rather than a patchwork of flaked paint, primer, and unpainted fiberglass. Since these photos were taken, I’ve painted and reinstalled the rear bumper cap, and sanded the front bumper cap. Once the weather warms up and dries out, I’ll be painting the front bumper and repainting the faded and badly flaking t-tops. The rest of the paint is fair enough with a good rubbing. Projected completion date: late this summer.