I come by this block of Adams Street regularly, as it’s on the way to a cluster of my rentals. And the folks who live on this end of the block are loyal CC drivers; the exact composition has changed over the years, but there’s always some goodies here. This elderly VW bus is a more recent arrival, and is in regular use. That of course applies to the Westfalia T3 just down the block.
I once started to count the number of T3 VW Vanagons, but I gave up after realizing there’s more than I can keep track of in my poor aging memory banks. Let’s just say it probably averages out to about one per block. Seriously. I know a few blocks where there’s two or three.
These folks have been loyal Mercedes owners for the two-plus decades I’ve been going by their house, but this very nice blue W123 280E has been their pet now for most of the past decade.
There’s gobs of W123s around here of course too, but they’re invariably diesels, having been brought north from California during the great Biodiesel Boom (remember that?).
To refresh your memories, here’s the storage lot of one of several “importers” of California Mercedes diesels back during the boom days of that fad. And a fair number of them are still at it.
Well, it’s not just a passing fad. We have a company based in Eugene, SeQuential Fuels, that has a substantial business making biodiesel from the used oil of several large commercial food processors, including one or more potato chip factories. The fave two gas stations in Eugene, including this one about ten or so blocks from my house.
Anyway, this is a 280E, which was of course the top of the W123 line. It had a 140 hp fuel injected version of the twin cam six, and when it first arrived in 1977, it was quite the highly praised sport sedan. Or at least a competitor in that class, as it’s really not a label that works for the W123. But it was cancelled after 1981 in the US in response to the second energy crisis which put the Mercedes diesel mania in high gear.
One tends to think that all older Mercedes had black dash pads, but there was a blue version too, which this car has, and my W124 also had.
In front of the next house is a sentimental favorite of mine, an E70 Corolla. If I had needed a basic, cheap long-term keeper runabout, this is what I would have gone for in the past 30 years or so. The Plymouth Valiant replacement, except it came in a wagon too. yeah, I know the early Valiant did too, but they stupidly killed it for 1967.
And bringing up the rear is this Integra. Not my favorite generation, but these are thinning out too.
Here’s a look from down the block. Red, (sort-of) white and blue.
Let’s go back up and check out the VW bus. This is a real living time capsule, in more ways than one.
Yes, in terms of its wonderful collection of vintage bumper stickers. What ever happened to bumper stickers? They’re just not making them like they used to. What was the peak era for these? The 90s?
Here’s a closer look. Sadly, neither “Visualize World Peace” nor “Visualize Whirled Peas”. Which war do they want ended?
Yes, it’s a bit rough, and even has a Bit-O-Rust on its sills. But they’re fixed easily enough, and will be. Nothing serious.
The driver’s seat has a nice tape job on the seat cushion. But there’s actual seat belts.
it’s sporting a set of new all-terrain tires. Why not; the T1 bus can go off-roading with the best of them. It’s practically a Kübelwagen with a boxy body, right down to the gear reduction hubs on the rear wheels. Ground clearance galore.
And there’s an old Chevy truck in the driveway. These folks like their vehicles to be mature.