Gold Rush: The Curbside Classics of San Francisco


My recent trip to San Francisco was like the 1849 gold rush for me; I struck gold with the many CC’s I spotted. I was amazed to find so many old cars in such good condition, domestic and foreign, never mind the ultimate Trackside Classic. I even spotted several cars I’ve never seen before. Many of them were taken from a moving tour bus, which can explain the less than stellar angles, lighting and general quality. Regardless, I just had to share my finds with you all, and hope you enjoy!


First up is one for Tom. A 1975-80 Volvo 242 (I’m not the Volvo expert). Looking good in inoffensive off-white, aside from that dent and missing hubcaps, it looks as strong as the white Intrigue behind it.


On to a pristine Mercedes-Benz 190E.


I always loved the two-tone combinations Mercedes made available during this era.


A vehicle of similar vintage, though this one looks like it’s been on a few more trips to Lake Tahoe than the Mercedes’ shopping sprees to Saks Fifth Avenue in Union Square. Regardless, it was nice to see a GMC Jimmy of any condition, especially the 1st generation S-15.


And it has leather too! I guess a few leather buckets made their way off the Bravada’s assembly line and into some average-Joe GMCs.


For the minivan lovers, or Chrysler minivan lovers at least, a pair of 1st and 2nd generation Voyagers.


And then something that threw me off:


I was walking up to snap a pic of this LeBaron-K sedan, but something seemed a bit off. It wasn’t until I saw the roofline that I realized this wasn’t a basic K, but the extended-length E. But New Yorkers with their enormous landau roof swallowed the rearmost windows. And the E-Class was dropped before the the more aerodynamic nose restyle. What the E?


Alas! It’s a Plymouth Caravelle! With a LeBaron front clip! Not only was I happy to solve this mystery, but also happy to see a Caravelle for the first time I can ever remember.


Back to something unmodified from factory-build, a 2nd-gen Acura Integra. Which is extremely surprising considering that most of these have been horrendously modified to the extreme with oversized bumpers, rims, and spoilers, sickening paint jobs, deep-tint windows, and fake xenon headlights.




I actually saw quite a few Integras in SF, including this bright-red 1st-gen RS.


I ran into a few of the Integra’s larger Legend siblings, as well.


Like this white 1st-generation coupe.


And this gold 2nd-generation sedan. I never really noticed the evolutionary styling changes until comparing these two rear view photos.

Some more late 80’s/early 90’s foreign luxury cars:


A Saab 9000.


Lexus ES250.


And the quintessential Yuppie E30 3-Series.


I also ran into a few real oldies, like this ’67 Chrysler Imperial Crown 4-door.


And this LeSabre convertible.

Now I could go on much more with other cars I photographed, as well as more details and pictures on featured cars above. There may even be a full CC coming up on one of the cars above (Hint, Hint). Can you guess which one?

But before I end, I have to share one last car that literally stopped me in my tracks when I saw it on my morning run. Damn those hills were tough!


Yes. A Merkur Scorpio! I have never, ever seen one of these in person. I kill myself for not being able to get back to it on foot with my camera in hand. These shots from the moving van I was in are all I have as proof.


The Gold Rush may have ended over 150 years ago, but I struck gold of a different kind in San Francisco.