Ingvar Hallstrom and I go back to the early TTAC days; both of us hung out there and started writing for the site. And Ingvar followed me to CC from the very beginning, and has contributed several articles here. He contacted me a little while back and asked if he could drop in for a short visit, seeing that he was in the Seattle area (for a Twin Peaks Festival). Of course! He also requested that I pick him up at the airport in “old Yeller”. What else? It is the official company limousine, after all. Just throw your bags in the back.
When I found out that this was Ingvar’s first trip to the US, I felt rather honored to be the other destination after that Twin Peaks Festival. We chatted the first evening away on the back deck, and the next morning we headed out for a little drive around Eugene.
Now this wasn’t a serious all-out hunt for CCs, just a little cruise from my house down to the Whitaker Area, and then out River Road to pay homage to CC Numero Uno. Ingvar didn’t have a camera, so I just snapped some of the many CCs we saw, but hardly all of them. First up was this Box Lincoln; not exactly my favorite car, due to its rather unfortunate proportions and too many side windows and midget wheels and tinny little wire wheel covers, and…but to each their own.
Speaking of boxes, next up was the inevitable Volvo brick wagon. Ingvar’s post on The Volvo Rear Door Dilemma is a classic here on the subject of Volvos, as is his homage to the Volvo Duett. This 245 is a bit ratty, but it was the first we encountered, so it got shot. The other 364 didn’t.
A block or two later, we rolled by another grizzled veteran, a gen2 Toyota HiLux. I keep saying how many of these are still in use here, and this is one I’ve not seen before.
I also gave myself a definite quota for old Mercedes diesels, as this town is chock full of them. This W115 220D is one of the older ones of that genre, and deserved a place here.
Ingvar recognized this Econoline from one of my fiction pieces, “What Might Have Been”. This is a bit sad; it’s really deteriorated in the two years since I shot it. I’m trying to imagine what might have been the cause.
And what might be the reason this gen1 Aurora has fallen out of use? Possibly something to do with its engine? Naw… It’s a good thing they keep an ancient Corolla in the other parking space (I’m just trying to get Philhawk going).
Ingvar told me he enjoyed my coverage of vintage RVs; well that was a bit of a surprise. So the next one we saw, an old Cabana, was cause to slow down enough to peel off a shot.
We couldn’t not shoot this P1800ES behind the fence. All but one of Ingvar’s posts has been about Volvos, including this excellent recent addition to our Volvo Week: Volvo, A Swedish Perspective. Well, actually his seminal post on The Swedish A-Traktor isn’t strictly about Volvos, although PVs were one of the most common of the genre.
This Falcon wagon caught Ingvar’s eye; he said it reminded him of home. Well, there’s a lot of American iron over there.
A typical Eugene parking lot for a couple of houses on this gravel cul-de-sac. Three Japanese pickups, one old VW bus, and and a Camry (I think). And a pretty girl with her dog.
Ingvar rather likes these “whales”, especially the early ones with the low rear wheel cutout. I have mixed feelings, but I’m glad there’s still a few around.
We both like these old Tercel wagons. I’m having a brain fart, and can’t place those wheels right now, but one or more of you will.
Nice old yellow Ford pickup! Actually, this is the shade of yellow my truck had originally; it picked up a more intense shade somewhere along the way before I got it. And there’s the ubiquitous Toyota van up there.
The ultimate B-Body wagon.
We had to pay our respects to this long-time curbdweller.
We swung through the recently rejuvenated downtown; after decades of decline the past few years have seen a huge influx of new residents and businesses. As well as a Mercury Topaz. And what’s that yellow thing up ahead?
Another Mini I haven’t seem yet. There’s been a rash of new Mini-inhabitants lately, and I’m not sure what to make of it, except to savor them all.
Time to head out River Road on our pilgrimage. A Subaru XT on the go. And there’s an old yellow Corona sneaking into the shot way back there.
This shop we were driving by specializes in just old diesels, and there’s quite the variety of them. Which means that Winnebago LeSharo RV down there must be one of the few still left with the Renault 21. turbo-diesel. Full story here.
This was the goal of our pilgrimage, to pay our respects to the ultimate Curbside Classic, the shrine of Saint Hot Rod Cadillac of 1950, Series 61 (CC here). Unfortunately, its owner Mike wasn’t around, from the looks of it, he may well have been getting some parts for it.
The Caddy’s patina has come some ways since I shot it five years ago. It sits outside all year in our healing rains, which means no rust, but plenty of patina.
Well, looks like there is a bit of older rust damage on this side by the rear wheel; a few more wet winters outside will take care of that. As we say here: That’ll wash right away.
Let’s peel off another couple of shots in homage. There’s an A-Body across the street, and another pretty woman walking her dog looking our way. I love Eugene.
I didn’t notice her at the time. Who would, when there’s this delectable butt to adore?
Our solemn veneration completed, we head back to downtown. I missed this Jeep wagon on the way out, as it hid behind my A-Pillar just when the shutter went off, and now this time it’s out of focus.
We just had to shoot one more old Mercedes diesel.
Across the street from it sits another former CC, the Isuzu I-Mark diesel. It’s also looking worse for wear, having lost at least two windows. I’m sure the Isuzu dealer will have some in stock.
This is the latest creation of a guy who keeps building all sorts of pedal-powered vehicles. The first was his home on wheels, which I posted back at the site which shall (currently) not be named. Or actually, it can be now again, given the recent changes there at the top. Anyway, he’s built several others since, and this on is big and impressive. I think it’s designed not so much as to haul cargo, but be a platform for a modular living quarter back there, which he builds very lightly out of aluminum framework and foil-faced foam board. To heavy to pedal? Check out the four sets of gears under there. The lowest gear is probably low enough to pull a 50′ semi trailer.
(Update: we have a Celebrity CC find here. Guy Fieri happened to be in town, and was checking out a few local eateries for his Food Network show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”.
Now this isn’t typical Whitaker fare. Original? The cowl-induction hood rules that out, as do the 16″ or 17″ aftermarket Rallye wheels. But then any 1968 Camaro 396 RS/SS convertible is profoundly suspect; it undoubtedly started life as something decidedly more modest, and not in Resale Red.
Ouch! Something fell on the back of this nice’67 Beetle and busted out its rear window. And there’s the Pizza Research Institute. Want a pizza with pear slices for topping? This is where to get it.
We followed this old Celica for several blocks, so we had to honor it too.
We decided to drop in on The Sports Car Shop. I recognize that red Herald; I followed it for about 15-20 miles, out Hwy 99, all the way to its owner’s rural house. The owners bought it new way back in 1962. Its story is here.
Turns out it had a bit of a fire in the engine compartment, but it didn’t cause too much damage and the paint (really) buffed right out again.
Guess which of these two Brit roadsters caught my eye? This is no ordinary MGA, as its knock-off slotted steel wheels make clear.
The Twin Cam engine gave the A a big boost in power, with a full 100 hp, but it was very temperamental and problematic, as well as expensive. It’s issues have long been sorted out, but only 2,111 of these were ever made, which makes them quite rare and expensive.
Ingvar is an XJ-S fan, and had to check out this convertible built by Hess and Eisenhardt. The leaping Jaguar hood ornament is a more recent addition.
This is the first time I’ve ever seen a VW in the showroom, but then it’s a bit special. It’s a 1956, and 100% original.
I’ve always wanted an oval-window Bug, and this one is a time capsule. It was showing some 90k of well-cared for miles on the odometer.
I’ve ruined another Lumix SZ-7, by carrying it in my dirty pants pockets and getting dust in the lens, the result being smudges and focus problems, like this fuzzy shot of the VW’s venerable 36 hp (30 DIN hp) 1192 cc engine. This one’s for Nate. Needs a vintage twin-carb setup and an Abarth exhaust.
A couple of more lust objects, one with an injected four, the other with a four-carb V12. I know which one I’d take.
Or maybe you fancy a 1963 Triumph T-120 650cc Bonneville. Literally like new, as a glance at the odometer will soon prove. And yes, there’s oil in the drip pan.
This Bonneville has covered exactly 847 authenticated miles so far. Did someone scare themselves, and stick it in the garage, never to get back on it again?
This BSA Gold Star big single caught my eye. The precursor to these were first built in 1937, and after the war, the engine went all-alloy. It was built in 348cc and 500cc version, and the larger one could hit 110 mph. In 1956, it dominated the Isle of Man TT.
1963 marked the endo of the Gold Star, when Lucas stopped producing the magneto for it. I’m not sure of the year and size of this one, but it really speaks to me, if not my right foot.
Now this is something really different, a single cylinder Vincent. The Vincent is a legend, thanks to its ultra-fast V-twin bikes that set records and were the fastest bikes to be had.
The 500cc singles were introduced with the 1948 post-war Series C Vincents, and were called Comet and Meteor. It was an effort to survive during the challenging post-war environment, but was not successful. Within a few years, big Vincents would be history.
The Vincents used twin front drum brakes, probably bought from a supplier.
Owner Bob Marcherione showed us around, as shared his latest find: a rare original Abarth crankshaft, for the 750cc Fiat 600-based engines. It’s a jewel, but will not end up a paperweight; it’s going into a 1958 Abarth Zagato that’s being restored.
It’s end up in here, to make the engine all-original.
These splendid little Abarths are a specialty of the Sports Car Shop, and I’ve seen a number of them come through here, and sold to well-heeled buyers, as they’re fetching into the six figures now, thanks to their hand-beaten alloy bodies and all-round superb workmanship.
These are built to the same standards as the contemporary Ferraris and such, in very limited quantities, which explains their collectability and value.
On the way out, we had to take in this little Bantam “cute ute”, a cartoonish vehicle if ever there was one. Goofy needs to be behind the wheel.
Across the street from the Sports Car Shop sat this slightly ratty Chevelle Malibu coupe, and it made a fitting contrast to what we had been immersed in. Welcome back to the real world!
Enough of cars for one day; Ingvar and I have other interests too, including architecture and old houses. And an early morning flight the next day kept us from staying up late.
So how does one score a visit to the Hotel Curbsidelandia? If you’ve written at least five or more posts, you’ve got a free pass (airfare not included). Since we can’t afford to pay our writers, that’s the least we can do.