To me, nothing says “The Holidays” like getting in the car and going somewhere. This year, between Christmas and New Year’s, I decided to take in Humboldt County, a part of California I had never seen. Here are some of the classics I saw along the way.
Since the regional economy was historically based primarily on logging and fishing, I thought I’d be in for an endless stream of working old pickup trucks and nothing else. My first morning didn’t disappoint, thanks to this Eisenhower-era Ford F-series getting coffee in Old Town Eureka. But I shouldn’t stereotype so readily.
I guess there’s no place in the world where the 1962 Cadillac is not beloved, and it made me wish that I had made a more specific “I want a 1962 Cadillac for Christmas” wish. Come to think of it, I’d be hard pressed to turn down the rusty ’61 Corvair Coupe behind it. For the price of a new MacBook I could have a fun 24 Hours of LeMons racer.
Not a Corvair or Cadillac fan? There’s no shortage of random vintage General Motors iron spread around the Buy Here, Pay Here lots of Eureka! I don’t know how much this Wildcat coupe was going for, but it had what appeared to be a functioning CB radio to go with its Earl Scheib respray.
I say “Earl Scheib Respray” because when I attempted this night shot, I noticed that the fake louvers on the passenger side were were black and chrome. As you can see, the louvers on the driver’s side appear to have been painted over. I didn’t go on the lot to inspect how much rust this cheap paint job was covering up.
Such was a common theme among the classics scattered around. While our lead Continental would be the equivalent of the perfectly preserved Carson Mansion, all the other cars were a little bit tattered around the edges and worn, much like the everyday Victorian homes people actually live in around Eureka. The fact that Humboldt County is one of the wettest parts of California doesn’t help either.
Since it was the week after Christmas, many classics stayed securely locked behind showroom glass. This 1958 Squarebird shared space with a host of other classics either receiving care or seeking sanctuary from the humidity.
We’ll finish our tour of Eureka with a fittingly green Coupe DeVille–a nod to both the green of the Redwoods and that “other” plant the North Coast is so famous for. Here’s hoping all of my fellow curbsiders have a great time spotting and chronicling the rides of yesteryear on our streets throughout the New Year.