Late last fall, I finally decided to reclaim the third spot in my garage and banished our pop-up camper to a gated storage lot in town in exchange for a monthly fee of $25. Having switched credit cards I visited today to make sure that the camper was in fact still there and to give them the new card information. Upon arrival, I saw our camper but not the attendant, so I decided to take a stroll through the lot with my camera.
Besides campers and boats, some people have decided to park their (presumably extra) vehicles in this lot and I was surprised at the variety of not just vehicles, but also the state that some were in and that people seem willing to pay the fees. These cars all seem to be waiting for the day when their owners come back to take them home . Without further ado, please join me on my stroll…
Our first sighting is this Fiero 2M4. Judging by the bumpers and the oh-not-so-sporty plastic hubcaps, this appears to be one of the later models.
The paint has faded from it’s original golden hue to more of a white gold, at least it’s uniform and the plastic panels appear to be in good condition.
Speaking of condition, the interior is virtually immaculate with the exception of the center console skin which looks like it is trying to escape its attachment points and take some kind of round form. I think the last time I saw tan seats in a Fiero that were this clean, the car was still in the showroom.
Here is a stately lady, resting in the shade of a tree that may have been here for less time than the car.
A 280SE with automatic but alas, not a 4.5liter model. I’ve always been a fan of these and could certainly see myself tooling around town in one. Not this one, however, as I fear the years of rest have done it no favors.
Just behind the Mercedes are not one, but two Javelins. No doubt our man from Kenosha, 64bler, can clue us in on the year(s) and other interesting details.
The green one is an SST version. The blue one looks sportier but I’m no expert on Javelins.
Just off to the side is a Suburban, packed to the gills with someone’s treasures, this one has Historic Vehicle plates, so maybe it sees the outside of the storage lot occasionally.
The barn doors on the back are cool and I know these came in a variety of two-tone schemes but I don’t think I have seen metallic green over white before. No matching plate on the back though, so maybe this one doesn’t ever leave after all.
I believe this is a Chrysler Windsor, dating to 1961. I have no idea what is in that trunk and didn’t really want to get any closer to find out.
Actually here is another one in a different color.
And right in front of that a Plymouth. Someone is going to have to chime in with the year and model on this one though.
However it’s not just old cars. Turning around I saw a Corvette with its top down, which I thought foolish given the clouds on the horizon.
As I got closer I realized it wasn’t in as good a shape as it appeared at first glance. Looks like the hood is gone.
Oh, not just the hood, also the interior! I can’t even begin to imagine what happened here. Stolen and stripped maybe?
Coming around the front, it’s obvious something major is missing. As is the windshield. I have no idea why someone would pay to store this here. Just to the right is a Cherokee Sport with Wyoming plates and a driver’s door latch that has seen better days.
Another (final) view of this Corvette. It was interesting to be able to see the frame so clearly.
Here are a coupe of Firebirds. The orange one looks to be a 1970 with a natural racing stripe borne of exposure to the elements…
…and the white one is a 1975 Trans Am as far as I can tell with what may be a bullethole right in front of the driver’s position. It’s still the Wild West out here sometimes.
Here is the oddest duck in the lot, a Wildfire WF-650T. Apparently it is powered by a 650cc four-stroke twin engine. It was built in China and sold by Wildfire Motors Corporation of Ohio. I don’t know anything about the pink trailer.
Not surprisingly it does not carry a license plate. In 2013 the US EPA withdrew its certification of all Wildfire vehicles citing falsified certification information. I’m just amazed that people actually buy this kind of stuff. How is this appealing? This may be one of the few motor vehicles that I have trouble finding a redeeming feature for.
Here’s one for the truck fans! A Ford with TWO V-8 logos inches apart on the front. Sporting collector plates, this looks like it sees somewhat regular (or irregular) use and with not a huge amount of effort expended would be too nice to store outside.
Alas, besides the Corvette this was probably the sportiest car I spotted in the lot, a Porsche 914 with an unfortunate fiberglass front bumper. I do like the wheels on this one, they are made by Mahle (of piston fame although they make all kinds of stuff including oil filters).
Montana plates. I don’t know if that would be a fun trip down here or not in this car. At this point it’s sitting here waiting to appreciate. It looks fairly complete, some paint and new bumpers would do a lot for it. Sitting in the weeds though can’t be doing the undersides much good.
Another Ford truck, a 1963 F100 if I am interpreting the grille correctly. The cap on the back is sort of interesting in that it doesn’t have any side windows.
And here’s an Impala convertible waiting for its turn to rise again. The top looks in good shape but the wheels are mismatched and the paint obviously needs help. This is one of the few cars that was parked head-in which really means nothing but made it stand out more.
I believe this is a 1981 Jeep Cherokee. It looks more or less ready to go, and is from right before the new smaller Cherokee came out and set the sales charts on fire back in the early 80’s.
There appears to be an all-Jeep junkyard in my town, I drive by it every now and again, I really should try to find the time to see if I can walk around there as well.
This is just a sad, sad, sad little 190E. Obviously neglected and probably too far gone to economically be brought back to life, I can’t figure why people would pay money to keep this in storage.
It looks a lot better from this angle but believe me, the camera is flattering this car. Still, a 190E 2.3 was a fine car in its day and could easily still be running around today if kept maintained.
It seems to be Ford Truck day today with yet another one, this time an F100 Ranger from either 1968 or 1969. Great color combination on this one, I could probably enjoy this truck myself.
Here is the other car that was parked head-in, a VW 1300 Beetle. I love the rack on top but will have to wait for Ed or Adam to chime in as to what year this one is.
It has a little bit of the “Cal-Bug” look going on with the reverse-popped engine cover and sort of looks like an on-again, off-again project. It needs help but isn’t too far gone yet.
Hey, you don’t see many of these original Nissan Pathfinder 3-doors anymore! This was a bit of a surprise. The paint is severely chalked on this one but it looks complete except for the side view mirror.
Inside it looks in remarkably good condition. The higher-end Japanese cars of the 80’s really did seem to use fairly decent materials. Of course a lot is shared with the humble Nissan pickup but that seat material looks very plush and the plastics, while being, uh, plasticky, do their job well.
And the back view with the common-to-the-era swingaway spare tire carrier. What a pain those things were, doubly so on these, being mounted curbside and thus getting in the way every time. Those wheels (on the truck, not the spare) are one of my favorite wheels of the era, they look so strong and really match the character of the truck.
This MG is probably only lightly less sporty than the 914 we saw earlier. Actually I take that back, when these got the rubber bumpers and the increased ride height to go with it, they kind of lost all of their sportiness and were left with British charm and a large dollop of character. That top isn’t going to do much to keep the weather out but the body appears to be in okay shape.
A little bit of damage to the front of the hood, but otherwise decent. At this altitude it can’t be a lot of fun to drive, which may be why it’s here…
Well, looky here, a far more dignified Brit, this time an early Jaguar XJ6 with a remarkable Historic Vehicle plate in that it calls out not just one, but two other British staples!
This one’s kind of a shame to park outdoors, blue isn’t usually a color I associate with Jaguars but it works on this one.
Early 300ZX’s are getting fairly thin on the ground, this one doesn’t do much for me, slight body damage on the front corner, and badly faded paint along with T-tops make me think of Elvis in the 70’s. Unlike Elvis though, the 300ZX came back to vehicular glory just a few years later, only to sort of slide back down once again.
These are getting rare as well, at least without being “tuned” and driven completely sideways. Rust is nibbling away at this Nissan 240SX, with its Minnesota plates it likely belongs to a college student that perhaps brought it here on a one-way trip…
I like this Dodge Coronet, great design, lots of presence. I always image a man with a hat and a pipe driving these back in the day. The color is not very exciting but it works on this one, even though there are at least three different shades in evidence just on this side…
Finally a truck that’s not a Ford, this one’s a Dodge. The patina looks authentic but maybe there’s just a good patina guy in town.
It looks good from the back as well, and there is another wheel with a perfect hubcap in the bed.
Another one from the Patina Collection, this time a Tri-5 Chevy, but I’m too young to identify it for sure.
Oh yes, gotta have an S-Class as well, a 450SE in this case. This one looks like it was ridden hard and put away wet.
The silver is rare, usually they all seem to be that copper color and some in blue. The wheels are from a later model and at least it doesn’t have the chrome “chicken lips” on the wheel arches but again, the camera is making it look better than it really is.
This one is beyond me. I’m going to say Mopar but it could be a Chevy. I don’t think it’s a Ford. I know most of you will know what it is immediately.
It even comes with a spare front end and suspension.
Of course there is a Volvo 240, this time a luxurious GL model. Tom Klockau would be all over this. I don’t think I’ve seen another in this brown color, it appears to be original paint though.
Some of these cars look like they’ve been here a long time, when I looked at the back of this one I saw that it has a dealer badge from Littleton (about an hour South) on it but then I glimpsed the registration sticker as well.
Last registered in 2002. Off the road for thirteen years now. I wonder what its issue is (besides the tail light).
However the Volvo does not take the verfiable longest-off-the-road title. No Sir, that honor belongs to this Chevy (II) Nova. As I sit here I can’t recall if those weeds are trying to grow into the car or out of the car (it could be both) but this car was in the far corner of the lot.
Last registered in 1982. And parked head in.
Thanks for joining me on our stroll, time to see if the man has returned and give him my new credit card number.