Sometimes I wish I could stop time – like when I see an interesting car, but only have time to snap a picture or two. This happens rather often, and in looking back through my photo archives, it seems a shame not to give these cars the attention they deserve. So let’s look back over some random finds from the past year or so.
Interesting cars tend to sneak up unexpectedly, such as when I saw this 1973 Plymouth Valiant darting around Newark, Delaware.
Judging by its condition, this is likely a daily driver, and judging by how it porpoised over bumps, it is in need of suspension work. But the fact that it’s still on the road speaks volumes to the nearly indestructible nature of its mechanicals. Interestingly, this wasn’t the only Mopar product its era I’ve seen driving around recently.
This 1975 Dart appeared to be in similar well-driven-yet-solid condition. While parked in this picture, this Dodge does move around quite a bit. Six months after I saw it parked curbside…
…I found it again, but 11 miles away and in a parking lot.
Unlike the Valiant and Dart above, this 1971 Plymouth Satellite Sebring – looked virtually showroom new. The picture quality isn’t the best, but given the likelihood of seeing other example of this car on the road, it’s worth posting here.
Now onto some Fords, such as this 1969 Falcon.
And this 1982 Granada. If there were was prize for the most easily forgotten Ford of the 1980s, the 1981-82 Fox-based Granada would be a top contender. I’d love to catch up with this car again and do a full write-up on it.
Then we have an LTD II. When this appeared driving through a construction zone on a blustery November day, I was immediately transported back to another decade – since it’s probably been a decade or more since I’ve seen an LTD II roaming the earth.
Tempos are still relatively common, but most are living out their final days as beaters. This 1991 GL sedan, however, looks like it forgot to age over the last two-and-a-half decades. This must be one of the nicest examples left.
Let’s move onto Cadillacs, such as this 1966 Coupe deVille. If I were to pick Cadillac’s design pinnacle, it would be this particular car – a grand enough design that it even looks spectacular in white.
Fast forwarding six years, we have this 1972 Coupe deVIlle. Not quite as splendorous looking, but I wouldn’t exactly kick it out of my garage.
Here’s a view of the rear. The red paint with contrasting white roof and interior was likely a common Cadillac choice…
…and it was still popular eight years later. This 1980 Fleetwood Brougham d’Elegance completes our tour of three decades of Cadillac Coupes.
But not our tour of Cadillacs. Despite widespread criticism of their styling, I’m still a fan of bustleback Sevilles, and this is the only one I’ve seen recently. It was joined in this picture by a 1977-78 Pontiac Firebird Formula. I promise this picture was not taken 30 years ago and was not at a car show – just an everyday scene from small-town Missouri.
Chevrolet Celebrities seem to be a feast-or-famine sighting for me. It seems like years go by without seeing one, and then I have seasons like this past spring, when I saw this well-kempt 1986 Celebrity…
…followed a few weeks later by this well-used 1989 model. Maybe in this coming year, I’ll have similar luck with Pontiac 6000s, which have eluded me for years.
Speaking of GM sedans of the ‘80s and ‘90s, this 1991 Buick Skylark was cruising down a soggy highway, showing off the fact that all of its numerous tail lights were in working order.
Not all of my random sightings this past year were of domestic cars. This 1982 Toyota Tercel looks like it just drove off a college campus in about 1995. This car is even replete with a fake Mercedes-Benz hood ornament.
In slightly different condition was this 1970 Volkswagen Squareback – carrying a full load and driving down an Interstate on a June morning.
At the opposite extreme of the VW spectrum was this 2006 Phaeton. As I drove by this car, it occurred to me that I never remembered seeing one before. Or, maybe I have, but might have assumed it was a Passat.
And finally, what is probably the rarest of all of these random sightings – an Opel Manta. This car was parked at a service station at the time, though few months later I did see it driving around. Or maybe it was another orange-red Manta… oh, probably not.
All in all, it’s been a good year for car sightings. Maybe in 2018 I’ll come across some of these cars again, or perhaps even something rarer than a ’71 Sebring or an Opel Manta. And if I figure out a way to stop time, I’ll be sure to let you know.