CC Feature: A Downtown Davenport Sojourn – Something For Everyone

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On the first Sunday in March, I decided to venture across the river to see what CCs I could find. I had two specifically in mind: 1966 and 1976 Olds Ninety-Eights, both white, that sat side-by-side on a used-car lot. Alas, I had waited too long and they were gone. But never fear, folks, because I still managed to find plenty of interesting iron. Let’s go wander…

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First up was a little used-car lot that has been in business for decades. Although the first couple of rows of vehicles change regularly, there’s a wide variety of old-timers out back, including this Land Rover Series hardtop.

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Judging from the dust on the seats, I think it’s been a while since it’s seen the road. It looked remarkably complete, though.

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Behind the Rover were a number of VeeDubs, including a stash of several early Rabbits, two of which were convertibles.

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A TR7/TR8 convertible was also on the lot. It looked pretty good, with decent paint and no visible rust. But since it was sitting on a half-trailer, I assumed it wasn’t a runner.

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One thing I found interesting was the Rexroat Porsche-Audi tag on the back of the nearest Rabbit. Rexroat was a dealer in East Moline that closed its doors in the early ’90s. I remember going there with my dad back in the mid-’80s when I was a kid and seeing 944s and 911s. Dad participated in a few Rexroat-sponsored gymkhanas with his 356 back in the ’70s. The building is still there, but it’s now a tire store.

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I am quite sure this gold land yacht was a 1968 full-size Chevrolet, but I was unable to ID it as an Impala or Caprice. It does have the formal two-door hardtop roof line, though. To its left is what appears to be a 1970-72 Chevelle. There was a lot of snow mounded up (we had gotten 5-7″ of the white stuff the previous Tuesday) and I wasn’t wearing boots, so I’ll have to come back in warmer weather and check some of these cars out.

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I almost didn’t take a picture of this one, but I noticed the alloys and realized it’s a GTI. An ’85, perhaps? I wonder if it is jpcavanaugh’s old VW.

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For those of you more interested in domestic rolling stock, there was a Broughamy LeBaron sedan for sale. Despite some peeling paint, it was complete and in good shape.

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The velour interior was quite nice as well, though I would have preferred leather. As long as it doesn’t have that pesky Ultradrive, it could make a nice work car for someone.

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With its wire wheel covers, landau top and de rigueur chrome luggage rack, this was the über Acclaim. I think these looked nicer in darker colors, though. Nightwatch Blue with blue leather would be very sharp.

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This green Triumph TR7 (CC here) has been a landmark west of downtown for years. My guess is that it sat unsold on the lot so long that the owner decided to turn it into a sign.

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Is it hiding, or spying on passing motorists?

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While it appears to be complete and in reasonably solid shape, it clearly is short an engine, judging from the nose-high stance. You wouldn’t want oil leaking into the building from above, now would you?

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The building must have a stout roof, as the TR has been up there for at least 15 years; I always enjoy seeing it when I am on my way into West Davenport.

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While the number of interesting cars at ground level was a little thin, there was a solid late-’80s Daytona Shelby Z hiding behind a bass boat.

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Other than some surface rust on the roof, it looked pretty good. It even has its original factory alloys.

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In a back yard just a short distance away, I recalled seeing a couple of old cars, including this 1947-49 Studebaker.

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The homeowner must appreciate orphan makes, as there was also a ’60s Scout in residence. There were also a couple of 1949-52 Chevy sedans behind the Cornbinder.

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I wonder if this one was a special edition, since it had what appeared to be factory-applied red rocker-panel striping and a red-and-black IH logo on the tailgate. Then again, they could just be dealer-installed extras. I’m sure Eric Van Buren, our CC Cornbinder expert, can identify the model year and trim level.

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Farther east, I ran across a number of interesting CCs at a little import repair shop. I thought of Paul and his westward-bound A100 van when I saw this ’70s Dodge van with California plates.

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This van looks like it just got time-warped here from about 1974. Seeing a unrusted Mopar van this old in the Quad Cities is rare indeed.

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Inside it was similarly vintage, with the original steering wheel and high-back velour bucket seats. All it needed to be complete was an 8-track radio with CB and the corresponding whip antenna on the back. Breaker breaker, where the hey did all this snow come from?

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Sitting right next to it was this solid (if engine-less) 1960 Ranchero. The custom red-and-white paint is not factory, and reminds me of a ’60s aftermarket custom paint job.

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The interior was also red and white, and looked to need only a good cleaning and a radio to be hospitable for both driver and passenger.

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For the mechanically inclined this Ranchero, with its rust-free CA body, would be a cool project car, . Just drop in a 302 V8 or 300 CID six, add some vintage Keystone or Crager SS wheels and a bit of polish, and you’d be good to go!

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I’m sure Paul will like this one, a late-production W124. As it was backed right up to the fence, I am unsure what is under the hood, but I imagine it is probably a 420E, a circa-1993-95 model judging from the color-keyed bumpers and trim. The alloys are off of a later MB, probably an early Oughts C-Class.

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There was also a very nice ’60s Beetle in residence, probably a customer’s car in for service. I was attracted to its originality. Let’s face it, hopping up and otherwise modifying air-cooled VWs is as common as dropping a 350 Chevy into anything with–or without–wheels.

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Sadly, it was not a sunroof model, but it still made my day to see this little red Vee Dub. There may be a number of old VWs in Eugene but in the Midwest, salt ate most of them and these days they are rarely seen anywhere outside of a VW-specific show.

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Judging from the handicapped license plate and interior accessories, I am going to go out on a limb and say the owner is somebody’s grandma. If so, she is way cooler than the other grandmas with Impalas and Tauruses.

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This Subuirban was another really solid car. I especially liked the Di-Noc wood sides, as most of these had two-tone paint instead. Looks to be about a ’78. And those bumper guards mean business!

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These Suburbans, with a 129.5-inch wheelbase and 219.1-inch overall length  are surprisingly only within a few inches of the current models (at 130 and 222.4 inches, respectively). At the far right, partially hidden by a mound of snow, were an early ’90s Dodge Colt and a Jag XJS coupe.

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In the back corner were this orange Super Beetle and Nash Metropolitan. I think the diminutive Metro is about the only car that can make a VW look big!

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I really liked this E30 325i cabriolet. E30s (’85 318i CC here) are getting thin on the ground around here; but for a white one I see regularly in Rock Island, this is only the second E30 cab I’ve seen in about a year and a half.

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I’ve always liked black with a tan interior, and enthusiasts will like this example all the more for its stick shift. It seems like when new, most were automatic versions driven by country club wives.

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And that, dear readers, is all for today. I did find more CCs on this particular Sunday, but they were over the town line in Bettendorf, so we’ll save them for another day.

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