We moved to our current town about seven years ago, shortly before I discovered Curbside Classic. Our previous 20+ years in Silicon Valley suburbia had been good for spotting the latest exotica, and at some point it seemed that Tesla Roadsters were more common than late-model Cadillacs, but all-in-all it wasn’t great for CC’s. Our neighborhood there didn’t even have curbs or sidewalks. But here it’s quite different, though only 40 miles away. After enjoying CC Outtakes from Eugene, Portland, South Africa, Australia, the Midwest and Berlin, I thought I’d share some of what I see here every day.
I took these pictures over the last six or seven years, all within a one or two mile radius of our house. A few cars are presumably on their way to or from local car shows, but all were true curbside or parking lot finds, plus a handful of traffic and gas station shots. The Lincoln-Mercury trio in the lead photo is now gone, when the house where they parked was sold a few years ago. In addition to this trio, there was an older Chrysler and a Peugeot 403 in the driveway, and after a few years the Dearborn crew was joined by a pre-Colonnade El Camino. All the curbside cars were regular drivers.
The Valiant and Prius pairing shown above has been in the ‘hood for quite a few years now; I saw them just this morning. Directly across the street was another Gen2 Prius plus partner, this time an Alfa 164.
Interesting cars here often cluster together, as off-street parking is cramped with our small lot sizes, and who has only one interesting car? This Chevy and Chrysler duo didn’t seem to move much over a few years. and is gone now. Yes, the Chrysler is touching the pavement.
This location always has something interesting, usually lifted.
The next shot was taken in the same block, a few years later.
T2 Volkswagens are quite common here, and following behind it but backing off to allow the Jeep Patriot to squeeze in, is one of several VW Things I see around town.
More step side pickups, both through-the-windshield shots, International and Ford. The beds may be small, but the low bedrail height and resulting access makes these look very useful. And both had cargo in the beds, the IH in particular looking like it was heading to work for a living. Newer model domestic pickups are also very common here, up to the latest chrome-laden $60,000 rigs, but the Toyota Tacoma may be the most common single nameplate on our streets.
Taken by themselves, these three trucks aren’t particularly interesting, but together, this lineup of old Hardbody Nissan, new GMC Canyon, and older S10 or Sonoma highlights how “compact” pickups have grown. Back in 1986 the King Cab Hardbody seemed very spacious compared to the first few generations of Datsun pickups. Now it looks tiny.
This picture is for Paul. In case you’ve never removed your front bumper, here’s what’s behind it. I presume the impact beam is missing, and does that look like an aftermarket cold air intake on the driver’s side?
I’ll switch gears now, as it were, and show some EV shots. Nothing exotic here … the Tesla Model 3 is quickly becoming an everyday sight. But this one is the first I had seen curbside.
This group is parked in the lot at a local environmental non-profit group. The Leaf and Volt are also not exotic, but I don’t see many electric Smart Cars. And the one at the end is a Think City. Before we moved here, a local Hertz agency co-located at a large hotel had several of these on the lot, I believe both for short-term rental and leasing. Think was a Norwegian company, bought by Ford. Like the GM EV1, the Think came, and I thought went. This was the first one I had seen in many years, so maybe Ford didn’t recall and destroy them like GM did with the EV1.
Another short-lived EV was the Canadian Zenn, itself based on the French Microcar. I think I’ve actually seen two around town, but not for a while now.
I’ll wrap up with some eye-catching camping rigs. The first is an 80-series Toyota Land Cruiser, with a Sunrader camper more commonly seen fitted to Toyota pickup chassis cabs. I believe the 80-series was offered as a chassis cab in Australia and South Africa, for this application, but here in the US it has to have been homemade. If the snorkel doesn’t allow a deep water crossing, I guess it will be time to deploy that inflatable boat on the front cargo rack.
I see roof top tents now on everything from giant overlanding trucks and SUV’s to Subaru Crosstreks, and even Minis. But those are usually lighter and more aerodynamic than this Suburban home on wheels. I’m impressed it made it here from Tennessee without the roof blowing off.
Finally, an outstanding Bus Stop Classic, a Flxble bus converted into a motorhome.