CC’s Under My Nose: Neighborhood Walkabout


Paul and other contributors in various parts of the country with more car-friendly climates have no shortage of great CCs that end up here. I was in northern California recently and was astounded at the old metal people were driving around and was continuously rubberneckin’ to check them out. I loved it! Here in southeast Michigan, the climate and third-world quality road lay waste to cars pretty fast. It’s rare to find a 15-20 year car on the road or in driveable condition, summer cars or collectibles excepted. I found however that CCs are right under your nose, if only you take the time to look.

I’m a washed up ex-distance runner, and nowadays I walk a lot more with my wife than run, and it’s wonderful we have that time together. It gives me the opportunity to be a bit more observant about my surroundings than trying to lay down 7-minute miles, and I decided to start snapping.  Thus, I could not believe my eyes when I stumbled upon this Neoclassic about a mile from me. Cannot say I am a fan of this particular species. I don’t know what the appeal is but, hey, I am a firm believer that to each his/her own. They became popular in the 70s and a chassis and engines from various sources could be found underneath. Quick online research shows that there still is a market for buying and selling of these sort of cars. Sorry, I couldn’t get to close to this one as the owners were out… I apologize for the grainy photo.

Now here’s something I can get behind, especially as the owner of a quirky European car myself. An Americanized version of the quite successful European Ford Scorpio, it was sold here as the Merkur Scorpio from 1985-1989 with limited sales success. I asked permission to take a picture  from the very gentlemanly and friendly owner, who was doing yard work and cited what great drivers they were (when running right), and asked about parts availability for my Saturn Astra. Way tougher for him than for me at this point I’m sure.  But it gets better: he actually has a second Scorpio in the garage!

These twins are owned by the same owner, of that I’m almost certain, but they couldn’t be more different. I estimate the Escort at an 1986-1990 and it is in beautiful shape. It was a far better car than the dismal 1985 Escort I owned briefly in 1995-1996.  I would put this Buick somewhere between 1973 to 1976, and I didn’t think to catch the nameplate to see if it’s a LeSabre, Electra, etc. This one is in much rougher shape, but it must run well enough to move it now and again, and had valid plate tags. Wish I knew what the story was here.

This fellow has triplets!  How is that for devotion to F-bodies? As the owner of a Camaro I can relate, and I do have a soft spot for these as well.  A car for which I was the target demographic for half a life ago, but I couldn’t afford to buy, much less insure. I wonder what the plan is for these, unless they are doners for something really special behind that closed garage door. All three bodily at least look pretty solid and are Z-28’s  Off in the distance is a pretty crusty perhaps early-to-mid-1980s F-100 Ford. I’m not sure if it’s a runner.

I’ve been walking/running/cycling past this spot for a number of years and this Class A RV (make/model unknown) has always been wasting away and sunk up to its hubs. They say for some people with boats, RVs and other big boy toys, the best two days of ownership are the days you buy em’ and the day you sell em’.

It is hard to believe the PT Cruiser had a nine-year production run, from 2000 to 2009.  In these parts at least, these things were selling like hotcakes when they first came out.  Then or now, I cannot understand why, except for the obvious utility of the hatchback and comfortable driving position. Yet, Chrysler sold an astounding 1.35 million of these. Then you throw in the similarly styled Chevy HHR, sold from 2005-2011 and add another 500,000 to the retro-mobile tally, and that my friends is a lot of metal. This PT is a pre-2006 facelift model. At least in these parts, they are becoming a rare sight.

Not everyone is a lover of the fourth and fifth (final) generation Seville, made from 1992-2004. I personally liked the lines on these and think they’ve aged well.  Nevertheless, this one, which I believe is a lower trim SLS version, is in super nice shape and is definitely somebody’s baby.