Every anonymous car on the street has a backstory, and sleuthing it out can be part of the fun. Especially if you’re already into British mysteries and cop shows. Sometimes the clues are obvious, like parking permits, bumper stickers, or dealership badges. Other times you just have to MSU. So, since every old car has a past life, let’s look at the faux pedigrees of three.
This ’90s Nissan Sentra GXE looks like it has been sitting at the bottom of an aquarium. I don’t think it originally came in that shade of lavender, but the moss and lichens actually seem to work with that color. Judging by the tabs, this thing has not been running in over a year. But that doesn’t matter!
This Nissan is serving its purpose as a makeshift billboard, admonishing passersby to “Question Authority,” “Do Small Things with Great Love,” and “Think Good Thoughts.” Admirable sentiments all. The “HPU” sticker on the rear window could mean this Sentra was once on the Island of Oahu, where the driver attended Hawaii Pacific University (most likely as a Poli-Sci major with a minor in Social Work…). Maybe, with a little bleach…
This mid-’90s Nissan D-21 Hardbody is a long, long way from its original showroom. The dealership badge is for Pete Moore Chevy Geo in Pensacola, F-L-A. How this nice little ext-cab ended up in the “Fourth Corner” is anybody’s guess. The guy who bought it new was probably a flyboy from Naval Air Station Pensacola who got transferred to NAS Whidbey, just down the road from here. After retiring from the military, he moved out of Oak Harbor and found a sleepy little house in Whatcom County, far from the drone of the Growlers and Super Hornets.
When the second clutch started giving out on the Hardbody, he parked it for good, right in front of the house. Every once in a while, a kid knocks on the front door to ask if the truck is for sale. Flyboy, who is totally deaf now, always says “no.”
I’m finishing off with the ’80s Dodge Ram Van since I know J P C likes ’em. This Ram 350 was once owned by the US Forest Service, whose door signage is still visible in the right light. For the sake of the story, let’s say this Ram Van was stationed near the Columbia River in Southwest Washington, where the ranger driving it somehow became obsessed with finding evidence that D.B. Cooper really did jump out of a hijacked jetliner in 1971 (on a flight between Seattle and Portland). Bundles of cash had turned up in a nearby drainage creek, which drove him to seek out more clues. Finding nothing, the ranger started tracking Sasquatch instead.
When the contractor who presently owns the van bought it at a state surplus sale in Olympia, the only thing he found in the cargo area was a magnifying glass and a plaster-cast print of Bigfoot.
If you fell for any of these schlocky stories, then you might also believe in the guy at the end of these colored eggs.
Now do you believe?