Dealer Classics: Eclectic Mix


Last summer I made a trip to Spokane for Hoopfest, which is where I found the little (big) red wagon. Hoopfest, the largest street basketball gathering in the world, was naturally quite crowded. The person who had arranged for us to demonstrate our robots there had also arranged a place where we could park for free. Since it was unfortunately quite a bit away from the action, I had a bit of a walk after parking the car. Along the way I came across this lower-tier dealer/repair shop which, at first glance, had some fairly ordinary cars on its front line: Chevy, Ford, VW, Toyota, Subaru, Alfa…..


Wait– an Alfa? Sure enough. Between those lesser American brands sat an Alfa 164. But what’s that hiding behind the Alfa?

Second-gen Camaro, 60’s Mopar, Nova, Luv, Foxstang and Cadillac…but what about that truck next to the Stang?

A Toyota Stout! When is the last time you saw one of those? And next to that was a Torino wagon.

Sitting all by itself among the scrap is that most feminine of trucks, a Ford unibody–but what could be poking its nose into the picture?

Nope, it’s not a Monza but an Oldsmobile Starfire, its look-alike corporate cousin.

The more utilitarian section of the lot contains a couple of 80’s Fords, a pickup and a Bronco, flanking an Astro.

And how about the rigs you can see above the main lot: A late 60’s/early 70’s GMC pickup, an F-600 wrecker, a Mark VI,  and Isuzu and Hyundai SUVs. Presumably that new F-150 belongs to someone else in search of free parking.

A shot from another angle provides a front view of the Mopar and Nova, a business-end view of the LUV, and a look at a couple more Europeans, a Saab and an Audi; at least the Alfa doesn’t have to feel all alone among the pedestrian brands. There’s also a boat here, just in case you need water transport instead.


A shot from the back side of that upper storage lot reveals a Celica Supra and the front of another H-body, this one the Monza that shares the lead picture with a last-gen Comet, a Neon and an Explorer Sport.

A number of vehicles represented here have virtually disappeared from the streets; today, some of them not only qualify as being desirable, but as genuine CCs as well. Seemingly every decade since the 60’s is represented here, as well are most mainstream manufacturers save two; conspicuously absent are Honda and Nissan/Datsun.

Now, many of these cars look like they’ve been here a long, long time and probably haven’t moved since their arrival. So I decided to practice my Google fu to see what street view could tell me. Here’s a shot from Aug 2011, less than a year earlier. While you can see a number of the same suspects here, only a handful haven’t moved in the past year; what’s more, this front line is entirely different, and actually a little more modern than in the shots I took  in July 2012.

Apparently the Mustang was moved back a row and the Nova had a buddy. Out in back, the Comet, Monza and Celica seem to be in the same place, but the Mark, Chevy Pickup and tow truck were moved  but are still banished to the back 40. For a bonus CC, zoom in on the name of the establishment, then do a little Google fu and “walk” around to the right.

So which one would you want to take home? Personally, I’d take home that most feminine unibody Ford truck, simply for its uniqueness. What can I say? I like how they look lowered, something that can be done pretty cheaply and easily using a post-’03 Panther front cross-member and a MN12 IRS.