Storage Lot Classics / Multiple CCs: A Flotilla Of Dead Land Yachts (And A Couple Of Hondas)

Today is my birthday, so to celebrate this momentous occasion with an appropriately outstanding post, let’s ogle at a treasure cove full of mostly ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s rusty American land yachts I discovered recently. Without further ado, let us take a deep breath and dive straight on in. These are more or less arranged as I discovered them, from right to left and front to rear.

I‘m finding it difficult to narrow down this Lincoln Continental Mark IV, probably because of its generous width, to anything more precise than 1974-76. Quite the appetizer, isn’t it? Leave plenty of room for the rest, the pickings were rich.

An early C4 Corvette (1984-88 ish?) – not quite as sexy as the huge Conti Mark IV, but at least it’s not rusting (well, not noticeably).

This positively gargantuan 1973 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham still has license plates and looks pretty damn good, save for those huge yellow fog lamps. This was the sole Cadillac of the lot. It had quite a presence, though it was more than matched by its immediate neighbour (see below).

Equally Rubenesque and equally from 1973, this Continental sedan was even more impressive than the Fleetwood. The two-tone green helped, but it really was the overall design that seemed more attractive than the Cadillac, especially up front. My only question: What’s up with those exhausts?

These Cougars are not the best of the breed, to coin an understatement. I think this is a ’78, but I may be off by a year or two. Just plain Malaise, like a Continental Mark IV gone even squarer.

This caused a bit of head-scratching, because I knew this was an El Camino, but the face was wrong. That’s because I had forgotten about the 1983-87 El Camino SS, with that “aerodynamic” front end and all. The license plate makes this a period import, too.

One of the 7181 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale drop-tops made in 1975 was at the very back of the lot, somewhat in the weeds. This was the last open-air Olds ever made. Quite a vision, though not exactly beautiful.

Another Mark IV Coupe was sat next to the Olds convertible. I was not able to reach the GM sedan seen in the back, but then it was one of the least interesting vehicles in the yard by a long shot.

Moving back to the front of the lot, things got even more interesting, dipping into the ‘60s. But before we do that, there was this incongruously curvaceous blob of a 1995-99 Olds Aurora. Given the styling of most of this storage lot’s inhabitants, this one looked like a fish (or some kind of squinty-eyed amphibian) out of water.

“But where are the Buicks?” I hear you cry. Calm down, calm down. Here’s a perennial favourite – a 1963 Riviera. Or what remains of it. That interior is (was) one of the classiest of the decade.

Not far from it sat this ’66 Riviera – if I had to pick between this and the 1963-65 variant, I would probably have far more money than sense. But I still wouldn’t know which one to pick. They’re both so great in their own way!

The lone Pontiac of the yard was not your usual Firebird, but a 1964 Catalina Ventura hardtop coupe. Positively scrumptious.

And we close with another red Corvette, this time a weird two-tone late model (circa 1980?) C3 T-top. When I say “we close,” I mean that’s it for the Detroit stuff. There were two little Honda keis in this yard that we will take a gander at now, because they’re worth it and because when in Japan…

First is this frighteningly yellow LN III 360 Deluxe wagon made in 1970 or 1971. This was the last development of the N360, Honda’s first kei car.

These are FWD with an air-cooled 354cc OHC twin – quite sophisticated, for a kei car of that era.

This, however, is a genuine rarity. I give you the remains of one of the 2500-odd Honda Vamos …er… trucks? Hard to define these. They were made from 1970 to 1973, using the TN360 kei truck chassis.

The engine is identical to the one used in the yellow LN III van (air-cooled 354cc OHC twin, 31hp), but mid-engined / RWD. This has to be among the top five coolest JDM vehicles ever made, and about as different from a Detroit land yacht as anything one could ever conjure up. Here’s hoping I can find one in decent nick to give this unique contraption the CC post it so richly deserves.

So that’s it for the T87 birthday special. Hope you liked your present, especially CC’s original Tokyo correspondent, Jim Brophy. That Lincoln you’ve been dreaming of all these years might be in north Tokyo, Jim. Just needs a little TLC. Apologies for you AMC fans and Mopar maniacs – this was strictly a Big Two thing – plus that pair of Hondas. My personal pick of this lot, aside from the Vamos, might be the Catalina. Or the green Continental. Or one of those Rivieras…