Pranked: In the College Parking Lot, 1986


Engineering school, 1986: Somebody pranked one of my classmates by wrapping his MGB with the innards of a cassette tape. I found it hilarious enough then to photograph it. But what’s compelling about the photos now is all the cars that surround it.


A college campus can be fertile Curbside Classic hunting ground, at least for cars 10 to 20 years old. Cars Mom or Grandma used to drive but handed down to the college bound. Cars that a high-schooler bought, thanks to a part-time job at Mickey D’s. The neighboring Chevette and Mustang II could have come from either source. I see a Ford Elite back there – probably from Grandma. I also see a Celica and an Omnirizon. Do you see anything I’ve missed?


But back to this MGB. Notice its license plate. This photo was taken in Terre Haute, Indiana, meaning this little car made the trip from Miami, Florida, some 1,200 miles. That’s about 17 hours of butt in low-slung seat. Sounds like a punishing trip.