Puttering Around Town On A Saturday Morning

There are few things in life quite as refreshing as a Saturday morning in the spring. After a winter of any sort, people are aching to get into the swing of summer.

Enjoying the weather on a recent Saturday, I fired up the trusty ‘93 A-Body Buick for running a few chores around Jefferson City. For a state capital of 40,000 population, and not being served by an interstate, there is a surprising amount of vehicular eye candy to be found.

There were books to return to the library. As I was leaving, a man pulled up in this Ford Tempo. This did prompt thoughts of my dad’s white ’88 Tempo two-door and my sister’s red ’92 that she rolled.

After running onto a few side streets looking for a particular Mopar, I stumbled upon the frequently absent cousin to my Century. There in all its well-worn glory was a Pontiac 6000.

I snap a picture then turn around to get one from the other angle.

My mission wasn’t over as I had spotted the Mopar prey a few days ago from the highway. After crawling slowly over several hills, I find my target. It’s a silver Dodge Diplomat, one of the too few Mopar M-Bodies that remain.

Looking at the car, it obviously hasn’t moved in some time. The interior is full of plastic tarps and various items. The license plates are the last generation Missouri plates that quit being used in 2007 or 2008. Rust was not frequently seen on M-Bodies in this part of the country and the body is straight.

Snapping another picture of the Diplomat, a highly under-appreciated car, I head off toward the hardware store for a bag of topsoil, thinking of the ’86 Plymouth Gran Fury I used to own. That was a great car.

Somewhat along the way (well, a guy does have to go on snooping scouting missions when he contributes to a website), I spy something unique down the hill and behind a house. A quick trip around the block and through an alley gives a better answer.

While not a particular fan of MGs or small cars in general, I find a collection of them, offering parts or awaiting restoration. I’m not sure which.

A friend of my father’s used to own an MG. He later owned a Mazda Miata that I drove exactly once. Its diminutive stature scared the bejesus out of me when amongst the trucks on I-44.

Aiming for the topsoil again I spotted this yellow ’81 Fairmont in front of an antique store. This seemed rather appropriate as it is now in its 30’s.

About a year ago, I spoke to the owner of an ’80 Fairmont. His sedan was factory black with a 2.3 liter four-cylinder backed by a four-speed manual transmission. He claimed to routinely realize 30 miles per gallon.

No sooner had I taken the pictures of the Fairmont than I see another Ford Tempo. And it’s another two door to boot. Wearing no plates, the old girl has mingled a little too much with salt and much too little with car washes.

I drive on up the boulevard toward the hardware store to grab the $1 bag of topsoil the wife desired.

My biggest desire was to see the ’78 Mercury Marquis at the used car dealer. Something about that car really speaks to me. Sadly, the 16,000 mile gem wasn’t there, so I had to fantasize.

If I had money and space, I think I would be Broughamiscuous.

The hardware store is the same store where I have seen the twin to my Buick Century. It, too, wasn’t there. However, the little number below was.

Not being familiar with Triumphs [ED: It’s a 1962-67 Mark I or Mark II Spitfire], I snap a few more pictures. When I return, the owner is placing his newly purchased potted plants in the front seat.

I will be covering a lot of territory this week. Life is good.