From the time I began writing for CC I have taken virtually all of my pictures with a cell phone camera. Some of my early efforts were, let’s just say uneven. The upside, however, is that I always have my camera with me. Which comes in handy for catching those CCs we all see out on the road.
These are my favorite kinds of CC sightings – cars that are being used as intended, weather for fun or just basic transportation. After a several year lapse I am back with a 2018 roundup of those fun on-the-road finds.
Like this first one. How do you tell when you get a bad Chevrolet? When it is in jail. It is not actually in jail, but behind a gate at a local post office which I visited in January.
Neither of these is a CC in the strictest sense, but I did get a kick out of the pairing of two vehicles that are very alike yet very different. Seeing a Jeep Wrangler and a Smart For Two together is a rare enough sighting, and to get these in matching colors is extra good.
February found me in Lafayette, Indiana where I got to see this late 80’s Mercury Colony Park in regular service. Lafayette (well, actually West Lafayette, which is just across the river) is the home of Purdue University. This could belong to one of the engineering students there, but I doubt it.
In April I was in Bloomington, Indiana as my youngest child was preparing to be graduated from Indiana University. And what did I spy up ahead . . . . ? Is it . . .
It absolutely is a Packard! And not some crappy low-end Packard, but one of the Money Cars.
I am no great Packard expert, but my guess is that this is a Packard Twelve (Twelve as in cylinders). “Step on it, Jeeves – that guy in the Kia minivan looks suspicious and there could be trouble.”
Back home later in April I was delighted to find this old Mercedes sedan. I doubt that the brown and beige two-tone is original, but it was fun to see in any case.
Back in Bloomington for what may have been one of our last visits after eight uninterrupted years of having a student there, and we see another Grand Marquis. What is it about college towns and Panthers? This sedan looks like one of the earlier versions, certainly before the 1987-ish refresh which softened the corners a bit.
May is when most of the fun stuff is finally out of the winter hibernation that is so necessary in central Indiana. I suspect I am not the only one who, like a hunter, scans the horizon for unique shapes and colors.
I don’t think that is the Mustang convertible I have written up before, those tires look a little aggressive. And someone needs to write the owner a ticket for violating the “rear quarter windows illegally raised when the top is down” law that should exist even if it probably doesn’t.
It is great fun driving a modest little Honda Civic and being able to keep up with one of Honda’s great supercars of the 90’s. There are not a lot of Acura NSXs on the road hereabouts.
There will be no losing the determined guy in the dirty Civic. I can Zoom-Zoom even when I am not in my Mazda. And let’s give a shout-out to owners who help us out in identifying the year and model of their cars. I knew it was an NSX but I would have been stuck on the year.
Not all Through-The-JPC-Windshield-Classics (TM) are moving under their own power. Is it me or does this one bear a resemblance to the famous “Papa John’s” Z-28? And it is always nice to see the appropriate brand of truck doing the pulling.
I finished out May with a trip through a nearby fast foodery and was happy to see one of these old A bodies still earning its keep. These are still amazingly common around here (at least for their age). Some day I will learn to keep my fingers out of the shot.
May closed out with a great scene of one red roadster following another. I will be honest here, I would happily trade the guy in the MGA straight up. But I did not get close enough to make him the offer, or surely we would have immediately swapped keys and titles. Or maybe this is just wishful thinking. Though my Miata starts in wet weather.
Is this not what late spring is all about?
Old Astros are still fairly well represented in these parts too. This one looks exceptionally clean, at least from here.
This next one, however, is not. Even well-camouflaged in its gray coat. The wily hunter fixes his sight on the elusive Granada.
The rare 2-door, yet. Strangely, as rusty as this car is on its lower edges, it does not display the common hole up under the opera window, one of the oddest places any car has ever commonly rusted. I am going to go out on a limb and call this one a ’77 – the last year of the original front end treatment but the first year they were offered in that dove gray paint.
A nice June day even brings the CCs out in my neighborhood. Readers with good memories will recall the green ’76 Sedan DeVille I wrote up some time back. It has been joined by a wicked-sharp Connie Mark V. Doesn’t this scene look straight out of a movie from around 1978?
Although I have a tongue-in-cheek rule to never buy a car that parks in an alley, this GMC Sonoma could be an exception. I would much prefer it to the Pontiac parked behind it.
The Mrs. and I took a July trip to Chicago. We decided to take the scenic route up US 41 and saw this unusual sight. ’59 Fords are uncommon on the roads to start with, but I have never, ever seen one done up in a racing suit. I planned to stop for pictures on the way home but it was not there on the return trip. It was probably out cleaning up prize money with that rip-snorting full-race 352.
July later found us in the Philadelphia area for a family wedding. I just shook my head at the Porsche Cayenne. Or is that Cayennnnnnnnnnnne?
There was a time when I would not have photographed one of these Ford trucks, but this one seemed extra nice, especially for one of the F-250/350 models that were often worked to death. An extended cab, too!
I am even starting to show a little love to these Camaros. They are still not my cuppa, but it is nice to see one out and about.
In August I was moving my daughter back from North Carolina where she spent the summer for an internship. Somewhere in Ohio I got a peek at this sweet Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight, which I believe is a 1966.
By September it was sometimes too cold to put the top down for the morning commute. My shot blurred a bit during my rush to take this picture, but we all know what a C2 Corvette looks like. Had it been something other than red I might have tried harder for a second image.
What’s this? JPC focuses on a modern Camaro convertible and ignores the GM-10 Buick right in front of him?
Yes – but only when it is an Indy Pace Car edition. This was what the 2018 version looked like and this particular example was probably one of the parade cars. It is not at all uncommon for folks in Indiana who buy these to leave all of the Pace Car ornamentation in place. I love the old Indy pace cars but have gotten a little bored when every year we see another Corvette or Camaro. The orange was a little unusual, though.
In October I was on the highway with one of my kids and got him to snap a picture of this Buick Century. This is one of the older versions and it is nice to see one being taken out on an Interstate highway just like a real car.
And in December I spied one of the newer ones. Is this the ultimate Brougham of the Century? You can tell this one doesn’t see a lot of use.
December brought a change of scenery to my neighbor’s house. Last summer he showed me an Eldorado Convertible done up with a custom wrap that celebrates Indiana University basketball. It would appear that he had a similar idea for Notre Dame on – – – a Roller? An interesting combination. And I would love to know the story on the International flatbed with no front sheetmetal.
That concludes a walk through the fleeting glimpses I caught of interesting cars last year. This year has been a little slow so far, but hopefully things will pick up.