Curbside Classics at a Shop in Lawndale

This weekend I was driving past a repair shop and saw this CC pairing for the twentieth or thirtieth time, so I finally decided to stop. The Plymouth Satellite and Zephyr Z-7 Coupe have been sitting here for several years, and both resonate strongly in the Curbside Universe. Stopping was a wise decision, since I discovered another Curbside Maximus hidden behind this pair.

I’m not referring to the Cougar tucked in behind our ’72 Plymouth Satellite- It was so tightly boxed in, this was the best picture available.

But I did get some decent shots of the Satellite, and our Jason Shafer wrote up an in depth review of a very similar car. Thanks his efforts, I can offer you this link, rather than researching the facts myself. Jason’s car even has wheel covers, trumping this rather frumpy example.

Instead of Plymouth trivia, we’ll move onto this third Curbside staple. A late eighties version of the quintessential GM B-body, a Chevy Caprice. A super example, it even comes equipped with that patented Anti-Niedermeyer accessory, a set of “yucky cheap aftermarket wheel covers.”

These CC trucks help mask the Caprice from prying eyes, but fit the Curbside Classic milieu equally well. I’m curious to know how this grouping occurred- They could all be a shop owner’s private stash of vintage iron, or perhaps projects abandoned by owners unable to pay. I know the Plymouth and Mercury are long term residents, but the others may only be overnight guests.

The Grand Wagoneer passed emissions last October, so it appears to be road worthy, but the crew cab Ford is too old for the Cali Smog Test, so there’s no online data. Zooming into my original photo, the registration sticker appears expired (the numbers were not legible, but current stickers are yellow, not white), so I think it’s been parked for a while.

The nameplate on the Fox body is also unreadable, but the fender gills identify as the Mercury version. This shot also shows the headliner drooping down, and a “phone dial” alloy wheel off a Mustang or other high-zoot Fox. I know it isn’t original, since Ford dropped the Zephyr at the end of ’83, a year before the wheels appeared in ’85.

I did take a couple of interior shots of the Zephyr, and it appears to be nicely turned out. Power windows and air conditioning weren’t a given in the early eighties, so whoever purchased this coupe set themselves apart from the rest of the proletariat by buying a deluxe model.

In fact, the Zephyr dash proudly declares it to be “Ride Engineered!” I don’t recall any specific suspension options offered on the early Fox cars, so I’m guessing this is pure PR fluff, but if someone knows better, please chime in.

To wrap things up, let’s return to our menacing Satellite. I captured these pictures in the town of Lawndale, one of many suburban LA enclaves. Doing a little online research, it turns out this Mopar B-body has a rather strong connection to Lawndale.

It seems that in 1946, Lawndale saw the birth of football tough guy Fred Dryer of the Los Angeles Rams. After football, Fred starting acting, where he played…

Rick Hunter, a “a renegade cop who bends the rules and takes justice into his own hands.” Of course, as a TV cop, Hunter’s preferred ride was this bad ass B-body. His ride was a bit newer than our example, but the unchanging nature of the B-body made it the perfect choice for a TV tough guy, and a direct descendant of our ’72 Satellite.

Of course, “Hunter” also provided us with Sergeant Dee Dee McCall and her bright red Dodge Daytona. For those more interested the sporty side of the show, William Stopford shared one of her memorable car chases here. Personally, I’ll stand by the Satellite.