Curbside Streetscape- A Brief Appearance at the Curb

This ’81-83 Buick Regal had resided in the front yard of a local home for some time, but a car cover masked its condition. I was under the impression it was a complete and running car- I saw the owner working on it, and he occasionally left it parked with one of the fenders pointing skyward lifted by the (aftermarket) suspension hydraulics.

However, every car has a story, and with the cover off this story is much clearer. Unfortunately, I’m afraid this car’s tale has reached the end. On Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, someone stripped the license plates, and moved it onto the street. The house in question appears to be a rental occupied by multiple roommates, and I suspect both the owner and his car wore out their welcome, and were tossed to the curb (perhaps by the landlord).

With the cover off we see issues, some relatively minor (missing tail lights), some much more concerning (that sag at the B-pillar). The graffiti is a very recent addition- I spotted the car on Wednesday, and the tagging appeared over night before this photo shoot.

Being a Buick Regal, I assume this car spent its first ten or fifteen years transporting an upstanding citizen around Southern California. The ensuing twenty five years are a bit less clear, but somewhere in this car’s history, it received some solid love in the form of this very intricate paint job. I picture a transition period where this car rocked the new paint job and worked as a daily driver for its proud second or third owner for several years.

This picture indicates the daily driving days ended some time ago. I’m not sure what’s up with the roof modification- Perhaps it had a T-Top, and someone filled the gap with sheet metal before cutting off the drip rails and laying fill around the window opening.

Inside, things are equally messy and incomplete. This rear seat shot shows the equipment used to operate the hydraulic lift cylinders tucked back in the trunk. The quality of this work helps explain the kink at the B-Pillar- While you can just add lift cylinders to the suspension, owners should also reinforce the body and suspension to survive the twisting forces they’ve created. Not so much in this case, but the hardware will enhance the impound auction bidding.

This is probably the last we’ll see of our Regal- As of Friday morning it was gone, likely headed to a brief junkyard career, and then on to the crusher. While the owner may have reclaimed it, that kink looks terminal, and a junkyard trip inevitable.