On our recent trip back from California, we stopped in Eureka for an overnight. Talking a walk through Old Town at dusk, I thought we’d entered the Twilight Zone when we came across this parking lot that was almost exclusively populated by CCs, including no less than two
Olds Custom Cruiser GM “whale wagons”. Well, it is called “Old Town”.
There’s a particularly interesting line-up on the right, starting with the Town Car.
The biggest car of its time next to the smallest one, a Suzuki Swift (Geo Metro). And a Daewoo Lanos, next to it. They’re quickly becoming rare.
A Panther sandwich, actually.
A Maverick is is present too.
Along with two 70s Ford pickups, back-to-back.
Two blobby wagons from the late-aero years.
Custom Cruiser big GM wagon is over there.
Owned, or formerly owned by the Times Printing Company.
More likely the latter.
There’s also a spill-over effect on the street over there. Let’s take a closer look.
The eighties, on full display. So how do we get back to 2014?
If it weren’t for the Chevrolet Aveo parked next to the Maverick, this picture could have easily been taken in 2000.
Both of those Ford pickups appear to be short beds, also. This is quite the eclectic collection of vehicles.
I can understand both the Fords being short beds; space is often at a premium in CA. The bullnose (80-86) F-100/150 was also the last to be seen regularly in RCSB form, since after the introduction of the Ranger and numerous other compact pickups, it became a better buy to get an extended cab compact and have almost as big a bed with a bigger cab, but still smaller overall than a RCLB fullsize pickup.
I believe that Times wagon is a Buick Roadmaster, not Custom Cruiser. What’s left of the grille gives it away.
Doh! I guess I really was in the Twilight Zone.
I wouldn’t consider you being in the Twilight Zone. In fact, you probably demonstrate very well, the extent badge engineering has gone.
As a long time car observer, at a quick glance, I would feel no embarrassment in confusing a Caprice wagon from a Roadmaster, or Custom Cruiser wagon. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Olds logo on the wheels in the first pic, it might as well be a Caprice wagon to my eyes.
I don’t think we should necessarily have to be car enthusiasts to quickly see a difference between brands. Not that it is new. Without seeing the grille, not many people could tell a Volare from an Aspen, in profile. Without seeing insignificant trim differences. Otherwise, the point of the multiple branding and models becomes questionable.
If anything, by confusing the two, you are making an excellent point IMO.
It is a Roadmaster, it has the dual airbag dash that never made it to the Custom Cruiser.
Did the Caprice wagon have the “bubble” roof window? I want to say it didn’t. Also, IIRC those alloys were unique to the Roady. Though such things are easily swapped.
Nice collection overall. Was the Lanos ever common, actually? I certainly don’t recall seeing many on the East Coast. As Daewoos went, plenty of Leganzas, which all seem to have disappeared, though those weren’t bad looking. The Nubira was so generic that I think it blended into the background from new–they could have been everywhere and I wouldn’t have noticed. It was also rare on this coast to see a Swift rather than its platform-mate Metro, and that one actually looks well preserved. MPG enthusiast?
The Nubira when it debuted in Aussie looked suspiciouly like the just ended Holden Camira J body then Holdens announced their new export engine plant was shipping engines to Korea UK Germany etc the picture completed it was the awful Camira rehashed.
Those Swift GT/GTi’s are shockingly competent. Even though they look like a penalty box Metro, they pack double the power and still only weigh 1800 pounds.
No kidding; did shockingly well around a track too.
THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT!
But seriously given the rarity of those Cruiser Wagons when they were new that must be roughly 1-5% of remaining survivors in one parking lot. 😛
A good friend had one in high school. Racked up over 250K in 8 years before kicked-up road debris took out the cooling system and punctured the oil pan. Great car though, and very useful when a vehicle that size belonged to one of the first ones of us to get their driver’s license! You can fit quite a lot of people in there…
I beleive the two Ford trucks are from the 1980s.
Correct, those are 80s era Ford pickups. I am especially impressed by that Maverick. It appears to have original paint and those are period correct Maverick wheel covers.
Yes. That’s easily the nicest Maverick I’ve seen in 25 years.
OH DEAR GOD, IS THAT A SWIFT GT????
Now that you mention it, with those sill extensions, it rather must be. I didn’t notice that at the time; too engrossed in the big picture.
Good; I’m glad there’s one in respectable condition. It’s of those few cars I’d buy in a heartbeat.
Srsly? You must be a glutton for punishment! 🙂
The twin-cam version, Jim!
The little red thing is indeed a Swift GT. I’ve seen them easily doing 120 mph.
That Maverick is a 73 model. The larger front bumper and the remaining small rear bumper. The 74s went to MASSIVE bumpers front and rear.
The mismatched bumpers really does give credence to the term ‘cow catcher’. At least it is devoid of bumper guards, which helps clean it up it’s looks, a bit. The subcompact Aveo beside it, looks especially big. While the Maverick was considered a compact, in it’s time.
Was in that part of California last year and while I did see a bunch of old vehicles I never had this kind of luck. That part of California sure is lovely and the air is probably quite clean since CARB covers the whole state; perhaps that is why 1980s Hondas are rare.
I have thought of buying an Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, but I hear the 305 is a dog and the 307 in my 87 Caprice was not much better.
The air is clean everywhere along the coast, because of the prevailing winds which are on-shore. There was never any air pollution along the coast because of that; it all got blown inland, in places like LA. When we lived in LA in the 70s, we moved to Santa Monica for that reason, as well as because it was cool (literally) there. But the further one drove inland, the smoggier it got, The smog got shoved up against the mountains; LA is like a bowl. In San Bernardino in the summer, you might not see more than a few blocks down the street (no exaggeration).
But up in the sparsely-populated coastal areas, smog was never an issue. Still, it’s good to know that cars aren’t spewing out what they once were.
Paul, I lived in what was called Sunnymead (now Moreno Valley) when my father was stationed at March AFB in what would have been 1971 when I was in 2nd grade. I don’t remember the smog being bad there during the year we lived there, but when we would drive through LA to visit my uncle in Santa Barbara, the air was indescribable. Not as bad as the pictures we see from China, but not far from it either. I’m so glad we got our act together about car emissions because I recall how bad it was when we didn’t give a damn.
CARB does cover the full state, but rural areas counties or portions thereof are exempt from the strict smog regeme of the urban counties like Sacramento or LA for cars and light duty trucks. IIRC you only have to smog a vehicle in the rural areas when purchased and it is effectively exempt for that point on.
Right now the big source of CARB angst is the requirement to put retrofit soot traps (DPFs) on older medium and heavy duty diesel vehicles in rural areas. So a gravel miner in Humboldt with a 1990 Ford L-series dump truck is required to put a $20k Filter on a $10k truck. Its a stupid one size fits all solution that creates costs without a corresponding benefit of cleaner air in the rural areas.
The aero/whale Custom Cruisers could get the 350, but only in ’92. Enough torque to move that heavy car with some authority.
Pretty sure that 2nd custom cruiser is a road master estate judging from the front clip
Quite right; I was in the Twilight Zone.
Wow, a Maverick. If Ford had a signature color in 1971-73, that light brown would be it. Slouching towards malaise.
Daewoo Llanos? Wow.
Is this employee parking for The Night Gallery?
I can almost imagine Rod Serling walking out from behind the blue topper’d F150…..
I do wonder with many CCs, what compels people to keep these cars on the road? Unless that Maverick has a 302, it would have been considered a pretty disposable car for the bulk of the past 40 years it’s been around. Extraordinarily mediocre by most standards. And certainly not known for ruggedness. Even the curiosity of it, would be outdone by many cars. Seeing it on the road, I think many people with 70s car knowledge, would go, “Wow, there’s a Maverick!”. Followed by, “Who in their right mind, would still own a Maverick?”. Maybe then leading to a story, probably ultimately not very flattering towards the car. Kudos to the owner(s) nevertheless!
In “euro” terms dream cars all over that place…
Someone, please, say something nice about that Aerostar.
Mine was RWD. I once made an involuntary 180 on hard packed snow. Luckily, there was no traffic and could follow up with voluntary 180 and carry on.
Just by the colours thats a Panther BLT.
“Owned, or formerly owned by the Times Printing Company.”
It looks like it was owned by the thing that hit it.
The Daewoo Llanos always brings back Queen Latifah in the film ‘Taxi’: “This is your unmarked car? A Daewoo? Man, I know people. I can’t be seen in this thing. Open the door. I don’t wanna get Daewoo on my hands.”
That Taurus wagon has wheels from a Volvo C70… Interesting, same bolt pattern. I think they look better on the Volvo though!!