A very rich assortment of cars, thanks to Californians’ embrace of automotive diversity. Click on image for max. size.
Renault 17 and Volvo 1800ES are two of the more unusual cars still puttering around in 1984.
Haha, yep! And that Peterbilt 359!
I am pretty sure that’s not a Peterbilt, though there’s enough distortion and lack of resolution in the scan that I can’t quite tell what it is.
I’m thinking gmc general ala smokey and the bandit II with the stand up sleeper tacked on
that would be quite appropriate with the 79-81 Trans Am directly to the left of it
They were the first two that my eyes saw too. 17 is a Gordini, or 17TS depending on the market.
I should stroll down there and take the 2020 version of this photo. It would be a lot less eclectic, I think, though maybe 36 years from now we’d also find it interesting. I imagine most of the Ford pickups and T2 VW busses are still on the street here. Maybe one or two of the Japanese pickups also.
“I imagine most of the Ford pickups and T2 VW busses are still on the street here. Maybe one or two of the Japanese pickups also.”
That was my first thought, too. In fact, I thought the photo looked more modern than 1984 at first glance because the vehicles you singled out still abound around coastal CA.
Center, near the bottom, next to the red VW bus is a “frame mounted” truck camper. The Ford is a ’67-’72. Before motorhomes were common, this was the next best thing.
Is it an F-Series? The hood looks too short to be a pickup.
I think it’s a 70s Chevy Van cab
Let’s see . . . I’ll start with the front parking area.
I see two bay window VW Transporters, one of the 1968-1972 vintage with the low turn signals, the other the newer model from 1974-1979. Beside one transporter is an early Chevy Van RV, and beside the other a Japanese market pickup- I think a Datsun 620, but I’m not certain. Behind the Japanese truck and in front of the very 1970s semi is a European car that I’m also not certain on; I’ll guess first generation BMW 3-series.
Going over to the left, there’s an AMC Concord driving towards the photographer. Along the curb is a 5-series, a Zephyr/Fairmont wagon, a Datsun 620, and a red Cutlass hidden behind the semi truck. I’m not sure what the gray domestic sedan parked at the back of the lot is, but I’m going to guess a Cadillac Seville. Beside that is a blue Escort wagon, then a Volvo 1800ES, a red Beetle, and a Rabbit Cabrio and 1977/1978 Firebird behind those.
What’s that gold car with the black roof on the far right? A repainted Plymouth Arrow?
‘Joe’ referenced it in the first comment. It’s a Renault 17.
Funny — I thought it was a Plymouth Arrow too. For some reason, Renault 17’s don’t exactly pop into mind.
I like the yellow Jeep Cherokee Chief parked facing the ocean, too. And the two pickups with large camper shells.
I thought sure that thing was a Fuego. They were all the rage back in the mid eighties and then they just disappeared. It was very strange.
I have a soft spot for 70s Ford intermediates, but wow the 74-76 Torino did not age well among car designs in this period, I’d rank it the dumpiest looking car in the parking lot but a healthy margin. I’m surprised to see only one BMW, I would have imagined as many in Santa Cruz then as you’d probably see now.
Let’s see, I see a Collonade Pontiac LeMans, 80 F150, 81 Pontiac Grand Prix, 80 Olds Delta 88, two VW vans, a 71 Chevy Van/RV conversion, Datsun pickup, Mercury Zephyr wagon, BMW 5 series, VW bug, Volvo 1800, Ford Escort wagon, 77-79 Buick LeSabre sedan, VW Cabriolet, 79-81 Pontiac Trans Am, 70-72 oldsmobile Cutlass coupe, Ford Maverick coupe, mid 70s Ford country Squier, 80 Buick Skylark, 81 Cutlass Supreme 4 door, bumpside Ford F100, Boattail Buick Riviera(not 100%), 77-79 Mercury Cougar, Renault 17, 73 C/K truck, super cab F100, 74-76 Ford (Gran?) Torino coupe, K car, box Volvo, VW Bug, 80 F150, Dentside F100, 1968 Chevy Caprice, Jeep Cherokee, Box Crown Vic, 73 LTD, 79 AMC Concord
I skipped identifying most of the Japanese imports, my eye for them isn’t good
Right away Matt, I spotted two cars from my childhood, a ‘73 Ford and what I too thought was a ‘68 Chevy. I think that cream colored Impala is a ‘69. Look at the back window. It’s kinda concave a little bit. I don’t recall my Dad’s ‘68 Impala Custom having a back window shaped like that, but the ‘69 & ‘70 had that look.
Sadly, the picture is too pixelated when you zoom in on the taillights to be sure. That’s the easiest way to ID and old Chevy. 😉
Yeah I think you’re right, I was looking so hard at the bumper I thought I saw round taillights, but the roofline and bodylines indeed look more 69
I see my bronze-colored 1979 Honda Accord LX 1.8L hatchback!
Loved that car. (Its near the Torino)
BTW, look at the giant building that replaced Jim Rockford’s trailer!
??? I’m pretty sure Rockford was in Malibu, or somewhere in LA. Definitely not Santa Cruz. 400 miles and a universe apart.
Correct, Paradise Cove in Malibu, where Jim’s trailer was parked is now a toilet block. The folk who run the car park there are crooks, charging a fee, quite substantial too, to even walk past the barrier to the cafe.
Yes! I thought that’s what that car is, but wasn’t sure. I had an Elysee Bronze Accord too, but I had moved it on by 1984.
That is an impressive variety: all the domestic brands and every typical foreign country covered except Britain, if I’m seeing correctly. Odd there isn’t an MG or Triumph in there someplace.
Anyone can id that semi? Maybe WesternStar ?
If this is 1984, then where are all the AeroBirds and Fox Body Mustangs?
Could it be just a tad earlier? Although that Grand Prix looks like an ‘84.
Looks like a Renault Alliance hidden behind the camper — so no earlier than ’83 I guess.
You’ve been eating your carrots!
The “aero” T-Birds were driven by high-powered yuppies who were too busy working to hang out at the beach. Or working at a foreign language t.v. station before getting a fancy Mercedes with gold rims that was faster than a Z28 Camaro blah blah blah…😀
I resemble that remark. 🙂
But gold rims? The horror. Who are you referring to?
I was thinking of a white Merc with BBS rims that were gold on the spokes. Did I remember it wrong?
OK; the spokes were somewhat of a gold tint. But not gold in the sense of trying to look like bright flashy gold. Understated and muted gold. 🙂
I still have these rims…
When I read “gold rims”, this is what comes to mind:
Oh, no, I meant gold in a good way.
Yeah, the general lack of certain Fords is surprising. In 1984 aero Birds, Fox Mustangs … as well as Pinto’s and Mustang II’s, were everywhere in the greater Bay Area. But judging from the Rabbit convertible, 1984 seems right.
I’m surprised that no one has commented on the girl with big boobs on the beach wearing a bikini.
There are several, though in ’84, what are the chances they would be natural?
I can’t get past that 74-75 LeMans up front.
Maybe the semi was a Mack Superliner (which had the kind of boxy cab as the Western Star and the GMC General.) I just can’t tell, but all of these were contemporaries of the era.
My favorite Colonnade immediately drew my attention – the ’75 Lemans coupe in the lower right. Still looking good….
What amazes me about these kinds of pictures is that you are always correct if you say “VW Beetle.” Yet they have since vanished from the roads, at least in my area. It has been years since I have heard that distinctive sound.
It’s Santa Cruz, so of course there are two VW vans. I guess the box Volvos were still being used as suburban mom-mobiles in 1984. By the time my daughter was a student at UCSC (2002-2006), half the vehicles in Santa Cruz were VW vans and the other half were Volvo 240’s. She had a 1986-ish 240 wagon in, umm, well-seasoned condition. The good thing was that there was a Volvo specialty shop in town that kept the old Swedes running and did not rip off its mostly student and surfer clientele.
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