I may not attend a lot of car shows, but who needs them when you live in Curbsidelandia? Every street and parking lot is a car show. I’ve made it a tradition to take a quick drive through the Wal-Mart parking lot snapping pics every couple of years when I find myself there in need of new underpants and socks (I’m low maintenance when it comes to clothes). The last batch must have been extra-durable ones as the previous Wal-Mart Concours was way back in November of 2011. ( the one before that was in January of 2010). Or maybe I cheated once in between. On with the show:
The first car I found upon entering the concours was an extended-overhang Buick Riviera, a somewhat desperate attempt to turn a Deadly Sin into a mere venial one. It may have worked for some folks, but not me. But I still like seeing them; kinda’ like a some of the other stuff at Wal-Mart. Look, but don’t buy.
Two door Cherokees were always much less common than the four door. Is their survival rate higher, due to their uniqueness?
Dodge Spirits and other late-era Ks are inevitably replacing the early K-Cars on the streets.
This late 70s Dodge Tioga is in excellent shape. The more run-down ones are very popular with those folks lacking a fixed abode. I saw an incredibly decrepit Dodge motorhome of this same vintage the other day, with pieces of its aluminum siding flapping loose, chugging and huffing down the road at maybe 35 mph. They might not get you to your next parking lot, deserted industrial street or a national park quickly , but by god, they will get you there. Ask me how I know.
Oh, and that Corolla is perhaps the very best vintage ever. Super high quality materials on the interior, and indestructible. Folks will fight over a chance to get one for a good price. Best bet for a beater.
That mostly applies to its predecessor too, although its interior isn’t quite as nice. But equally tough. These are everywhere here; cheapest way to drive. Appropriately, at the cheapest place to shop.
If Corollas aren’t your thing, I bet this might more likely be it. It’s got those nice alloys, and what nice shape too. Sadly, this was the only GM B-Body, which is not a good sign. The box-Bs aren’t exactly getting anymore prolific, sadly.
Another off-road ready Cherokee, this time a four-door. I recognize that US Forest Service green anywhere, and they did have a big fleet of them.
Gotta’ be at least one big old Ford truck.
Or a little one. Looks like this one does some pretty serious towing.
The bad complexion makes this Buick less than Regal.
A vintage Chevy truck to balance out the Ford. Yes, my windshield is dirty.
Every self-respecting Wal-Mart has to have a Tempo on a prominent corner in front. Maybe they put them there as decoration.
A Trooper II, also with a bit of lift. Oddly, there never was a Trooper I; the just “Trooper” came after the Trooper II. Go figure.
One of the reasons I did this shoot was to see how my new camera does in this kind of setting. Not good. Its auto-focus is worse than the old one; much slower, and the beep that tells you it’s focused is less audible, so the result is this: an unfocused Kia Sephia. But these are getting rare, so I had to share it anyway.
There had to be at least one Cockroach of the Road™ here. Will there be more? All these shots are in the order that I shot them, in case you were wondering.
No one is going to bestow these Corsicas with a term of endearment like the A-Bodies have earned. “Horsefly of the Road”?
Another flubbed shot. But it is a vintage 626, so it stays. Use your imagination, or head here.
This Deawoo Lanos is in focus; almost too much so.
The really old cars tend to often gravitate to the outer reaches of the lot for obvious reasons. But they’ll lose points for that, as well as for lack of originality (wheels). It won’t win a Wal-Mart concours trophy, but a ’66 Impala is always easy on the eyes.
Another old Chevy, this time a truck and camper. My favorite vintage (’71-’72), with the best grille of that generation.
Someone’s keeping this Ciera in pristine condition, back here away from the door-biters. I just knew there had to be another.
A lowly little Escort. I preferred the original five-door version.
A couple of stalls over is a Plymouth Sundance, looking a bit hemmed-in by all those big guys.
A couple of more recent Japanese cars. That vintage Accord looked quite a bit better as a coupe. But I guess that goes for pretty much all of them.
Aha! Another A-Body, this time a Buick Century. Also nicely kept, at the far end of the row, to avoid dimples and dings.
Just as I was pulling away from that Century, a big old Ford truck pulled in right next to it. Careful with the door!
Well, so how does this random snapshot in Wal-Mart time compare to the previous ones? The 2011 Edition had some real finds, I must say. Time marches on, and regrettably, quite a few CCs have shed their mortal (steel) coils in the past three years. There’s plenty still out there, but the past few years with a stronger economy is taking its toll. We need a nasty recession to keep all these old cars going a while longer!
Wal- Mart Concours 2011 Edition
“Horsefly” may be too charitable for the N-bodies. Botflies of the Road?
Maybe just “road-apples”?
That works too! (And I should have said L-bodies.)
I like the caprice best (91 I think), really excellent condition. Probably has sat in a retiree’s garage for 23 years except for trips to Walmart, church and grandkids. Technically that 66 would be another Bbody. Doesn’t look very Portland style.
You should go to Walmart more often! They sell a really tasty jumbo package of gummy bears.
Agreed; that Caprice is beautiful. That’s exactly the type that I remember being used in the launch advertising–burgundy with those great alloys. Based on the handicapped parking, I’d also guess a retiree who takes good care of their big Chevy. Hopefully when they can no longer enjoy it, it will go to an equally good home.
Lots of interesting finds there though! It’s been ages since I’ve seen a Daewoo Lanos…always good to see a 2nd-gen 626 (there was a white 2-door I used to see around last year, but sadly I never got a photo)…and that C10 with the slide-in camper is great.
Pick of the bunch is the 66 Impala.
+1 CC effect nearly strikes as I’ve just been watching Within Temptation’s Angels video with a yellow convertible Impala
I think the two-tone brown GM pickup is a GMC. The green 71/72 Chevy with the slide in is a beauty. My personal preference is the 69/70.
Bumper mounted signal/park lamps have always been problematic on anything I’ve owned that was so equipped. It’s a moisture and vibration thing I think.
This series makes me long for the days when flickr was more usable, there were many Wal-Mart finds in Car Memories and Guesses!
I do miss those. When Joe (of “Katie And…”) left the site, our best Wal-Mart spotter disappeared.
It’s interesting though. Lots of interesting finds pictured at Wal-Mart here; lots used to be found at Wal-Mart in Alabama; and yet I never find anything interesting at my local ones. Go figure.
Very nice show. A lot of cars that have become quite rare in the past several years. Walmarts a good place to find curbside classics.
A K-Mart (one of the few left) in Dayton, OH had car shows on summer Friday nights for years. Considering that K-Mart got its big start in the sixties, I thought it was a perfect venue and was sad when it was moved elsewhere.
Yeah there’s only one K-Mart I can even think of that’s remotely near me. I think the last time I was in one was in the last millennium.
Hmmmm… we have two with 10 miles, but that is So MD for ya.
I did my part to contribute to the Wal-Mart Parking Lot Concours today. I drove my W124 Mercedes to work instead of my much newer Silverado.
I worked at a VW/BMW dealership back in 1995 that decided to add Kia to it’s line up. I still have my Kia collar button from the school they sent me to. They got around 10 of the first Sephia’s delivered to the dealership, sold about 4 in the first year. They were begging employees (or anyone else) to buy one for below cost, I believe around 6k. Around that time I found a job closer to home, and soon after they dropped Kia. They were mad they sent me to school and then I changed jobs, but as it turned out they had the right idea but the timing was off, just a little to early. The first models did have plenty of problems. If they could have held on for a couple of years, the Trooper was still not quite out yet, they would have not been able to keep them in stock. Another thing I notice at wall mart is the handicap parking spots are always full, often with someone waiting in the car for the handicapped shopper to return. That old Tioga motorhome looks great, that’s the condition you want if living in it full time to help avoid problems with the locals. The 71-72 Chev pu with the camper looks like new, nice find.
Did you guys get the Kia Shuma in the US? There’s one parked on my block sometimes. I’ll grab a shot of it if you didn’t.
If we did get the Shuma, they marketed it under a different name.
If they had that nameplate here, they could have hired former American football coach Don Shula as a spokesperson and named an edition after him. The Shula Shuma has a nice ring to it…
It looks to me that the average age of vehicles has decreased from 2010.
Nice catches and I was wondering if a Corsica was gonna show up. In many of these photos there are one or more future Curbside Classics in the background which is a nice bonus. I prefer the 1990-1997 Accords in Station Wagon form with Coupe being a close second.
My vote goes for the ’66 Chevy hardtop. The Walmarts here usually have the same type of vehicular mixture, with an increased emphasis on ratty old pickups and SUV’s. I find it amusing that someone would park a 20 year old transportation appliance at the far edge of the lot, unless they were doing so to get in some walking time. At least the Ciera wasn’t taking up four spots, that seems to be the province of 3 series BMW’s.
The fringes of the parking lot aren’t just for the nice stuff. Many retail establishments have their employees/associates/team members/whatever they’re calling them this week park on the outer edges of the lot as a courtesy to their customers. At many malls and big box stores, there’s a red line painted about 2/3 of the way out the lot that employees are asked to park outside of. Retail salaries being what they unfortunately are, the pickins’ are good for some great CC material.
Location certainly makes a difference when it comes to the Councours du Bentonville. My personal favorite is the Walmart in Porter, TX, north of Houston. It straddles the primarily upper middle class/wealthy planned community of Kingwood just to the south, and the little towns of New Caney, Splendora and Patton Village to the north, where “redneck” is still very much a badge of honor. (that’s changing as Houston continues to sprawl) Where else can one see a V12 Mercedes SL still with its cardboard temporary tag from the dealer parked alongside a rusted out (in SE Texas, where that just doesn’t happen) F-150 with a plywood tailgate with ‘F O R D’ spray painted on it? I actually saw that one Saturday morning.
A plywood tailgate with F O R D spraypainted on it? There should be some sort of award for that!
Here you get a pink sticker award, take it off the roads untill it passes a WOF inspection.
I am very familiar with that Wal Mart, Mark, as my MIL lives in Splendora. Porter does indeed seem to straddle the line of demarcation between those two vastly different demographics.
I lived in that area for over 12 years. Six in Porter and six in KW. The area to the north of KW has changed a lot in recent years. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that New Caney HS had been bumped up to 5A status (the second highest athletic classification in Texas, based on total enrollment – until this year it was the highest) and Porter now has its own high school.
I just noticed in the background of the 66 Impala shot is ANOTHER old Dodge chassis motorhome. Does everyone have one of those in Portland or what?
On further review, I have to say the 71-72 Chevy pickup also looks exceptionally nice. I’ll take mine without the slide in camper, though.
This is Eugene, but Dodge motorhomes like these are all over the place. Hell, motor homes in general thrive here, and there is a significant amount of people living in them around town.
I saw one of those old Dodge motorhomes on the Interstate today…..had the same early 70’s grill as the one in this feature…..and it was indeed losing the battle of maintain speed on an upgrade when I passed him…..he was struggling at 50 mph while traffic around him was doing 65-70.
Careful with that door, Eugene. Hehehe.
I’ll take the 71/72 Chev camper. Does Walmart gift wrap?
Raining again? Set the controls for the heart of the sun.
One of these days I’m going to cut a Camcord into little pieces.
What have those fridges done to you to deserve such cruelty. Fill them with rotten fish instead.
CC Effect: I just saw that someone at my college has a Daewoo Lanos. As I was walking over to my car on Friday, a strange logo manifested itself on a rather generic-looking hatchback. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a brand I didn’t even know sold in the U.S.!
The guy over the road used to sell them. I never could figure out why.
My older son is, glory be, getting interested in his first car and I am doing everything I can to steer him towards an old Corolla, a 1995 or so. These cars are so indestructible my buddy got 600,000 km on one, with the original engine and transmission. The only reason he scrapped it was it was rear-ended. He is to this day the wildest driver I have known.
It is interesting for me to travel outside Vancouver. Status and pollution laws have made old cars practically non-existent here. It’s a grey fleet of C class MB’s or 3 Series BMW’s. Why do all 3 Series have to be white, black or grey? I hate them and for what they stand.
I love getting to Oregon because it is a trove of really cool old cars.
Boring non-colors because leased.
You have got to be joking. Walmart Concours D’elegance?
That Caprice appears to be in amazing condition. I’ll bet original elderly owner. The few I see here any more are construction guy beaters or pimped out.
That whale is pristine. Save the whales and the boxes.
AE100 Corollas are certainly much nicer than the AE92s. Although you can get either here with a 1.8 lt engine + M/T.
The red Impala besides the 626… I thought it was a Caprice, and well… it wasn’t 🙁
No panthers? (Crown Vic, Grand Marquis, Town Car)
Wow! That Caprice is BEAUTIFUL.
The Sundance has Pontiac wheels, strange.
Looks peaceful out there! Love getting to see pictures from Oregon.
this is one of the more conservative Walmart parking lot photo essay’s I have seen, these cars actually look marketable!
Very nice. In the background of the shot with the blue Tempo is a silver/white late old-style Dodge Pickup (1991-92?). Those are exremely rare hereabouts. It was as if Dodge spent the last couple of years trying to luxurify the old girl.
It has also been awhile since I saw a 2 door Cherokee. There is someone at my local Costco who has a 4 door Cherokee with the front doors removed, but that is a different kind of 2 door Cherokee.
Daewoo Lanos sounds like Star Wars character.
That big old “birthday cake” B-body is sweet. Probably the orginal owner, and garage kept.
The neat thing about Oregon is that two tone GM pickup still has its original doors. In areas with road salt the door bottoms were gone in a few years. I grew up in New York and while these trucks were all over the place so was the tinworm.
Cease complimenting the GM cars. You know what site this is…
Well, anything from mid-60s GM gets my vote, so the ’66 Impala wins; unfortunately not my favorite color.
Horseflies of the road — good one Paul for the Corsica (and I’d throw in the Tempo also)!
So the white paint flakes off 90s GM iron just like it does here in Virginia?
I can’t remember the last time I saw a Daewoo (not counting the many Daewoo products rebadged as GMs).