Wal-Mart Concours d’elegance, 2014 Edition

CC 233 091 1200

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.

CC 233 092 1200

Two door Cherokees were always much less common than the four door. Is their survival rate higher, due to their uniqueness?

CC 233 093 1200

Dodge Spirits and other late-era Ks are inevitably replacing the early K-Cars on the streets.

CC 233 094 1200

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.

CC 233 095 1200

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.

CC 233 097 1200

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.

CC 233 098 1200

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.

CC 233 099 1200

Gotta’ be at least one big old Ford truck.

CC 233 100 1200

Or a little one. Looks like this one does some pretty serious towing.

CC 233 102 1200

The bad complexion makes this Buick less than Regal.

CC 233 104 1200

A vintage Chevy truck to balance out the Ford. Yes, my windshield is dirty.

CC 233 105 1200

Every self-respecting Wal-Mart has to have a Tempo on a prominent corner in front. Maybe they put them there as decoration.

CC 233 107 1200

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.

CC 233 108 1200

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.

CC 233 110 1200

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.

CC 233 111 1200

No one is going to bestow these Corsicas with a term of endearment like the A-Bodies have earned. “Horsefly of the Road”?

CC 233 113 1200

Another flubbed shot. But it is a vintage 626, so it stays. Use your imagination, or head here.

CC 233 114 1200

This Deawoo Lanos is in focus; almost too much so.

CC 233 115 1200

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.

CC 233 116 1200

Another old Chevy, this time a truck and camper. My favorite vintage (’71-’72), with the best grille of that generation.

CC 233 117 1200

Someone’s keeping this Ciera in pristine condition, back here away from the door-biters. I just knew there had to be another.

CC 233 118 1200

A lowly little Escort. I preferred the original five-door version.

CC 233 119 1200

A couple of stalls over is a Plymouth Sundance, looking a bit hemmed-in by all those big guys.

CC 233 121 1200

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.

CC 233 122 1200

Aha! Another A-Body, this time a Buick Century. Also nicely kept, at the far end of the row, to avoid dimples and dings.

CC 233 123 1200

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

Wal-Mart Concours 2010 Edition