Walk And Talk: The Cars of Eugene, Missouri

Eugene, Oregon, is the second largest city in the state with a population of 156,185.  At an elevation of 430′, it was founded by Eugene Franklin Skinner with its first registered post office coming about in 1850.  It is where Mr. Paul Niedermeyer has found many of the outstanding subjects for his website.

Eugene, Missouri, has a population of 184 and is 25 miles southwest of Jefferson City.  It is an unincorporated community at an elevation of 689′ and has a post office in a pole barn.  It is where I found fresh eggs for $2 per dozen.

While I have been to various parts of Oregon, I have never been to Eugene.  It does seem somewhat familiar after learning about its more memorable vehicles here at Curbside Classic.  However, I have been to Eugene, Missouri.  Having heard so much about one Eugene, and being so close to another, I couldn’t help but wonder what similarities there might be.  Or what differences.

The GM A-body has truly earned the status of being a cockroach.  Yet, I would venture to say this Ciera could qualify as an “Ultra Cockroach” with its almost color-keyed trunk lid spoiler.  It works to firmly plant the tail of the car at hyper-legal speeds when blazing down nearby US 54 toward the Lake of the Ozarks.  I would speculate that anyone in North America, Eugene included, who is reading this can likely find a few sisters to this Oldsmobile close to their home.

It’s been a long time since seeing a step side Chevrolet of this vintage.  The color works to give it a rustic air.  It doesn’t have the same degree of senior status as a certain F-100 in Eugene, Oregon I’ve read about.  Sadly, this one has a tin worm infestation.  This isn’t as prevalent in Eugene, Oregon.

This is more of a contemporary to said ’66 F-100.  However, this 1968 model C10 appears to have been demoted to yard ornament.  That’s too bad.  It appears pretty solid, more so than models from the mid- to late-70’s, as seen above.  It just needs a bumper.

These old Dodges are like fried chicken and beer – there is something so satisfying about them.  Looking at the spotlight and rooster lights, I am guessing it may have seen fleet use early in its life.  For a Dodge of this vintage, that would be most unusual.  Judging from the mirrors, I am guessing this short bed to be a 1989 to 1991 model.  Did they really have many obvious annual changes during this time?

No Volvos were to be found in Eugene, Missouri.  However, an Audi sharing a carport with a ’55 Chevrolet was.  The Audi was the only non-North American vehicle to be found in town, rather different than in the other Eugene.  Finding an Audi anywhere in Missouri, other than St. Louis or Kansas City, is unusual.

A 1980 Cadillac Seville Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.  This is the first Olds of this body style I have seen in a very long time.  If it is parked, it doesn’t appear to have been out of service long.

Here’s another A-body lurking in somebody’s driveway.  While it doesn’t have a spoiler, it has wheels wide enough to rub on the fenders.  If these wheels were put on the Oldsmobile sporting the spoiler, that would be a machine to be reckoned with.

Imagine, another A-body.  These sure are popular.  It is parked in front of the post office (the metal building you see by the front of the car).  Interestingly, in another town earlier this week, I did see a rural letter carrier using a late model Volvo.  Sometimes it is hard to grab the camera in time.

This 1955 Oldsmobile and the 1968 Firebird directly below were parked about 25′ apart.  The two-tone Oldsmobile caught my attention first.

Upon pulling into the drive to get a picture of the Olds, I saw this ragtop Firebird. See that Pontiac arrowhead on the rear quarter panel? That is the side marker light, disguised to look like an emblem.

I do have a confession.  Most of these pictures were taken from the comfort and relative safety of a Ford Escape.  Why?  Notice the dog.  It was one of five that came running toward me and the only quiet and happy one of the bunch.  One of the loud four was trying to jump in the vehicle with me.  As Eugene, Missouri, has no sidewalks (unlike Eugene, Oregon) and people in Missouri tend to be heavily armed (not sure how that compares) I acted accordingly.

Yet when seeing a Firebird convertible and a ’55 Oldsmobile in such close proximity, I will tread in rougher places than did Marlin Perkins.  And I’m not even a huge GM fan!

I hope you enjoyed the excursion through Eugene, Missouri, where it sure looks like Detroit reigns and GM is king.  I hope you enjoyed the excursion; it took you as long to read this as it does to drive through town.