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.
Much closer to the small town of my birth than Eugene Oregon and the scenery is more like the small town of my adulthood (I mean now) of Grangerland Texas. You are right to be wary of the dogs. They are doing their jobs protecting rather valuable scenery.
Strange bedfellows, that Audi and ’55 Chevy.
That Audi has no rear plate…a sign of retirement? The wheels on the 1955 Bel Air 2-door send a different message than the probably original 6-cylinder trunk emblem. Interesting that there would be two 1955 Chevys in such a small town.
There’s a certain tiredness about small southern towns like this (and the vehicles therein). Reminds me of some smaller central Georgia towns around where i grew up in a way.
Enjoyed the walk, let’s do it again sometime!
Thanks for getting me out of town; I’ve been craving a change of scenery. I just wasn’t planning on it being another Eugene.
It does remind me of the many sleepy little hamlets of the Mid West.
“Sweet Southern Comfort carry on…” – Buddy Jewel
I haven’t been down Jefferson City-way since 1993, but Eugene is typical of many small towns in Missouri and other places – slowly dying, and it’s happening in Ohio too, but seemingly not as bad…yet. Travel up north to Ethel and Elmer – 6 miles apart along the BNSF main line west of La Plata! Northern Missouri is much nicer with its rolling hills and prairies. Makes blight look a bit more attractive.
Thing is, how many rural barns and sheds in Missouri and elsewhere contain classic car material?
Our neighborhood just acquired a GM A body – our neighbor across the street – their oldest son has a Buick Century – grandparents car. It is in pretty decent shape, but does have rusted areas in the rear quarters as well as over the wheel well.
Zachman, I lived for nearly 6 years in St. Joseph and for 5 years in Hannibal, so I know what you mean. I’ve been to Paris, Memphis, Louisiana, and Scotland (County) without ever going south of I-70!
From having been all over the state, it appears there are more things squirrelled away in the southern part of the state, but that’s strictly based on appearances.
Love the Ciera Spoiler Edition SE ST SL GL LE LT regency Brougham Holiday Coupe.
Make fun of small MO towns all you want (or don’t), but there is nothing more satisfying than a warm summers day leisure ride through them, especially on a Harley. Used to ride in the far southern reaches of St. Louis and southern IL. hwy 100, 109, T, DD, etc which all were on the northern tip of the Ozark Mountains and were gorgeous. Or cross the river and take the Great River Road to Grafton and beyond with a cool breeze rushing at you.
Of course, loads of interesting people and scenery. Old cars, tractors, gas station signs, crap, barns, ice cream shops, mills; some places havent changed in 100 years. And in late summer, all you can hear, aside from the wind blowing, is the relaxing sound of a million cicadas.
Contrary to most urban myths, the salt of the earth people inhabiting these environs were typically some of the friendliest folk you’ll ever meet.
SS, you are correct on the satisfaction of drives through the towns in the areas you mention. Been to many of them and they are all terrific.
No way am I making fun of rural Missouri or anywhere else – I’m from the St. Louis area, originally from the city itself, then Jennings and Florissant before we moved to Cincinnati 20 years ago.
In fact, in 1976, my room mate at the time and I took a week’s vacation traversing the state on all backroads – blue highways – for a week, camping, using my 1976 Chevy Custom Deluxe C-20 I owned then! It was a great trip that my friend and I still talk about!
We saw all sorts of neat stuff back then, especially an Antique Shop that had a sign in the window that read: “Open by Request”!
The 1970’s were good for a few things, at least.
Very cool. I probably could have worded that better, didn’t think you or anybody was really making fun of anything.
In fact, there are some humorous things along the way. Anybody familiar with Zerna’s Meats and Used Cars on Hwy 100 in Labadie? Talk about a contradiction, but it’s been there for years.
A bodies and Chevy pickups. Yup, its the midwest. An enjoyable walk – thanks for asking us along.
The Olds is a ’56. My father owned an 88 two door, but rather than the green down under, it was red. Pretty sporty. Great cruiser. On the New York Turnpike I remember my mother setting it at an even 80 on the way to Illinois. On a business trip to Maine, I recall my father cruising at 90. No sweat, no noise. The 322 was a great engine.
You beat me to it. We had light blue over dark blue 4 door Holiday Sedan (4 door hardtop). The first car I can remember.
New Jersey Turnpike
New York Thruway
*slinks back under his rock*
Eugene, MO reminds me (even down to the vegetation) of every little hamlet in Tennessee, where I grew up. You’ll tend to see Curbside (or Fieldside, or Barnside) Classics frequently in towns like this, not because these places are full of car collectors, but because the cars just stayed there and got old. My aunt had a ’60 Chevy that I thought was the coolest car in the world, but to her it was just “the old black car” that she had kept around when she bought her next car–she must have kept it 35 years.
I love the simple appeal of a stepside Chevy, even rusted-out, no doubt from years of hard work, and mud in the wheel wells.
Nothing better than cruising the backroads of Central TN. I spent a year working in Nashville and essentially did this every weekend… checking out Civil war battle sites, and little hamlets in all directions. AWESOME!
My favorite trek was a two hour cruise that turned into a 2 day drive down the Natchez Trace only to come out in MS! that was a blast. Only downer was losing the entire roll of film!
Thanks for the afternoon drive, JL.
I used to live a five-minute drive from the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace, right around the corner from the Loveless Cafe. Past that point, you leave urban Nashville for good and head into some beautiful farm country. Nice people, amazing scenery, and good eats, if you know where to go.
The Nachez Trace is indeed a beautiful drive. We did it in the fall one year. The only downside was the lack of places to stop and fill hungry toddlers and a thirsty Club Wagon.
yes, jp.. at the time (00) it was not a place to throw yourself headfirst if you have kids for the lack of amenities– I have no idea if that has changed. I was amazing at the time and I am looking forward to return w/ my wife and child to show them the beauty of the county. At the northern terminus there’s a few areas to pull over with the vistas of farming valleys that are utterly heavenly.
Cfc – you live in some wonderous country. Aside from the Trace, as an CW reader I thoroughly enjoyed Spring Hill/Franklin battle sites. The Carter Farm location is just heartbreaking. Love your state.
Well, I moved away a few years ago (to California, which has its appeal too of course), but I still have a lot of family there and go back 1-2 times a year. I know it like the back of my hand, so any place in Middle Tennessee you can name, I’ve probably been.
Interesting geography lesson Jack thanks, as with the Mississippi one I dragged out the atlas to see where you were talking about.
In the last couple of weeks I have been doing some travels to country areas, my schedule has not allowed me to take photos of all the curbside/barnside classics I come across but I have a few which I will post to the Cohort page soon.
Hope someone resurrects that ’68! And soon!