Spring is here in full-throttle mode. The blossoms are gone from the trees and the leaves aren’t yet fully mature. It’s a wonderful time of the year, with the days getting steadily warmer.
It’s also time for cleaning, some purging of excess from my photo archives. Let’s start with this amazing 1966 Chrysler 300.
Did I mention it is a convertible? These pictures reveal two things – first, the 300 convertible saw only 2,500 examples produced making it the rarest Chrysler that year. Second, these license plates went out of use in 1997. Yes, this 300 looked as good as it does here.
This 300 was near Salem (if I don’t mention a state, it’s Missouri), sitting in front of a metal recycling center. There was a sign stating this Chrysler is not for sale, but it has been there for quite a while. I doubt it’ll be scraped as there is a line of other ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s era cars lined up out back, including a 1970s Lincoln limousine.
Before we get too far, I must say not all of these pictures will be of breathtaking quality, so please don’t harp on me too badly!!!
The lead picture is a good tie-in to this one. It showed the loop bumper from an early 1970s Dodge Charger, so here’s some members of its family. The Coronet sedans, like the one in the middle, seem to be all but extinct.
Parked to the left of those were three more. Found near Nebo, this picture covers the gamut. A loop bumper Dodge Charger, a nod to the European car contingent, a Brougham, and a miniature Jeep – has anyone ever seen a child-sized Cordoba?
The pink Jeep reminds me of a doughnut shop in Springfield. I mention this as there is a relatively new car museum in Springfield I stumbled upon earlier this week. While I didn’t have time to stop, stay tuned.
Since I’ve been showing Mopar B-bodies, let’s squeeze in another one. I’ve seen this 1977 or 1978 Fury numerous times at the same intersection in Jefferson City. From the sound of it, she is quite mechanically healthy. I would love to find it parked.
Parked was the best descriptor for this 1962 Chrysler 300 in Edina. It looked really good so let’s hope it was awaiting some attention. I have a full set of pictures that are only four years old. One of these days…
Built a year later is the 1963 Ford Falcon Squire. It belongs to the host of a car club meeting. From what I learned, the car was originally purchased by a gentleman with a goodly degree of life experience and he drove it the rest of his days. It’s been local since Day One.
Speaking of local, here’s a Bobcat I found in my backyard. There’s a lot of wildlife here.
After purchasing a sizable lot directly behind me about 14 months ago, my daughter and I found this along the creek bank near the property line. Further exploration revealed we possess pieces of several automotive carcasses, but it’s mainly the bare frames. She did get an accelerator pedal from the creek bed; it looks like it may have come from this 1959/1960 Chevrolet.
The lot is full of invasive bush honeysuckle trees, but none will be as thought-provoking to eradicate as this huge potted plant I found outside of Lebanon.
In autumn, the leaves will be the color of this 1969 Chevrolet Impala I found on the south side of Memphis, Tennessee.
Green has been a popular car color at times, so let’s have a Green Rush. This ’68 Ford Thunderbird sounded exquisite as it was idling by me in this picture. The sound of a healthy V8 will cause auditory addictions.
The jury is out on whether this Dodge Dart has a V8 or not. No doubt somebody here can tell simply by this sideview.
Incidentally, it’s sitting next to a four-cylinder Dodge Dart. Kansas City is surprisingly plentiful with old car finds.
With a model name of 280C, we all know there’s a straight-six under the hood of this 1973 Mercedes.
Ditto for this 1949 Chrysler sitting for sale alongside a low volume state route in the hamlet of Corticelli.
For reasons that are hard to ascertain, Chrysler products keep popping up. That’s a good thing as they are always a delight – and I even got to see this Plymouth silently whip around into a parking stall in Overland Park, Kansas. Being in the Kansas City area, it strengthens my observations about the area being chock-full of goodies, which is weird given the KC area has more freeze-thaw cycles than most places in North America, leading to a lot of deicing chemicals being used in the winter.
Another Plymouth of the same age, I doubt Montgomery City has this on any sort of active patrol. The pipes jutting through the hood do cause me concern should there be rain.
This ’55 Plymouth sitting in Wichita, Kansas, doesn’t cause me the same level of concern. Maybe because nobody has taken a saws-all to the hood?
The black and white color scheme on this ’55 looks rather natural.
On the other hand, the two-toning of this ’55 Ford looks a bit forced.
There is a simple honestly about vehicles used in service. While not a fan of coach built professional cars, this Cadillac ambulance/hearse has one of the better colors imaginable for such a purpose.
Going back to Mopar another time, this ’56 Fury deserves a full write-up one of these days.
It takes little time to realize the vast majority of cars I show are American. Sure, I had a Mercedes earlier, and I’m about to jump onto the European continent, but it all boils down to regional preferences. I once told one of our non-North American contributors I see 30 year old VWs much more often than I do 15 year old Asian cars. That’s just how it is.
So, speaking of older VWs, here’s a Jetta. I’m guessing this is mid-1980s? That assumption is based upon reading the stampings on the tail light lens. Sitting just off-campus near the University of Missouri-Rolla, I’m speculating it belongs to a student.
The Jetta so enraptured me I didn’t notice the Isuzu badged Chevrolet Colorado pickup until I uploaded this picture.
Help is now needed for an age range. This Mercedes 190D taunted me for several years. This was how I saw it several times weekly, in all sorts of weather, during my morning drive to work.
In an ironic twist, I found it parked at its home – only two doors from a house we nearly purchased two years ago. I cannot explain the cone on the roof.
While not European, this Studebaker has all sorts of European vibe. Plus, it is sitting in Hermann – a town whose percentage of residents with German ancestry is only slightly less than that of Munich.
It was for sale but it needs a whole lot of love.
Being on the topic of needing love, this 1941 Oldsmobile is simply pleading for some. Tucked away in the corner at a repair facility in Hannibal, this poor Olds is heartbreaking. It’s also quite solid, so any attempts at rehabilitation should have fewer nasty surprises.
A pre-war car that didn’t need anything is this 1933 Ford. If only they were all so fortunate.
Shifting gears, let’s look at a few trucks. Workhorses tend to be easily overlooked and it’s time to correct that.
This old Ford intrigued me. Sitting somewhere outside of Portageville, it looked like the only thing holding it back from a hard day’s work was some air in the tires.
At the low end of Ford’s Gross Vehicle Weight spectrum is this 1962 Ford F-100. Claimed to be powered by a 312 V8, it would have spoken to me louder had it been born with an 8′ bed instead of the shortly 6.5′. The asking price was $2500 but a person could likely talk the seller down.
We can’t forget Chevrolet, as seen with this 1961 Apache 350. This was a remarkably solid old one-ton.
Lest I be negligent, here’s another Chrysler product in the form of a 1970ish Dodge half-ton. I see this pickup regularly and it’s still being worked as I found it in the parking lot of Lowe’s Home Improvement.
This one is fascinating. When looking for the $0.25 tamales in Corinth, Mississippi, we stumbled upon this old RV. I was unable to go back for more pictures, but the shape of it is intriguing. Any insight would be welcomed.
Not a pickup and not a car, here’s a 1976 or 1977 Chevrolet El Camino – presenting what is one of my all-time favorite styling traits. I won’t declare what that is as the commentariat seems stacked against me.
Two pictures up, there is quite the size differential with the RVs. It reminds me of something I read recently, where someone expounded on the hugeness of Oldsmobile’s Cutlass Supreme during the 1980s, a car that rather epitomizes the Midwest for a large portion of that decade. This is the best example I’ve seen in a while.
But when parked next to a Ford Focus, any merit in size accusations quickly evaporates. Recently I saw a craigslist ad for a 1971 Plymouth Fury that happened to be parked next to a Nissan Sentra; it was a similar proposition.
Cars are still searching for that true sweet spot, the spot Chevrolet captured with their 1955 to 1957 models. This ’57 wagon is at a self-storage facility in Centralia, so maybe it is indeed a tow-car – but likely not.
Arguably, Ford hit a similar sweet spot in the early 1980s with the Ford LTD, one of the many Fox platform Fords spawned from the Fairmont.
Having once owned a Mustang identical to this one, the Fox platform proved itself to be durable, rugged, and a great fit for the time.
It wasn’t unlike the Falcon platform being right for the times, although it was positively ancient by the time this Maverick came along.
This Cougar, found in the same parking lot as the Maverick, was perhaps a better embodiment of the Falcon’s potential. These two are still regularly seen two doors down from where I work.
Let’s close with a car that was also right for the times, but in a format that was rapidly losing popularity.
When was the last time anyone has seen a two-door Oldsmobile Delta 88 of this vintage?
Like most spring cleaning, there is still more to do, but it’s time to focus on some other automotive endeavors.