Curbsidelandia Walkabout: Portland’s Belmont Neighborhood

What to do with a partly sunny, brisk Sunday afternoon and no real plans? Well after re-joining my gym and getting a break-in workout, I thought ‘I think Ive earned a couple slices of pizza’, and made the voyage down into Portland. As most of you know, Portland, OR has more CC’s than one can possibly document. Usually, I’m down in the area with friends or on a random date or something else that doesn’t lend itself to me snapping shots of old cars on my trusty iPhone. When friends are around, I get enough grief just for ogling random patina’d Dusters, Jeeps, Ramchargers, Imperials, rat rods, etc. as it is. But today, my dance card was empty. And I plan on covering more of Portland’s CCs in the future.


So as I made my way down to Straight From NY Pizza on Belmont and 39th..err Caesar Chavez…I knew I was deep in CC territory. Rolling down Belmont, I passed by several that I knew I wanted to snap.  First to find a parking spot, and immediately I spotted this super clean VW pickup (Caddy) with topper.

This one is exceptionally clean and loved, but you have a good chance of seeing them in the northwest as VWs have quite a bit of a following.


Right around the corner from the pizzeria….PAYDIRT!!!!! ‘This Jeep is falling victim to whatever type of tree this is, and apparently they’re popular here.  There’s one near my townhouse getting its pink tree dandruff all over my upper balcony, and you’ll see more in some of the following pics.  I almost learned the hard way that stepping onto those petals when they’re moist and slimy and I’m wearing Chucks isn’t too hot an idea.


Now normally, I like to save the best for last but not only is this old Wagoneer the star of the show, it was the 2nd CC I spotted.   It appeared to be an older repaint, but I recognize that shade of green as something that is period correct to a Kaiser-era Jeep.

Since the front spring eyes are visible, this doesn’t have the fabled independent suspension that these could have had for the first few years. Hooniverse had an actual article on it: It’s somewhat similar to Ford’s twin traction beam suspension used on their 4x4s in the ’80s and early ’90s, but it has an upper control arm that keeps the camber in check.  Jeep had a much more advanced setup 17 years previous, but it cost extra and had few takers.


This could be a Kaiser Waggy, since the fender badge lists it as a ‘V8 350’. That’s the Buick V8 that was used from 1968 through 1971. AMC acquired Jeep in 1970.


This new wide grille replaced the old narrow grille that was previously used starting in 1966.


I didn’t get a great shot of the interior, but it was very pristine and complete.  Whoever owns this truck clearly loves it, as its condition and the ‘club’ theft deterrent attest.


Down from the pizzeria, sits a truck that’s practically a landmark…at least for a dude who is a total geek for old 4x4s.  Ive lived in the Portland area over 8 years, and this Land Rover (I believe its a Series 88) has been sitting immobile for at least that long. Its a crying shame to see it in this condition, as this rig appears mostly complete with a fairly straight body.  And yet it gathers moss and graffiti. I hope the owner someday decides to put a stop to the rot and restore this beauty back to its former glory.


Now, a brief intermission for why I actually rode down here.  As a native Jersey kid, Im picky about my pizza and yet Portland inexplicably has over a half dozen places to get some really good pie that I wouldn’t be ashamed to feed to my NJ family.  Straight from New York would get a solid B+ or A-. On my list, its not the ‘best’ in town, but top 5 easy.  Also, it’s the most accessible and consistent. AND they can be creative:


That’s right!  A daily special that’s an homage to none other than Boba Fett!  No room for Capt. Solo, because my cargo hold got filled up with those babies.


Now to work it off with a walk….

First up is a G body Monte Carlo.  Apparently, getting upsized versions of factory wheels is a ‘thing’ these days….


And speaking of plus size…this old Lincoln is a land barge. Lincolns aren’t my thing, so I cant tell you what model it is, but its very clean and well kept.


This old Tercel is a different kind of ‘stickermobile’…not quite what you’ll see inspired but any of the ‘Furious’ movies.


As I said, VWs are popular up here.  Vanagons are well loved by the outdoorsy types and VW faithful alike, so of course they’re common in these parts. A ‘regular’ one…


…and a Westy with a little wear and tear and nice looking 5 spoke wheels.


I was a little slow, since this PT Cruiser and hardtop Isuzu Amigo (which was known as Rodeo Sport in its final years) were joined by a well worn Volvo 240 wagon, pulling out as I got in range.


But it was no big loss.  If old Volvos are your thing, these are like cockroaches up here. When you get in this area, its near impossible NOT to see at least 3 or 4.


This wagon is wearing some nice factory turbine style wheels.


This sedan has turbine wheels too, but the center caps make it look a bit less aggressive. No coupes today, I guess.


Here’s a nice, clean small-bumper 2002.


And of course we love our trucks and 4x4s.  An early-mid 70s Ford is in very clean original condition.


This early Toyota Land Cruiser wagon (FJ55 I believe) looks like its ready to take on the Walking Dead.


And this crusty tin top Suzuki Samurai looks like the Cruiser’s little brother.


And finally, I caught this ’05 Dodge Ram RumbleBee. Looks like someone needs a truck, and yet wants a Challenger.  Between the factory Scat Pack logo, tail stripe, and hood scoop combined with those Torq Thrusts, bed bar and more aggressive stance it looks like its got some old school stank rubbed on it.  Wait….I think I know that guy….