CC Outtakes: Hey, I Had One of Those!

“Hey, I had one of those” is usually what I say when I’m fumbling for my phone and trying to capture a car photo. And for the cars I’ve never had, I can usually forge a link by playing “six-degrees of separation.” In the early 1980s, I did have a ’59 Karmann Ghia convertible that I drove four hours to get. It was late November and I drove the thing home in freezing temps with no top. Ahh, the folly of youth. A few months ago I was surprised to find this beautiful ’60s Ghia parked at our city’s sewage treatment plant! So, buckle your seatbelts and get ready for a mish-mash of old cars that I found worthy of a snapshot. Maybe you’ll be able to say “Hey!”

I found this bad boy less than a block from my house, just daring me to take his mug-shot. I think it’s an early ’80s Ford F-350, with some no-nonsense extras for farming or logging. My 1982 F-100 shared a grille with this model, but not much else. My stripper model Ford had the 300 cu-in “big six” with a four-speed manual. It was a great combination that never let me down and was actually fun to drive. As for this F-350, I would love to know why that hood scoop is so far over the right…

Sticking with Ford, I found this tough-looking Fox Body Mustang near Cornwall Park. Tough, not because of its condition, but because it was “Built Ford Tough.” This GT isn’t in perfect shape, but looks great nonetheless. I think that’s a 5.0 emblem there on the front fender, so don’t mess with this kid. My closest connection to a Mustang was my friend’s ’64 that he bought off the original owner in the late ’70s. We logged thousands of miles in Jim’s early Mustang until he was bitten by the Audi bug, from which he has never recovered.

I shot this VW Camper Van on Rucker Avenue in Everett, WA. By the looks of the earth-tone graphics, I would guess it is from the mid-seventies. Back in the day I had a beautiful 1963 Westfalia and a clapped-out ’67 pop-top. For some reason I drove the beater more than the beauty. The only thing I can remember about the ’67 was a faded bumper sticker: “Jesus is Coming. Look Busy.”

Also on Rucker Ave. was this great-looking El Camino. I don’t know what’s in the water down there in Everett, but they keep their old cars nice! I never even came close to owning an El Camino, much less one this mint. I know it’s a stretch, but I did have a 1961 Ford Falcon, which was also available as a “truck,” which was also made in Detroit…

Whole Foods Parking Lot, Bellingham, WA. The owner is no doubt cheating on their local food co-op by loading up on similar Amazon goodies at a lower price. This super neat Volvo 240 GL reeks of Seattle parents sending their daughter Emily north to Western Washington University in their totally safe, totally paid off Swede-mobile. I have had a number of 240 wagons, the best being a 1987 with a 5-speed manual. Unstoppable in the snow, and in the coolness quotient.

This mid-sixties GMC Handi-Van was shot on Hewitt Ave. in Everett, which also sports a lot of cool mid-century homes. This van reminds me of a couple of really old guys who used to live in my neighborhood in Bellingham (long-since passed). I think they were bachelor brothers who ran “Jerry’s TV Repair,” which was painted on the door of their mid-sixties Ford Econoline. Same vintage, same patina. If I remember right, we used to call the old guys Horace and Jasper, from “101 Dalmatians.” Their old gold van is long gone but not forgotten.

The Handi-Van earned another shot because of the photo-bomb behind it. I think it might be an old Mitsubishi Montero (or possibly Pajero). I drove a ’92 Montie for a couple years as a hand-me down from my sister. But if I had it to do all over again, I would have gone for Jerry’s TV Repair van.

Back at the wastewater facility (read: sewage plant), I found this BMW 2002 parked in the same spot as the Karmann Ghia. My friend George used to drive a spotless 1971 BMW 2002, which figured in a lot of our Pythonesque pranks in the early ’80s. The trunk was so big, I could emerge from it at a downtown stoplight, amazing and annoying the drivers behind us. Good times, great car, goofy riders.

This ’80s Toyota SR5 still looks great and probably has 250,000+ miles. With black steelies and headache rack, this little goat will keep working for years to come. My closest comparison was an ’82 Mazda Sundowner that was tough in its own right, but lacked the cache of a Toyota truck.

Finally, I think this is an Aston Martin DB6, made in England from 1965 to 1971. I’ve never seen one let alone owned one. On the hood was an emblem for “superleggera,” which is Italian for “super light.” With coachwork by Carrozzeria Touring and “rotating” British license plates, this car was seriously out of place at a local grocery store. No degree of separation will ever get me close to this Aston Martin. I did once have a ’59 Austin-Healey Sprite, but…