Curbside Walk’N’Talk: The CCs Of The OC Neighborhood Of The In-Laws

It was December 24th and I was full.  Far too full, having stuffed myself with the fruits of the labors performed by my mother-in-law on Christmas Eve.  The first step to a cure was to take advantage of the 70 degree weather and walk around the long hillside block of theirs, located deep inside Orange County, California.  And then halfway through my walk I decided to continue for a second lap as I was seeing more things of interest than I had anticipated and wanted to photograph them.  And I realized I really had eaten a lot.

Kicking things off with sort of a CC is this SN95 Ford Mustang convertible of the post-facelift variety, debuting for 1999.  Of course it could be as new as a 2004, but I’m no Mustang-phile so someone else can likely pinpoint the exact year.  At least it’s a GT with 4.6 liters of power, swilling down the $4.49 per gallon gasoline from the corner (which is far cheaper than it was just a few months ago so V8 power can roar again). 

The same house also sported two Chevy vans, one an Astro, the other a…Van.  I had enough candy earlier and was in no shape to start running so no need to get any closer, the phone has a zoom function.

Across the street a car draped in a not-so-sheer something.  What is it?

The rear bumper has me thinking mid-’60s Mustang, but the seam in the cover almost looks like it’s on the B-pillar of a four door, especially in the first picture.  The wheels are a set of those early ’90s six-or-so-spoked-saw-blade-looking machined alloys that a lot of Mustangs seemed to wear before people realized the cars might be worth money one day and seemingly en masse switched to TorqThrusts, all for the better.

The Mercedes SLK debuted in 1996 although this might be a slightly newer one but mainly served to remind me why that faint itch that might seem to be scratched by a Miata will just remain a faint itch for now since Sequoias and F150s are large but nowhere near the biggest things to commonly roam the roads where I live.

Contrary to popular opinion and what I tell everybody, there are still some in California that insist on owning/driving only domestically designed, badged, and built iron (and fiberglass) and this fine trifecta all sporting the California Whale Tail license plates is flanked by a C5 generation Corvette, which began production for the 1997 model year.  Two V8s and the future from a decade ago are here in the driveway.  Maybe in another decade there’ll be a Ford EVpedition and a C9 Electric Corvette here replacing the two current dark horses.

And right next door a Toyota Lover with perhaps one of the more interesting (and now valuable) Toyotas of the 1990s, the 4th generation Supra.

My high school Graphic Arts teacher drove a B-Body Olds wagon and then an ’85 Ford Bronco II while I had his class (and worked for him after school in the campus printshop); when I visited a few years later he had gotten a divorce, contacts to replace his glasses, and somehow more hair on his head.  Oh, and a Toyota Supra that was a dead ringer for this one down to the color.  Right on, Mr. Gershbein!

The license plate sequence indicates this is a Nissan Sentra of around the 1994 vintage, in XE form it’s no SE-R but it’ll never rust here and looks like it’s still chugging along just fine.

A little further down the hill a fine 1965 Ford F250 with service body!  And now with a camper on its back.  A service body seems like it would be ideal for a slide-in camper with all of the exterior storage that becomes somewhat wasted space around the wheel wells in the bed of a normal truck with a slide-in.

It’s like it was made for it.

Perhaps it was.

It’s got AC, so that’s 90 percent of the requirement for me.  I’d drive this to the beach, set up camp, crack a cold one or three and take a picture of my hairy legs dangling out with the water in the background for the old Insta’ as one apparently does…

Of course, maybe an 80-series Toyota Land Cruiser is just as appealing with all the kit.  And it’s a turbo.  Wait, no, it’s a turbo-DIESEL.  Wait more, that was never available over here and ours never had sidemarkers nor was it available with silver upper paint and the maroon from a Camry on the lower section.

But it surely was in its homeland, so maybe this is T-87’s Xmas present to all of us, ripped from the streets of Tokyo (or the remote regions of Hokkaido) and fully kitted out to do battle in the parking lot of South Coast Plaza.

Well, actually it’s plated with a Maryland registration so it’s perhaps just visiting.  Officially this is a Land Cruiser VX Limited, as other countries had far more options and ways to equip their Cruisers than we did.  Still, it was in exceptional shape and exciting to see.  A CC salute for you!

A little further down the street a resident who felt the deep love for the Scion xB, one of each generation, proudly displayed in the driveway.

An early 1980s Ford F150 regular cab long bed.

And a few doors down my favorite F150 due to the styling of the front end, for some reason this almost four decade old style still looks modern to me.

But my heart went aflutter at the sight of this little 1982 or 1983 4th generation Toyota pickup, these might be my favorite based on the styling alone.

Toyota bought a lot of this brown paint in the early ’80s or maybe it was left over from the late ’70s, either way it’s nice to see this one still working hard after forty years.  Well worth a CC salute as well.

It wouldn’t be California without a VW Beetle, and the secret is that only in California are there still Bugs (the majority in fact) without the huge roof racks that they sport everywhere else trying to ironically catch that “Cal Bug” look…

The plate is from the early ’90s and the rust indicates this one migrated here from the midwest or thereabouts after twenty years of snow and slush, now enjoying semi-retired life under the palms.

Who can blame it?  Of course, to swing the $1.5-ish million average price of every house in the background of these pictures, maybe this is the tradeoff…

Dark green may be the traditional best color for a Land Rover Discovery but surely the red is at least a close second, especially for this pristine-appearing late first-generation example across the street from the Bug.

I’ve been walking these blocks towards the end of the year for about thirty years now and this car has always been here, usually covered.  It’s been a few years and my memory isn’t perfect but I’m pretty sure it’s an Alfa GTV under there.

Even draped it’s a great shape.  Can’t recall the color though, dark blue perhaps?

And a Dodge Ram lover lives here, with a 3500 Cummins Turbo Diesel dually (not commonly seen hereabouts but this WAS farmland once upon a time, those oranges weren’t taking themselves to market…) and a 1500 in the driveway, both looking like they are still in their prime.

And this one is five doors down and completely unrelated, a slightly sunbaked RCSB Dodge Ram 1500.  Almost time to round the last couple of corners that seem to be mainly newer iron except for another Mustang.

Whether a Mustang fan or not, that color combination never gets old.

I’m guessing 1966?  Correct me if I’m wrong, please.  Who cares if it isn’t “real”, it’s real enough for the owner to drive and show off in his or her spare time.  Works for me.

I think I’d take it over the first car I saw.  But now it’s time to get back and see about another slice of pie.  Happy Holidays!