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!
Some interesting finds. And a good place to spend Xmas; it was crappy here, with lots of wind and rain.
The camper on the ’65 F100 appears to be a telescoping one, looking at the back of it. There would not be enough headroom as it is. And yes, a slide in on a utility bed is a great combo. Plenty of room for tools in case ye olde Ford has a minor issue on the road, god forbid.
As to the old VW, the rust all seems to be on the surface, which makes me thing it’s a beach bug, as rust in the Rust Belt usually bubbles up from the inside out.
Great commentary..bit worried about the hairy legs and that next bit of pie !
Thank you, I work hard to keep them away from each other.
Is that a Saturn that wagon next to/behind the covered Alfa Gtv?
Yes, I should have taken a picture of it, an LW, probably LW300, and a 2000-2002 based on the amber in the tail lights.
I agree with Paul; this looks like a good place to spend Christmas. It was unseasonably cold here (about 25 F for the high) and I was sick as hell. Here’s hoping for a better Christmas in 2023.
There are some pretty good finds here, with white being well represented.
That white F-150 is an ’87 to ’91 model, which was a rather retrograde move after the prior generation. The snout is too blunt although the rest of the package can be terrific. All the ills were corrected with the ’92s.
If either of those short bed Dodges grew another 18″ out back they would be ideal.
An admission…I knew Orange County was in the south, but I didn’t know specifically where. Now I know. We will definitely be in the next county to the north this summer, a trip I am rather excited about, mostly because I plan to visit the Petersen Museum.
Make time for the new Academy Award museum, which is just across the street from the Petersen. Save a day for this, it’s great. Did you know that the La Brea tar pits are just a bit down the road. Along with the Museum of Modern Art. A lot of cool stuff packed in this little part of town. I have quite a soft spot for LA.
Yes the Petersen is great, and I concur with the La Brea Tar Pits and the Museum of Modern Art (havent’ seen the Academy Award museum myself so can’t comment) It’ll be a good trip, just plan 3x as long as you might anticipate to get anywhere in daytime hours and you’ll be fine.
If you’re a fan of prewar cars, the Nethercutt Museum up in the north end of the San Fernando valley is a must see. Not only are the cars pristine, the building is the nicest facility of any automotive museum I’ve visited.
Yes, the Tar Pits and the Museum of Modern Art are on my bucket list…they appear to be in walking distance but is walking even a thing in LA? :).
Dave mentions the Nethercutt below; that’s a goal as is another museum in Encino…the one where they take visitors in rides on Sunday.
Walking is often faster than driving there. 🙂
The driving museum is in El Segundo, near LAX.
We also had some great weather on Christmas, but now the rain has started again. I lived in the LA area back in the early ’80’s. I prefer the South SF Bay and have been here since ’05.
New Edge Mustangs have been on an upswing in popularity around here. The power train and chassis was steadily improved through their run. There were also many special models such as the Cobras, Bullitt, and the Mach One. Older SN95s like my ’96 GT had to make do with only 215 hp. but these GTs reached up to 260 hp. Of the peak was the Terminator Cobra with over 400 hp. I’ve got those same wheels on my car.
The Supra was a good find. These were considered to be collectible since they were new, that kept them out of the hands of owners that would butcher them, unlike old Acuras and Nissan Zs.
There are sure a lot of trucks and SUV type of vehicles visible, not many newer sedans except for the Tesla.
Jim & Paul,
I think you’re correct that the camper shown is a telescoping version. I would love to have one, and have been searching for a similar used camper for over 10 years for my 2001 Dodge 1 ton truck with a Stahl 8′ utility body. Can’t justify the expense to have a new one made as they are all custom made to order. I’m told it’s because few utility truck owners want a slide-in camper.
Unlike normal pickup bed dimensions, the typical utility bed area is 49 to 50 inches wide, and 96″ long, but the insert needs to be 2 inches shorter due to the front panel having a protruding lip into the bed area. Plus the sides are higher than the normal pickup bed sides.
Many camper units that slide in, get wider than 48 to 50 inches across the back area between the wheel arches and the tailgate, thereby filling in the gap all the way across the width of the tailgate.
Definitely a telescoping camper – here’s an ad for one showing it in the extended position too:
As Elkhart, Indiana seems to be the center of RV manufacturing for the last few decades, El Monte was the place many pickup campers where made back in the ’60’s heyday of that type. Bill, you are probably not near San Diego, but there is a unique business there, Pop Top Overland that restores and customizes vintage telescopic pickup campers. I’m sure they could fix you up.
Man, with the red Supra being the exception that proves the rule, they sure do love their white, black, and gray vehicles there in Orange County!
Great commentary…and a good after-feast walk indeed.
I’m a Mustang fan so the first picture put a smile on my face and brought back good memories of an 03 Coupe I had.
Then I thought, “how nice to live somewhere where the vehicle stays clean for long periods of time.” It was at this point I remembered what my 08 Rabbit looks like after a day of slush, snow and salt from the roads here in Calgary. Ugh, on the bright side we’re basking in warm air with the thermometer sitting around Zero (32F).
When my youngest daughter and family lived in Redmond, WA I would enjoy walking the dog in the neighbourhood and checking out some of the cars and trucks parked curbside or on driveways. Being an affluent area because of Microsoft, Google, etc. older cars weren’t that plentiful. However, a sixties Beetle was on the next block, an International Scout in another direction and a few blocks in another direction, a sixties Bronco and some old Mercedes sedans.
My family members never asked why I was so eager to walk the dog. Well, I wanted to do it for my health and keep from getting bored while doing so.
My first thought on the covered car was 90s Roadmaster, but if you thought it could be a Mustang (trunk’s too long), it must be something smaller.
Nice interesting collection and you definitely saved the best for last. Never really a pony car fan, but a first gen Mustang, especially in GT350 livery! Bam, for the win. I don’t care if it was just a Falcon with a pretty dress on, it was and is a winner and everyone knows it.
I think SN95 Mustang is a 2000, 99s had 35th annversary emblems and this still has the earlier style spoiler, hood and side scoops and chrome headlights before the 2001 update added the blackout headlight housings and larger scoops. Pretty remarkable condition actually, it seemed like all of these early New Edges got retrofitted with the later dress up items, or Cobra body parts. This generation is known for being kind of busy and garish, but the original 99-00 iteration was actually pretty clean looking. CA fuel costs are insane but in reality those 4.6s get about the same mpg as the V6, and can get mid or even high twenties on the highway if the owner resisted the urge to change the rear end gears to something more spunky. Only mechanical issues these are known for are cracking the plastic intake manifolds, which has probab ably been addressed by now, the 4.6 and 4R70w is as rock solid reliable as it is in panthers, or better yet the 5 speed makes these great fun for their depreciated buck. You won’t win many stop light races these days but you’ll have more fun trying!
A fine selection, walking around my in law’s neighborhood was near impossible this Christmas, with the-15 and howling horizontal snow we’ve had. Both my son and I missed Christmas Eve at dad’s, I had a cold and Derek D recovering from Covid. Nobody wants to be the one to get 85 year old Grandpa sick.
Lovely weather for a post-meal stroll! For a time I had two brothers living in SoCal – one in Orange County and another in San Diego. It was a great place for visiting, and I never tired of seeing the many old cars still visible.
I am amazed at the number of those 80’s/early 90’s Ford pickups still on the road. Even here in the crusty midwest, those things are still seen occasionally. I will also confess to still carrying a torch for Toyota Land Cruisers of that generation, and this is an extra nice one.