QOTD: In What Year Was This Picture Taken In Fort Collins, Colorado?


(first posted 1/21/2016)    I was at my local Title Company today and had time to admire this print in their lobby while waiting for a file.  It appears to depict College Avenue (Hwy 287) facing North from right about W. Oak Street in Fort Collins, Colorado on a busy weekend day during the holiday season.  None of the identifiable businesses in the picture are still in these locations as far as I can tell; Markley Motors at the top right is now a GMC/Buick/Honda dealer several miles further south and Walgreen’s is much further south as well, however the parking layout of this street is still exactly the same.  I asked my favorite closer (Kat) how old the picture was and she suggested that I figure it out and let her know…

A couple of weeks ago a reader made a comment bemoaning the lack of interesting cars these days and that everything looks the same, insinuating that in the “old days” the automotive landscape was much more exciting.  Well, this picture pretty much illustrates the cross section of vehicles in a town that is fairly average for its time in my opinion.  A university town, not located on either coast, but also not located anywhere near the major domestic automotive manufacturing areas this should represent a decent mix but most cars seem fairly unremarkable.  Much like the average person these days can’t see much difference between a Camry, Accord, Altima, and Sonata, a lot of these 1960’s or early 1970’s models (and some from the 1950’s) look quite interchangeable as well.

I recognize the VW Squareback at the leading edge as a 1967 model (if I am not mistaken) and see several other VW’s but can’t pin down the year exactly that this was probably taken.  But I know the readership here can!  So, the question is:  What year was this photograph most likely taken?  Or, what is the newest model year car that is identifiable?  And what else do you all see?

(Update: I’ve started comment threads to ID all of the cars in specific parts of the photograph, so before you comment with your guesses, check out my comments first. PN)