Jump to content

Jon's Spotting Thread. USA Road Trip.

Recommended Posts

Righto, I'm going to take a moment to cast my mind back to my previous US trip, in 2017. Wondering how best to use the 10 days or so we had spare after allocating too much time to drive Route 66, I decided I'd really like to see Monument Valley, since it's an iconic outlook, which has featured in countless films.

However, here's what it looked like, on the day we visited:


It's moody, I'll give you that. But after scaring the heck out of my Mrs_Jon, slipping a Hyundai Sonata about the muddy track and narrowly avoiding getting stuck, we conceded defeat and I vowed that I had unfinished business and would need to return....



Here's what it looked like last year!! Incidentally, that's a Chevy Malibu. I didn't like it as much as to drive as the previous Hyundai we'd hired but it had more toys. I chose a Malibu after asking a parking attendant at Hertz (RIP) LAX which car in our range would he most likely choose to drive. There was a solitary Chevy pickup truck seemingly available too but I chickened out; plus, it wasn't a full size one, so what's the point?



Yeah, definitely better conditions that day! I had a flipping ace time driving around the bases of these amazing structures and taking loads of photos, so hopefully I won't delete them all this time...



Anyway, I suppose this is primarily a car spotting thread, so here's some, seen in Colorado the next day. Just up the road from these was a scrap yard with some choice subjects but the proprietor wasn't willing to have me sniff about the place with a camera. He did show me a photo book of some stuff he had but it's not the same, is it?



This was also on the same road, close by. The level of care that's gone into this is a fitting end for this shell, I reckon.



Then we visited Mesa Verde. Whilst very much appreciating the ancient ruins, it costs extra to walk amongst them in an organised tour and it didn't look particularly interesting, I'll be honest. In fact, I'm going to sound like a right philistine but neither of us actually cared much for this place, as primarily the 'attractions' are various empty holes dotted about the place, which people dutifully drive to and stop at, in the vein hope of seeing something interesting. My imagination is not sparked into overdrive by the sight of a 2 foot deep round hole and a (poor) artist's impression of how it was once a hut. But then I used to be bored by Time Team much of the time, too. Sorry.



But this got my juices flowing, though!! A triumph Herald in the USA! Judging by the tyres, it looks like @trigger was the previous owner! I jest, sorry trig!



But look, another one!!



Judging by the homebrew effort, Herald US spec Herald rear lamps aren't too easy to get hold of. There's remnants of a couple of witty* bumper stickers on the boot. Bottom left one says "if you don't like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalk". Great stuff. 



There was also a cool old shorty bus keeping them company but that's the best shot I got, soz.



On a convoluted way back to our motel, driving some back roads for fun, I saw these snowy mountains in my rear view mirror, so had to stop and get a shot. Luckily, most cars are still easy to hear coming at 65mph, so it's totally safe to stand in the middle of the road, concentrating on taking photos.



The next day, we drove a few hundred miles and also visited two National Parks, so plenty to be getting on with but gladly, I made time to stop for this Ford CL9000 cabover truck. Cabovers are extinct in the US, at least as tractor units, so it had to be done. Nice colours, too.



Here's a view from Canyonlands National Park, which is quite aptly named.



And here's a view from Arches National Park, which is also aptly named, as it has many natural stone arches that have emerged through erosion. None of these are arches however but they are big and very impressive.



Another gratuitous holiday snap that's not directly car related (this thread will be getting bunked off to the open forum, if I'm not careful) but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that these giant slithers of rock are actually awesome, in that they inspired general awe from me.



The next day, there was an equally awesome sight - a 1980's Iveco Zeta!! I love seeing federalised European trucks like Ford Cargos and smaller payload Volvos but I'd forgotten that Iveco made in to the US. I can't seem to find out how long they were on sale there but presumably sales were due to a merger with some other truck company or other and not the roaring success of stateside Fiat sales.



I'd only spotted the Zeta when finding somewhere to turn round, so I could grab a shot of this nicely undisturbed shop front and signage. Would deffo buy all my modern appliances/RCA gramophones from here.



Then mere moments away on the same road, I hit automotive paydirt.


More of this to come!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So, as per my previous post, I'd encountered a load of interesting old cars at this place in Delta, Colorado:



Sadly, it was a Saturday so there was proprietor to chat to as it was shut. It was also all open plan though, so off I spotted.



Old Buick of some sort. Check out how inboard the wheels were of these early-ish days covered wing full size autos. A tie over from the accepted track of pre-war cars?



I'm not really up on my accurate dating of 1950's models but the flusher sided styling tells me this is later. As do the wheels, which almost meet the outer panels.



Behind it was this Roger Moore shape AMC Hornet. I've said it before but I love almost every AMC model they made - they seemed so innovative, as US manufacturers go at least, anyway. Lifted 4WD coupe/hatchback in the late 70's, anyone?



Facing the Hornet were these two trucks, one GM and one Ford. Not terribly noteworthy, other than the rather interesting alloy wheel on the Ford. I didn't know alloy wheels for trucks existed this early; would like to know more.



In between the Hornet and pickups though were these!!



What a sight for the eyes! I'm pretty sure someone on here has a rather fetching red one of these - @flat4alfa, perhaps? Thinking about it, there's may be a slightly later model.



Still, it's a whole lot of class for $1250! That's £998 at current rates, if it's still about!



The same amount would bag you this Lincoln Continental, too. I do find it strange how many of these seemed to have survived, as although I imagine they were an aspirational car, often cherished by their owners, they must've become very unfashionable, very quickly, back in the day. I dream of buying a big old Yank in the US and touring about the place in it but there's an underlying fear I'd end up with one of these rather than something much more interesting, due to their general availability.

Why must I daydream so pessimistically?!



Anyway, with that gibberish musing over, here's a Mercury of some sort. Very fetching on steels but their dimensions don't half show off how needlessly massive that front wing is. Also, 1970's federalised bumpers get a bashing (I guess that's what they were made for) over their sheer size but scroll up to those 50's Buicks and these seem quite constrained.



I also can't remember what model of Ford this is and I'm too lazy to Google it. I do quite like the '4dr Lincoln Continental' vibe this gives off. In fact, Ford did a few 4dr versions of more commonly associated 2 door coupes back in the day. What happened? I don't know but what I do know is that the $950 price (£760) has been crossed out, so presumably this could've been picked up for less than that!



Ordinarily, this beautifully stewed Oldsmobile would be a delight to spot out on its own. But it's almost an unwanted distraction from those unloved, borderline extinct 70's and 80's US models right now.



That's better! What a line-up! I'm sure Hirst would be hard pressed in choosing which to take to Polish supermarkets and consume powdered coffee drinks in, were he still with us today. I honestly can't pick between them, either. Loving the fact they're all a battered silver grey, too.



There was also a couple of exhibits parked up on the street that forms a dead end with the forecourt. I wasn't particularly taken by this Dodge but it's documented here for completion's sake.



In stark contrast however, I was very, very interested in the KLF era Galaxie! At least, I think it's the same era and I also think it's a Galaxie. The $500 price is £400. I honestly think that had the place been open and were the owner a half decent salesperson, he'd have had a sale from me.



As sun-ruined interiors go, this isn't so dire. Check out the dash - 4 binnacles!



There's such beauty here, I couldn't even find fault in this warts and all repair, although I'm trying to fathom what actually happened; it reminds me of a contrived bit of purposeful damage by an over zealous member of art department for a film. Either way, it would've stayed entirely as is, had it been on my watch.



It even had a full set of trims! just wish that wheel off the old Dodge hadn't been plonked against the rear end, so I could've got a clean shot of the rear end.


You may note that I've been quite taken by many of the Ford products on offer at this place and I honestly can't count the number of times I've whistfully reminisced about that green Galaxie since meeting it. The exact same thing happened with a green 4 door Torino I saw on my last US trip, shown here:


Granted, this was in much better shape.


Anyway, all this leads me to suspect that I am now a 'Ford Guy', so I must away to buy some terrible blue oval themed attire.


Next time, much of the same.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone, I'm back!


I haven't been anywhere really but I've got some free time right now to undertake a pointless task that' nobody's asked for, so let's get back into it:



MG Midget is even more aptly named in this context. Sadly this one is bereft of its US-issued triple wiper set-up but I do like the steels. Bonnet stripe is guff, though.



Again, lovely steels on this Impala(?). That Chev bow tie grille badge can do one, though. If this does turn out to be a Chevrolet, then it's one that has a very Cadillac-ish side-view. In summary, there's more to like than not, here.



I think this may be a Chevy Monza up front and again, a rather respectable motorcar it looks for the slashed window price - £430 in today's money. That's nothing though - the Mercedes SL behind it is less than £275!! I am rather fond of these less popular hardtop versions with the stretched wheelbases, especially when painted avocado green or some such. And with matching stainless wheel trims, of course. I've also just noticed: has someone gone to the trouble of importing a set of Euro-spec headlamps for this, to replace the twin fronts?



Again, it was there, so I took a photo. There's bits to like but overall, I'm not enamoured. Maybe it would somehow look better if it still had its headlamp bezels? And its rear 'screen, too; without it, the styling is a little too cab forward and looks like an abandoned half-arsed pick-up conversion.



Across the road were these old relics, presumably connected to this place, too. I'll admit though, it was flipping hot, the road was busier than it looked and all in all, I just couldn't be bothered to head over there. Sorry!



Also, much of the stuff is just that little bit too old for any personal frame of reference/interest. I'll admit that the petrol tanker far left of frame did pique interest but I can't spend all day looking at old knackers and stay happily wed.



I'm sure this would be of interest to old @barrett, if he's not currently buffing up the chrome of a Hillman Minx in his Rootes regalia ill fitting fleece, or whatever.



The epitome of salty at almost £1400 - that's 4 Citroen Xantias, FFS! Or half a running Morris Minor, probably.



I'm certainly no dyed-in-the-shag pile hot rod fiend but there's something so minimistically excellent about this overall shape that looks just right, to my eyes. I'm sure that once some wings were put on and that lovely swoopy rear arch line were diluted by them, I'd come to my senses. Can't remember what the front end looked like; I'm assuming not as good as the rear three quarters.



AMC Jon Spotted Thread Commentary Edition (Rambler)



This was also another personal favourite, even if it was a little 'obvious' as a choice. Look how low that window line is!



RAAAAR! Get out my way, small post war European cars! Imagine piloting a Renault Dauphine or such like back in the era of these? Certainly, the powdery beige paint is working for me big time here, as it just looks ready to tackle the post-apocalyptic world we surely face.

Happy thoughts, people! Assuming anyone still reads this dirge.

Bye for now! 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Dan! I rather think you'd enjoy a trip there, so hopefully you can make it happen some day!



Down the road from the old car lot was this place, selling interesting looking old things also. Sadly, it was shut, so I couldn't explore. That said, there's not time to stop to look at everything, when you've 2 weeks to whip around the place.



Further down the way, we turned off to a small roadside town for a nice yet over priced coffee. Thought it best to have a quick look about the place and was thankful to nab this resting FJ Land Cruiser for my efforts. Glad to see one in slightly scuffy, daily driver mode, since these are now commanding coin.



Not sure what this is but I'm going to say a Chevrolet, as my stock answer. If you mention something often enough, it stands a change at being right.



This was artfully placed beside said coffee shop, presumably as an item of interest to draw in the crowds. Perhaps not but the marketing plan worked for me, at least, if it were one.



After refreshments, it was time for more driving, interspersed with sightseeing. I took this photo after coming down the other side of Lizard Pass, which climbs to 10222ft.



Then after scampering back to the car and having just put my camera away, I hear and air cooled VW chugging away, so I rushed to get my camera back out and nab a shot - hence the blur. Think it was worth it, though!



Again, a slight blur in this shot - no excuses, as it obviously wasn't hooning. Interesting to note that the plate is a very old Colorado issue, with a date of 1969 stamped on it. Am guessing perhaps this runs a private plate which reuses this number, or maybe it's not quite entirely legal? Either way, I'm glad that there's someone else out there who appreciates a nice old plate as much as I do. And if those tail lamps are correct, this is an early Split! Driving up a 10000ft road! Good on ya, mate.



Have another scene, both for context and as previously mentioned, to ensure that I have at least some photos left from my holidays, should I mistakenly choose to delete them all again....



Here's a jolly scene for @Spottedlaurel to take a gander at.  4x4 model, so GR8 4 high altitude dwelling, shady yet lovable antiques dealers.



Now this was a personal list-ticking photo; grab one of those iconic 'miles of empty highway' photos, which actually aren't that easy to come across. This was one of the highways passing reservation land, which does help, as these areas are often sparsely populated. Which is nice, when like me you wish to take a photo in slap bang in the middle of the road.



Last shot this day was the view outside our motel room - a least it masked the I-40, which was just behind it. I love the simplicity of the tie-downs, which seemed to consist of blocks of wood, ratchet straps and large u-bolts. I'm sure there was something else more substantial that wasn't immediately visible but I didn't want to sniff around too close in the dark. Note the plywood mud flaps on the rear one!

Anyway, this day's travel started with an Iveco Zeta and ended with this rig, so a fitting bookend to a good day's spotting and almost 400 miles of driving and sighseeing.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The rust and grey Chevrolet is a Plymouth ! 

Thanks for the drive in your new car too Jon, After I got over the shock I approve very much.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since @STUNO has so many years on me and probably remembers them from when they were new, I'll bow to his spotting knowledge!


The next day, we headed further into New Mexico and a mid-morning stop was at a lovely little place called Pie Town. Here's an image to greet passers-by:


Again, one for @Spottedlaurel. Sorry for all the shout outs!



Some of the shop fronts on the main road could do with a spruce up.



Thought this one came out quite well.



Love the stoved in rear wing on the Chevrolet (am I right this time, STUNO?)



In retrospect, I should've left the receiver dangling in this photo, for a bit of faux rural dystopian drama.



These bonnets really are something else, aren't they?!


Then it was time to sample the signature dish of Pie Town; pies, funnily enough. With an establishment carefully chosen from the 3 or 4 pie shops (handily, this one was actually open), we ventured in to a warm welcome from a 'Mom & Pop' couple. She was running the place and he was teaching cribbage to some German tourists. Strangely, there were no prices on the (sweet) pies but not to worry, as how much can a bit of pie cost? Mumsy cordial lady suggested an ice cold drink when we weren't really bothered, plus a dollop of ice cream each, since pie isn't the same without it, apparently.

Just a note to the unwise, here - Americans are mostly lovely people to deal with, especially in commercial situations but the personal service offered is as much a nice gesture as a way to rinse you of more money. Our two pies and unwanted additions came to way north of £20, after tax 'n tip. So be careful out there!



One good thing though was that the cribbage playing man was a member of their volunteer fire brigade, so he sanctioned me to take a look 'round the outside of their station. Here's their old appliance, which looks to be only recently decommissioned. 



And here's the previous one! 



Looking very much like a relics of distant times past, imagine my surprise when I read the sticker on the door, which had a date of 1998!! There was evidence that the sticker had had a previous town's name underneath, with Pie Town being a later addition. So potentially, this was deployed here some time in the 21st Century. I know we've got some old knackers still on the NZ fleet in rural/volunteer roles but I doubt there's anything quite as old, anymore.  The current unit sitting in the shed all polished up was some Ford F series thing and looked pretty much brand new, should anyone be at all interested.


Then a short trip down the road, we came across a charity shop/junk store in a town called Datil, so had to take a look, as even abroad, I enjoy buying others' tat.



After bagging an old Pepsi bottle I liked the look of, the owner showed me a post card of the place across the road, from back in the day.



It's safe to say that it's changed a bit over the years! Fortuitously, a tasty looking Bronco II passed by just as I was lining up the camera. I know I've banged on about it before but just look at that tiny slither of roof guttering aft of the the side picture window!

Next time, more old cars (funny, that).



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's the thread that keeps on giving! Realistically, there can't be many cooler cars than that Corvair for the money, even with shipping costs. Fill the trunk up with spare fanbelts from Clark's Corvair Parts before it sets sail and job's a goodun. Rover P6 headlamps fit for RHD purposes, should one bother to MoT it on arrival. Ours has been in storage since last year, due to lack of space and 'the situation'. Would be nice to give it at least one run out this summer.

1 hour ago, Jon said:


Thought this one came out quite well.

I would think that Chev is quite a rare model, being a two-door pillared saloon rather than a coupe or hardtop. A real little old lady car.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The ‘61 Chevrolet is probably a Biscayne, which was the the base full size model. As Barrett says, pretty rare now as a 2 door sedan - ‘a 2 dr post’ in US speak (post being the B pillar) and a drag racer replica builder would certainly give that a new home.

Probably boasts a straight six under the hood (if there’s anything still under there).

In the 1940s/50s you could get ‘businessman special’ 2 doors which were fleet oriented with no rear seat for more space for your sales rep‘a samples, but I’m not sure if this was carried into the 1960s. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, barrett said:

It's the thread that keeps on giving! Realistically, there can't be many cooler cars than that Corvair for the money, even with shipping costs. Fill the trunk up with spare fanbelts from Clark's Corvair Parts before it sets sail and job's a goodun. Rover P6 headlamps fit for RHD purposes, should one bother to MoT it on arrival. Ours has been in storage since last year, due to lack of space and 'the situation'. Would be nice to give it at least one run out this summer.

I would think that Chev is quite a rare model, being a two-door pillared saloon rather than a coupe or hardtop. A real little old lady car.

Funnily enough, I didn't know you actually had a Corvair, just thought it was an intention. But then I thought you may well have had a Corvan? I don't know. Will have to peruse your fleet thread more carefully.

Also, it's funny the things that people pick up on. To me, it was just a characterful old car near a nice big sign but I do like the idea that it's something relatively unusual. Probably not 2 door Mk2 Cav levels of unusual but I'll take the finder's credit!



Further along the same road was a big bank of obsevatory dishes or whatever they're called. Here's a couple just to the right - I was seemingly more interested in the school bus. For it's iconic status on the US landscape, before you ask!



I was going to say that this looked like a nice purposeful F Series Ford but then I noticed the cab shape just in time. DODGEd a bullet, there.



Here's a couple of late 70's/early 80's seminal American coupes basking out in Socorro, New Mexico. There was apparently an alien sighting there back in the 1960's, which is the kind of attraction Mrs_Jon is into, though thankfully on a 'fan of X-Files' scale, rather than 'tin foil hat mind bullets' levels of interest/insistence. Having picked up a rather naff mug from a tat shop to commemorate our stay, it was time to head south on the interstate.



Just before the interstate however, I saw in interesting truck parked at an otherwise empty petrol station. Needing a rest break (picking up the lingo, here), I pulled in on those terms and then got out the camera afterwards.




An alternative to the 'built, not bought' stickers you see on lowered E36 BMWs with rimz.



Turns out it was owned by the young chap behind the counter, who was so not busy, he came out to chat about it. Turns out he'd only had it a year or two and had been given it for finishing school (I think) by his Grandad, who'd owned it since the early 1970's. 



I can't remember if this was the original engine or not but it sounded like he was getting some eye wateringly hoffic mileage, like 4mpg or something. To the point that it appeared like the vast proportion of his wages were going into the fuel tank to get him to work.



I don't know if it's the wheels with the bow tie centre caps intact but it seemed like a real survivor. A few dents here and there but nothing contrived, just wear and tear with age. He did mention not being sure whether to repaint it or not and I tried to convince him that it'd only be original once and to use the saved cash to make it cheaper to run. Despite being an affable sort, I've no idea if I was able to convince him of this but he did seem genuinely pleased to see someone take an interest in his rig, so I hope his day was cheered up just as much as mine by the meeting.


Sorry for the short report lads but I've other pressing engagements. Got a few more to come, though.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice shots. Some states will allow you to reuse an vintage plate if they can't find it in use in their records, so if you can find a set that weren't turned in that match the age of the car, you can sometimes get to use them. Applies to "antique" vehicles only.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, PhilA said:

Nice shots. Some states will allow you to reuse an vintage plate if they can't find it in use in their records, so if you can find a set that weren't turned in that match the age of the car, you can sometimes get to use them. Applies to "antique" vehicles only.



Ooh, that's an interesting nugget of number plate information - thanks Phil! Is Louisiana one of them? If so, do you think you'd consider getting a set? May be nice to have some anyway regardless, as most junk/antiques shops seem to have old plates in their inventory.


Today's update comes from Carrizozo, NM. Seemed like a nice little town but was a little bit out on its own and as such, appears to have cornered the market as local dumping ground for old cars. Good for me!



Down the main road into town, there were a few scrap yards on both sides, one of which was an absolute gem but looked to be deserted. Called in to the next one, mentioned I was from NZ (a much better calling card than saying I'm British - no-one questions the similarity in accents) and laid it on a bit, to see if they knew the owners. Turns out it wasn't a place I should be looking to explore if I didn't want trouble but the owner let me look around the lot at the front of his yard. Didn't go in the yard itself as people seemed busy at work. Fair enough. 

Anyway, that's a nice looking Mercedes and obviously in daily use. Looks so right with the federal round indicators up front and big, squishy tyres. Could give or take the white paint but I assume it's a practical hue for local conditions. Not so sure about the red interior but you'd look the part as you roasted away.



I'm rather torn by the styling of these Rancheros, as I feel like the Torino front end is just a little sporting for the business back end. Only a bit, though. Plus, they seem to attract terrible paint and wheel choices, as demonstrated. Perhaps my eyes have been biased, as I'd much prefer an XA/XB/XC Falcon ute on steels and dog dishes.



Across the road was another couple of Mercs, which made me wonder if that was owned by the guy I'd spoken to, as well. Turns out it was a no and the vibe of the place told me it wasn't worth trying to visit.



I'm a fan of most eras of Chevy Novas - I even thought that bringing an early wagon back to NZ would be a good idea. Then I saw one locally last week, stock standard and looking stunning, so I don't need to do that, now. For a lower priced model, this coupe is quite the looker.



And I suppose this would've been the 21st Century equivalent of a 'sporty' Nova? I knew that these Mk5 Astra coupes were sold as Saturns were a thing but this was the only one I saw. As a brand, I'm very much behind the models that GM marketed as Saturns, as there was some really cool/gawky styling going on. I liken Saturn to GM's AMC and think it's sad the brand has been dropped.



Well, there had to be one early Mustang somewhere in the mix, didn't there? These are like MGBs in NZ, they're that ubiquitous but I struggle to remember seeing a single working Mustang over about 3 years old plying the US roads. And is that another potentially rare 2 door model, parked next to it?



Check this out though! Seems like front grilles for Mk1 Sciroccos aren't an easy thing to come by, so the front punt may have been the reason it's parked up. 



Can't say I care too much for the red paint job, as they look much better in metallic colours, or jazzier tones. That said, my brother bought one back in the mid 90's for something ludicrous like £50 running and MOT'd, due mostly to the fact it had been halfheartedly flattened back for a repaint. Which he duly did, with next to no prep work, with bright yellow spray paint from cans and a black tide line that went in line with the crease half way up the doors. It looked as awful as it sounds but that was such a great car. There's even a picture of it towing a 1970's caravan he'd dug out of a garden, somewhere. Happy Days!



This was part of the perimeter wall opposite, which proper looked the part. Sadly, a bit of 21st century had crept in, as one of the trucks was wearing a modern alloy, so I chose to cut that one out, for the sake of all our sanities.



Arguably, this line-up was even better, as well as being more fit for purpose. I wonder when any of these wall bits were last one the road?



Decided to take a quick trip through the houses to see what there was but it's at times like this that the nerves kick in when snapping old crud, as you're hardly inconspicuous cruising about the place in a brand new car on Californian plates. Still, I manned up just enough when I spotted this, which has perhaps a Buick vibe to me? It does look like a GM FWD platform to me for some reason but I'm likely wrong on both counts and am too lazy to Google.



I can detect that this is a Dodge van though, even without the badge up front. There's a sort of Barkas reminiscence in the side windows to me (sort of) but I've always found those oversized headlamp bezels a little challenging on the eye. And look! Another Bronco II! Wonder if these will see some market interest on the back of the relaunch of the Bronco? Probably not, I'd say.



And I reckon this is a Ford Granada, or whatever the 2 door version was called, if they gave it a different name. Not the best crescendo to end a day's spotting with but what can you do? You've got to play with the cards you're dealt with, in this game.



Finally, our gaff for the night. Was a cheap room and it's fair to say, we got what we paid for but I like the more gritty end of the accommodation scale, although I do have my limits.



A word to the wise, though; if you're planning a trip to the US and want to pay with a card on arrival to a night's stay, consider getting a card that actually has your name on it. Several places refused to let us pay on out pre-paid currency cards for this very reason, as apparently they're rife for scammers scabbing back the money a few days later.


See you next time, for more old cars and unsolicited holiday advice!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/22/2020 at 6:02 PM, Jon said:

Welcome! A Citi Golf in NZ is a fine spot to make and I've seen a couple myself, so resident South Africans must like to bring a little bit of home along with them when they move here. That background has a sort of Auckland vibe, I'm guessing.


Now arguably, this post has hit 'peak Autoshite' with that quoted photo above already as sadly I've only got some boring old competition cars to document this time: but gosh darn it, I've bared witness to some stuff which I enjoyed and I've gone to the trouble of uploading photos and thought about dribbling on about them, so I may as well bosh them up for all and sundry to ambivalently scroll past. Hold onto your hats!



Here's a Corolla replica  Japanese touring cart of some sort which an enthusiastic young chap had built. Sadly, it didn't perform that well but top marks for trying! It did look as it had been very carefully recreated, judging by the paint job and decals which look period correct.



This is an established racer from the olden days but I'm not sure quite how olden those days were. I'd guess 1970's at the purple colour but I'm thinking earlier, for obvious reasons. This car actually features on the early pages of this spotting thread (if the photobucket links still exist), when I saw it racing in the south island in 2014.  So I suppose you could call it quite.... POPULAR!!!!!!



Hopefully there's no need to apologise for a second image of this Escort. I think the slightly smaller size of NZ plates accentuate the stark tidiness of the rear ends of RWD Escorts.



It was getting towards the end of the two day meet and slower cars were getting eliminated, so things started getting a little jumpy. Imagine the effect without all that downforce*.



This Pontiac Firebird was as loud as it was rapid, in a wayward manner. 



Thankfully, the driver was great at keeping it on the track and setting good times, so I got to see and hear it ripping up the hill several times. Great stuff.



Even Hillman Hunters were getting air!



I'll admit that much of the styling favours robustness over good looks but it was V8 powered and seemed to do well. Is the formerly "lightbulbfun of his day" single marque enthusiast @PaykanHunter still lurking about the place? If so, shout out and I really hope I get to see your documentary some day!



By and large, 911s don't really do it for me, although I quite like the narrow 70's/80's ones with narrow bodies and no rear spoilers. Seeing and hearing this being fanged about the place with gay abandon was indeed a top notch experience, so now this is my favourite 911 and quite possibly, my favourite car of the weekend. What's happening to me?!



To redress the balance somewhat, it appears that this is a rather mundane '77 911 made to go faster and not a 911 RS, as the plate says. Prior to this, it had the plate A911S and prior to that, a nice simple black plate, JP911. But it's a '77 car and JP would've been issued early 1980 by my reckoning, so I wonder what the original plate was? Anyway, I'm basically reiterating my displeasure at modern white plates that aren't accurate, whilst also sounding much like lightbulbfun in the process. If you're reading Dez, I do jest, as it's great that someone so young is passionate about something niche from another era.



To redress the audible tuts, this thing absolutely flew, made the top 3 fastest and also reminded me of a rallycross car, with its covered headlamps. 



I think that's just about 3 wheels off the ground. Claim to fame: I've been to the AJ's Emporium, which sponsors the OSR of this. Verdict: A good shop which is quite literally, an emporium.



Here's the owner of the track beating the above car in his Pikes Peak Celica* which he raced to victory. But that day, someone else drove faster.



Alister McRea! A lovely shot here, with the bonus edition of a man awkwardly bending down bang centre of frame.



This was his final, winning climb of the day, making it to the top in a smidgen under 48 seconds. Since it's a 1.6 km track and I'm an utter wizz at in-head decimal to mineral translations, I make that an average speed of 75mph! I'm a sucker for a turbo flat 4 Subaru rally car with a McRae behind the wheel, as avidly following the Rothmans Legacys and State Express 555 Imprezas on the telly in the 90's and nabbing as much memorabilia from the Subaru stands at the motor show each year was about the closest I have ever come to supporting a team in any form of sports. So it's nice that I was able to see a McRae driving live, on the other side of the world. 



Final AS green tick approved spot of the day was this tasty Datsun wagon. I like the scribed lines round the wheel arches and that quite extreme kink in the rear door window line. Both are endearing in this sense but such fripperies irritate me greatly in modern car design, which goes to show that I'm needlessly dissenting of new cars, even though they are all crap.



Not sure what's going on with the rear lights in the tailgate, though. The blanking off makes it look like a pared down Japanese van spec model, or maybe that's just how they were. Any Datsun enthusiasts who actually read my tripe care to add their ideas?


Anyway, I'm going to leave one last morsel of things to come, to prove that I've not gone all highbrow and only cover racing events now.


I also went abroad on me 'ols. Tune in next time to find out the mystery* location.


Thank you for thinking about me! That White NZ Hunter is a beast! If all goes well my documentary should get released outside of Iran within the next few months. I shall keep everyone posted here. cheers

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, PaykanHunter said:

Thank you for thinking about me! That White NZ Hunter is a beast! If all goes well my documentary should get released outside of Iran within the next few months. I shall keep everyone posted here. cheers

Long time no hear! Glad that you that you still visit here on occasion and I do still look forward to seeing your Paykan documentary, so please keep us posted.


Funnily enough, I also thought of you again the other day, when I came across this photo, taken in LA in 1977:


Which features (presumably) a Sunbeam Arrow!



The photo is from a vast collection of one man's photo documenting of roadside buildings and attractions from all across the USA, which the Library of Commerce now own and have published.

Here's the links to the whole collection:



And to the photo above, which is available in file sizes from less than 200kb to over 100mb!!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...