1976 Sebring-Vanguard Citicar

Illustration for article titled 1976 Sebring-Vanguard Citicar

Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. 500+ vehicles into this series, we've finally got an electric car!

Illustration for article titled 1976 Sebring-Vanguard Citicar

And we're not talking about some lame-o golf cart or even a Tesla- this is a highway-legal, 3.5 horsepower Citicar, one of the lone bright spots of the Malaise Era. Most of the time, I can't find the owner when I'm shooting a cool street-parked Alameda car, but I spotted this car just as its owner, Tom, was getting ready to run some errands around town. He was happy to show off his commuter's features, and even took me for a little drive around Alameda's downtown. Alameda High was just getting out for the day, and this Citicar got more attention from teenage girls than all the Lamborghinis in the world put together- take note, high school dudes looking for a project car that will help you score with the ladeeze! You can learn more about this car here.

Illustration for article titled 1976 Sebring-Vanguard Citicar

The car has pretty decent acceleration and is surprisingly comfortable (at least, when the weather is nice). While the top speed is only about 36 MPH, that's just about perfect for getting around Alameda; most of the island has a 25 MPH speed limit, and parking is often tough for big cars.

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I nabbed a picture of one of these (in red) from the Arc de Triomphe back in 1994. It was negotiating the traffic circle with sweet Peugeot 205s and the like. The thing is tiny.