Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. Today's car is a great big moldering slab-o-Malaise iron, which I found parked- strangely enough- on Bay Farm Island, a part of the city built up with new, garage-equipped tract homes and thus not a great hunting ground for vintage street-parked iron (though BFI does have some pretty good vintage BMWs).

What is a great gas-swilling old survivor like this doing serving regular street duty in a neighborhood like this? Is the original owner a visiting relative? Or maybe the rebellious teenage son of the family feels more comfortable driving in the kind of car appropriate to a Bayonne water-heater salesman in 1976 than he would in the usual 10-year-old Corolla. There's just no telling.

It's pretty beat, with the usual rear-window-area rot you get on GM cars after a few decades of rainy Bay Area winters, but it's still doing its job. With no engine-displacement emblems, we must assume it shipped from the factory (probably the Southgate plant in Southern California, if it's a California native) with a plain ol' 350 or 400 under the hood. By now, though, it could have anything from a 262 to a 454, depending on what was available in the junkyard when the previous engine gave up.

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