Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. Sooner or later, I knew I'd find one of these!

The iconic shoebox Chevy is just worth too much nowadays to be a common sight on the street, even on the island. We've seen this pink '57 wagon and that's been it prior to today. It really wasn't that long ago, however, when you could get a nice four-door 55-57 Chevy for a reasonably cheap price. Back when I was in high school (early 80s) they were downright cheap; a friend of mine picked up a quasi-clean two-tone '56 Bel Air four-door (complete with 16-ton cast-iron Powerglide and slo-motion vacuum wipers) from the original owner for $600. As late as the mid-90s, you still saw rough-around-the-edges daily drivers every once in a while (in California, anyway).

Hard to believe, based on what you see at car shows, but the '55 Ford outsold its Chevrolet rival by a couple hundred thousand units. The difference in '55-Ford-versus-Chevy numbers today is probably due to the incredible small-block Chevrolet V8, which debuted in 1955 (a year later than Ford's first overhead-valve V8) and went on to become The King Of The V8 Empire.

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