Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em

For some reason I bumped into this old folder on an old hard drive — pictures of streetparked cars in my hometown shot eight years ago.

Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em
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That’s a nice Datsun 510 with a later engine swap just parked right out on the street, no hood necessary. What is that, a KA or an SR20?

Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em

This was not the only Datsun 510 parked right around there. This was an ordinary survivor car. These things were the hot item back around then in NorCal. Everyone wanted one, and I’m sure this thing got scooped up by some 20-something in no time.

Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em
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Here’s possibly the first Baja-ized VW I ever shot. It had, as you can see, no fenders. You can’t quite make out the really ugly alloy wheels, or the general lack of a front end, of which I don’t have any surviving pictures. I still have no idea what that bottle is supposed to be about.

Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em
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Could it be somehow related to the odd button on the steering wheel?

Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em
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Long before Brian Scotto of Hoonigan fame had his flat black Napalm Nova, I spotted this really quite mean later Nova.

Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em
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Look at the old school stance on this thing! And the side pipe! I still adore this generation of Nova and the corresponding two-door Malibu, too. One day I’ll get one of these, or maybe a ‘64-’65 two-door Chevelle and build some kind of junkyard turbo straight six street machine out of it. Yeah, definitely.

Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em
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Parked also quite nearby was this old AMC Spirit, a car that I don’t think I will ever see parked on the street again. I could not get enough of those tape stripes. Man, this thing is a forgotten car.

Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em
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I also liked the old NHRA sticker. Yep, that’s a completely stock, streetparked, un-fucked-with early ‘70s Chevelle in the background. I wonder if this car got hot rodded, donked, or junked.

Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em
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It’s easy to understand the impetus to put big wheels on old body-on-frame American sedans. These cars came with pitifully undersized wheels and tires. GM was the worst offender, maybe even recklessly so from a safety standpoint.

Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em
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Here’s a great if somewhat disturbing cultural artifact. Before Twitter and Facebook took over our lives, people forced their crazed political thoughts on each other with bumper stickers! Stuck behind this old Cadillac in traffic on the way to the Bay Area? Well, you’ll just be forced to stare at his maybe-contradictory political views.

“We can bomb the world to pieces but we can’t bomb it into peace” shares space with “Why the 9/11 coverup?” as well as a Iraq-Iran fear sticker and a local real estate protest.

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Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em

Just as another sign of what was parked around Davis, California, here’s a completely ordinary 1966 Plymouth Valiant. Identifying 1960s cars is easy, because just about every year, carmakers would ever so slightly change the appearance of their cars. This ‘66 a one-year-only face, a good sign of just how much money the auto business was working with back then.

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Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em

I’ll end with this very hip early ‘80s Toyota Celica. I will always love this weird, forgotten face.

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Illustration for article titled Look At These Carspotting Photos I Dug Up From My California Town Eight Years Agoem/em

These things were just getting hipster cool around then, all wedgy and woeful. The thing is Toyota’s Supra of the era was basically just the same car but better, with a straight six instead of an straight four. So nobody really goes after these Celicas when the Supras are just as available.

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This one was hanging out on the far side of town, looking content and happy in the heat of that July 28th afternoon all those many years ago.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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