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.

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?

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.

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.

Could it be somehow related to the odd button on the steering wheel?

Long before Brian Scotto of Hoonigan fame had his flat black Napalm Nova, I spotted this really quite mean later Nova.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.


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.