Every weekday in 2008- except for Christmas Day- we saw another cool street-parked vehicle from the streets of Alameda, California. Now I'm going to share my personal favorite ten DOTS finds of the year.
These are the cars and trucks that, for one reason or another, really made my day when I ran across them on the streets of Alameda. Some of them are on this list because they're rare and/or interesting (the "Whoa! What's that?" factor), while others made the cut simply because I yearn to own them. And, yes, the Fire Arrow falls into the latter category, because I'm sick like that. So here we go, my personal Alameda DOTS favorites for Ought-Eight:
1953 Citroën Traction-Avant Once I found the '75 Citroën GS 1220, I figured there'd be no way in hell I'd ever find a cooler street-parked Citroën on the island. Then… this car! Not only is it a Traction-Avant, it's a really solid street-driven example with a custom vintage hood ornament.
1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S A great big daily-driven Ponton, rough in spots but still majestic, no doubt with more miles on the clock than every other car on its block combined.
1960 Triumph TR3A Finding this car led to the epic Triumph cross-country road trip story, which was a lot of fun.
1962 Chrysler 300 I'm torn between this car, the '47 Plymouth, and the '66 Lancia Fulvia Berlina when it comes to choosing the Alameda DOTS car I most wish I owned. I think the Chrysler has the edge. It's probably best that I don't own it, because I'd put a manual transmission in it and get lynched by an enraged mob of numbers-matching Mopar purists.
1963 Porsche 356 356 owners who keep their cars wrapped in cottonwool in the garage will no doubt cringe in horror at the sight of this street-driven (and, for a time, autocross-driven) vintage Porsche, but the owner believes Porsches are made to be driven.
1964 Mercury Comet Cyclone It's a seriously rare car that vintage Ford freaks would kill to own, equipped with 289 and 4-speed, and yet it's a beat-to-hell daily driver with Greenpeace stickers and a puzzling vanity plate. I love this town!
1965 International Harvester Travelall Look at this big ol' campin' machine!
1967 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser It's a show-quality restored Vista Cruiser wagon, complete with the space-capsule roof windows, that lives on the street just a block or so from my house. I've wanted a Vista Cruiser (or a Buick Sport Wagon) for decades now.
1980 Plymouth Fire Arrow When was the last time you saw a Fire Arrow? Exactly. Those tape stripes! It's like a Malaise Era museum!
1981 Fiat Strada Europeans might think of the Strada (aka Ritmo) as a pretty commonplace, boring machine, but these things made Americans do double-takes even when they were new. To find one parked on the street was quite a shock.