The glory days of hipster Williamsburg are long gone, the Manhattan money having moved in years ago. But the old cars are still hanging around the Brooklyn neighborhood, and they’re surprisingly cool.
(Welcome back to Carspotting! It’s been a while but we’re back with The Worst Walking Tour of New York City, headed by me, a hack who is barely qualified to tell you which subway lines go uptown or downtown. We’re out to find the best cars of the Big Apple.)
We took a detour from our normal Carspotting neighborhoods (of whatever is within a close walk of the Jalopnik office) to trek out to where the L and G trains converge by the BQE.
We were hunting for one of Brooklyn’s most charming street-parked cars, a 1958-1960 Rambler American.
These late ‘50s Ramblers are interesting because they predate the current crop of premium small cars by more than half a century. Everyone who goes for optional leather trim on a Mini these days is mirroring a purchasing decision made by a Rambler American buyer a good six decades ago.
I don’t want to spend too much time going over the intricacies of Rambler history (read AteUpWithMotor’s excellent writeup for that), but you can appreciate that this car has all of the trim and features of an otherwise higher-end 1950s car, just in a small package. It even has a continental kit for the spare tire off the back.
Look through the rest of the video and you’ll find a great Seinfeld-grade Saab 900 Turbo convertible, a late 1980s FJ62 Toyota Land Cruiser, a couple vintage motorcycles ridden by some very nice guys with plenty of tattoos, a late 1970s Datsun 210 in yellow, and what looks to be a 1973-1977 Chevy Van driven by a Lemmy lookalike.
So I guess if you’re wondering what cars you’d find in the hipster capitol of New York, you’ll end up with some remarkably trusty, durable, but cool machines. Who knew hipsters might end up so practical?