Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Looking for a Supra

My son and I went out looking for a Toyota Supra type-P just like Inspector Gadget's. We've seen a couple Supra's in our neighborhood while out walking so this time we took a camera. The first car above is not from our walk but a wonderful example of a Toyota Supra Mark-II type-P just like Gadget's that Ryan chased down First Avenue in his tow truck that I snapped a couple quick pictures of. But we wanted to see one close up... and we failed.

We found a Mark III Supra and a Nissan 300ZX.

Last is a picture of my son in front of a second generation Z28 that was parked next to the Supra.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Inspector Gadget's Car

Watching Inspector Gadget with my son today, I noticed that the Inspector drives a Toyota van that turns into a Toyota Supra. Pictured is the L-type but he drove the P-type with the optional shaded hatch.
More Pictures.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mazda 626 Touring

1986-ish Mazda 626 Touring edition.
As I was driving around the east side today, I passed a convertible Geo Metro twice and decided on my third pass I would stop and photo it even though it doesn't technically qualify as a subclassic. But it was gone. So I trolled around the mall parking lot until I found this Mazda. According to Ryan Waelde, the two door Touring is a very rare edition of the 626. And it has an oscillating fan on the dash. And Kyle Kellogg once flipped one.

I'm still looking for a Subaru Brat.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Toyota Corolla

This Corolla (complement to my Camry) has been sitting for at least two days in the north side Schnucks parking lot. Hopefully I will find something more exciting soon like a Subaru Brat. I heard the there was a Le Car heading for the crusher at Glisson's.

Monday, October 6, 2008

1986 Honda Civic

After cruising around the country quite a bit in my Econoline van, I started looking for something a little more subclassic to drive. I found this little Honda stashed away, broken down behind my mother's garage. My little sister had driven it and it had only seemed to cause her problems. I had always asserted that I knew nothing about Honda's and could do absolutely nothing for her. So I fixed the vacuum leak or whatever the "problem" was (I don't remember now, but I remember that it was no big deal at all), and drove it for a couple of years.

Once a front suspension part broke free when I was pulling off of a curvy mountain highway to check a map and I was stuck in Asheville North Carolina for a couple days waiting for the part. Another time I blew a valve on the road, altered my course several hundred miles and stopped by my sister's and picked up the Nissan you see in the background of the photo to finish my trip. After I replaced the head, the car leaked oil something awful but that was resolved by a Chevy Z71 truck running a red light at about 80 mph.

I remember seeing the grill of my mother's truck (she also drove a Chevy truck) in the passenger seat next to me and thinking it to be a very curious site. Then I had a few more visions that can best be understood as "life flashing before your eyes" and then I had an amazing sense of relief come over me. But that relief was short lived as next I found myself, though bloody and traumatized, relatively unharmed in a crumpled piece of metal on a stretch of road that I wasn't on just seconds earlier with a crowd of alarmed bystanders standing by acting alarmed. In calm reasonable tones, I quieted the crowd down and informed them that although I would very much like to try to get up out of the car, that I did seem to be bleeding quite a bit and I thought it best in a situation like this to stay still and wait for emergency personal who, I was sure would be arriving shortly to extract me and strap me to a nice solid board for transport.

And so that was the end of that car and of my career delivering pizzas.

The First Neighborhood Search

My son and I went out for the first time today to look for subclassics out in the neighborhood. I know that there's a Toyota Supra and a Volkswagen Fox back in my neighborhood but I decided to save those for later. Today we went searching in the Deaconess area. And it was disappointing. Good subclassics are hard to come by. And I didn't have the courage to get out and take a good series of an individual car so I just got passing snapshots.

What we mainly saw that qualified were small pickups and a few Dodge Aries. But they didn't thrill me. The first reasonable find was this Chevy Nova. This last generation of Nova (actually a Toyota Corolla or Sprinter) ran from 1985-1988 so it qualifies, but blah.

We also saw a Pontiac Fiero, which was a treat, but still not really the "it" I was looking for.

Ready to give up, I headed back towards home but decided to turn down Oakley St thinking that there has got to be something there. There's a used appliance store on the corner of Oakley and Louisiana and used appliance stores and subclassic cars kind of go hand in hand, don't they?

And there it was...

UPDATE: I can't stop looking at this truck. It is beautiful.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

And I digress...

Now enters a period of my life when I did not drive a subclassic but a 1979 Ford Econoline 250. And not only did I drive it, I worked out of it, ate in it and slept in it. I built a wall about two feet behind the seats to hold my wares back and provide a small cocoon like area for sleeping. I traveled from Pennsylvania to South Carolina to Wisconsin to South Texas peddling my low quality goods at all varieties of flea markets and swap meets. This went on for a couple of years.

This van served me very well. It could get about 13 mpg on the highway with no cargo traveling at 55 mph. That dropped to about 8 or 9 loaded and cruising at higher speeds. Not such a big deal at a time when gas was at times less than $1 a gallon.

Having that load on top set it a little off balance. The van could rock quite a bit on a stop and I would sometimes get nervous on sharp turns. I did once drive from Chicago to Evansville with 6 empty 55 gallon drums ties upright on top. I wish I had a picture of that.

I recently sold this van on ebay to someone who just needed the engine and junked the rest. I had it for about 10 years. Lately I had been using it for home improvement projects. Here is is parked behind my house.