Old cars

When a classic car is not beautiful to behold

I used to love to sit on my parents’ front stoop and watch the cars go by. I counted the Impalas and Furys and Galaxies that were so common during my 1970s kidhood. I got a special thrill from every Mustang and Camaro, and I even grooved on the ubiquitous Beetles. I still love the cars from that era and am delighted when I come across one. I feel like a kid in a candy store on my annual trip to the Mecum Spring Classic muscle-car auction! (It’s held at the state fairgrounds here in Indianapolis. Check out my visits in 2009 and 2010.)

So you’d think that I’d be excited to come upon this 1972 Plymouth Satellite coupe. But I’m not.

1972 Plymouth Satellite coupe

It sits in the driveway of my parents’ next-door neighbor, along with a similarly dumpy early-1980s Buick LeSabre. They never move. The owner seems determined to let them crumble to dust here. My poor mother has a front-row seat to their decay, as they fill the view from her kitchen window. My parents have reached an age where they’re losing interest in all the maintenance associated with staying in the family homestead. They’re worried about the effect these junkers will have on their ability to sell their house.

1972 Plymouth Satellite coupe

The fellow who owns these cars is reclusive, but Mom did finally corner him one day to ask him about storing these cars elsewhere. She said he was polite enough about it as he refused.

My hope is that someone will stumble across this post who is just dying to own a ’72 Satellite coupe and is willing to make an offer the owner can’t refuse!

One car I wouldn’t mind finding, though hopefully in better shape than this, is a ’75 Pinto. Yes, Pinto. I owned one once before and I liked it. Read that story.

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16 thoughts on “When a classic car is not beautiful to behold

  1. ryoko861 says:

    As a car nut, I can understand his refusal to sell it. But really, at least cover it. It is in sad shape unfortunately. I see the beauty in it, but for the mean time it’s an eyesore.

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  2. I kept an old car in my driveway, long-term. But I drove it daily; and I did bondo and paint over the rust spots. Someone finally made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

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    • I’d be more sympathetic to my parents’ neighbor if he drove these cars regularly. The Buick’s been in the same spot for five-ish years. The Plymouth is a relative newcomer, having been there six months or a year, but previously it sat in his mother’s driveway (my parents’ other next-door neighbor) for more than a decade.

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  3. That’s a shame, Jim. You know, there may be a city ordinance against keeping junk in the driveway. If your parents decide to sell, it might be worth a call to Planning and Zoning to find out whether there’s anything they can do.

    I used to live near a guy with 3 rusting Nash Metropolitans in his driveway. I’m sure he thought he’d take the best parts from each and build 1 good vehicle, but he never did. What a shame.

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    • I have actually looked into the junk-car codes in my parents’ town and have learned that this guy is skating just inside the line on them! Where I live the codes are stricter and I could have had the city tow them away already.

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  4. Hi Jim! Thanks for the comment on my latest posting. I replied to you, but just in case you miss it:

    Thanks, Jim. Regarding purple…it’s not my favorite color to WEAR, but I do tend to grow a lot of it in my garden for some unknown reason. Many of the photos I’ve shot lately do seem to be purple—I hadn’t made that connection until you mentioned it in your comment. I went plant shopping for the first time this season and tried to stay away from the purples because of the amount already present in my own garden. In fact, I think the only purple I bought was a Liatris plant (but I got it in white as well). Everything else that I bought was either white, red, pink or yellow (plus a morning glory vine in Heavenly Blue). There’s enough purple in my garden generally! I wouldn’t decorate my house with any shade of purple and I don’t ever wear that color, either—but in the garden, purple reigns supreme I suppose!

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  5. Michael says:

    Maybe if your mom buys a cover for it….

    If the LeSabre was a ’78 with the 403 (and gas wasn’t $4+), I might relive my college days, eh? :) I believe I got 18MPG highway.

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