Old Cars

Carspotting 2020

I love old cars! Always have, probably always will. I’m excited to see an old car still on the road, doing what it was designed to do. I photograph them when I come upon them parked.

COVID-19 saw me out and about far less this year. But I still managed to find 23 old cars parked. By “old” I mean made at least 20 years ago.

I am shocked to realize that a car from the year 2000 is now 20 years old! 2000 doesn’t feel like that long ago to me. But I remember being in college in 1985, playing classic rock on the campus radio station. These were songs largely from 1965 to 1975, give or take a couple years on either side. That 20 year stretch felt like a long time ago to me then! I guess your sense of “a long time ago” grows ever longer as you age.

Here now, the cars.

1966-70 Jeep Jeepster Commando. You never know what you’re going to find in my mechanic’s lot. This survivor looks all original.

1968-73 BMW 2002. Spotted in Old Louisville, this Bimmer sports a custom paint job. I love the way these look. I imagine the visibility inside these is commanding given all the glass in the greenhouse.

1970 BMW 2002. I haven’t spotted a BMW 2002 since 2015 — and this year suddenly I find two. On the square in Bloomington, Indiana. I assume this is a ’70 because of the custom front plate.

1973-79 Volkswagen Bus. This cheerful reminder of the freewheeling 1970s was parked for months by a boutique in Zionsville. Readers with long memories might cry Foul! because this Bus was on last year’s list. But this is my blog and I’ll do what I want! At least I legitimately made this photograph in 2020.

1974-80 Triumph Spitfire 1500. Margaret and I saw this tiny car tooling around Bardstown, Kentucky, the whole weekend we visited. We found it parked in front of our Airbnb, right on the main drag.

1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V Cartier Edition. This might be my luckiest find of the year. A tiny bit of Googling pinned this one right down. On the trunk lid, within the fake spare tire hump that was the Mark’s signature styling element, is a Cartier emblem. The Cartier edition had the red stripe and coach lamp bordering the landau vinyl roof only in 1979. Boom. Spotted at Meijer, of all places.

1979-83 Toyota Truck. I thought surely all of these had rusted away in the Midwest, but here’s this one, still hanging on. I found it on the old Northside of Indianapolis.

1985-92 BMW 325i convertible. Here in wealthy Zionsville, all manner of fun cars show up in the Meijer parking lot. Most of them are newer, but classic BMWs do show up from time to time.

1987-90 Pontiac Firebird Formula. I came upon this one in Bloomington’s Switchyard Park when I was there to take a long walk with my oldest daughter. It looks like a good, original driver.

1990-92 Cadillac Brougham. I’m pretty sure this one is owned by someone who works at Meijer, because I see it there all the time. It’s easy to tell it’s from 1990-1992 because of the composite headlamps. Earlier Broughams had two sealed-beam headlights on each side.

1992-95 Geo Metro convertible. In Old Louisville we came upon this itty bitty convertible. It’s surprising to see it still on the road — these were not the hardiest of cars.

1992-97 Ford F-150. I see lots of these but simply because they’re still so common I frequently fail to photograph them. I found this one parked in my neighborhood.

1993-97 Ford Ranger. These second-generation Rangers are mighty rare these days. Isn’t this dark teal color totally 90s-tastic? I’ve seen it running around Zionsville for a long time, and I was pleased to find it parked on a downtown street.

1994-96 Cadillac Sedan deVille. I thought for a long time that Cadillac built these on the same platform as the Chevrolet Caprice. But nope — it’s on a stretched Cadillac Seville platform. This Caddy was just down the street from the F-150 above. Both are parked in these spots most days.

1994-97 Chevrolet S-10. Chevy made these for 11 years and they were reasonably sturdy trucks, so they aren’t uncommon today. In 1998 they facelifted the headlights and grille, so when you see one with a face like this you know it’s from the first three years. I like those wheels on this truck. I spotted this a block from my home.

1996-98 Ford Mustang convertible. One of these would make a very nice “starter” old car. These are hardly scarce yet, and parts are widely available. Spotted at Meijer.

1997-2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport. This late XJ Cherokee was in the parking garage at work. I rode in one exactly once and was shocked by how narrow they are inside, and how little legroom they have. Spotted in the parking garage next to where I work.

1997-99 Buick LeSabre. Spotted in downtown Shelbyville, this era of Buick LeSabre (and Buick Century) make a great inexpensive used car. If I needed cheap wheels, I’d look for one of these.

1998-99 Ford Taurus. People thought these looked flat out weird when they were new, but I liked them. I even bought one, albeit the Mercury version, and as a station wagon. Single most unreliable vehicle I ever owned. I spotted this Taurus at my nearby Meijer.

1998-2002 Chevy Prism. This beater rebadged Toyota Corolla parks in my neighborhood.

1998-2002 Chevy Prism. As reliable as these cars were, it’s surprising how few of them remain on the road. It’s therefore even more surprising that I came upon two of them this year. Spotted in the parking garage at work.

1998-2005 Chevrolet Blazer. Chevy made these for a lot of years. The headlight and grille treatment narrow it down to these years. Spotted at Meijer, obviously.

2000 Saturn SL. Here it is, the first car unambiguously from the 2000s to show up on my annual Carspotting list. Honestly, I might have come upon more of them, but I don’t know that I noticed them as cars from 2000 and after still seem new-ish to me. I might be looking right past them. I would have looked right past this one except that it’s my son’s car. He stumbled upon a good deal on this car, which had only 30,000 miles on it when he bought it (after an unfortunate accident spelled the end of my old Ford Focus, which I had sold him). Here, it’s parked in the lot by his college dorm.

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Old Cars

Carspotting 2019

I love old cars! I always have. As a kid I used to be able to pinpoint the year, make, and model of any car built starting in about 1955, and of many cars built since the end of World War II. It still fills me with pleasure to find an old car parked, and I usually pause to photograph them, usually with my iPhone.

I’m a lot older now, and I’m amused to find that cars I remember debuting when I was an adult are now old and used up.

For the purposes of this annual post, I include any car 20 or more years old. Here now, the cars.

1956-71 Morris Minor 1000. I’ve seen this car at shows around town so I was pleasantly surprised to find it parked in Lions Park in Zionsville one day when Margaret and I took a walk there. I’m hardly knowledgeable in this car’s year-to-year trim changes; perhaps one of my UK readers can narrow down this car’s year better than I.

1961 Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood. This may be the rarest automobile I’ve ever found parked somewhere. Only about 33,000 Corvair wagons were ever built. Given this wagon’s Lakewood badging it has to be from 1961, as in 1962 the Lakewood name disappeared and these were just Corvair wagons.

1965 Chevrolet Corvairs. There must have been a Corvair convention nearby because these two Corvair two-doors were parked across the street from the Lakewood. I’m positive one of them is a ’65 because it has a 1965 license plate on it. I’m only pretty sure the other one is a ’65. I found all three of these Corvairs on the square in Lebanon, IN.

1967 Pontiac Tempest Custom. This car belongs to the fellow who lives two doors down from me. One day he and it were out at the curb by his house, so I went over to talk to him about his car. He said, “Would you like to drive it?” Does a drunk want a case of Jim Beam? I drove it around the neighborhood and photographed it in our community area. My neighbor has had the car for a few decades, and was friends with the original owner. He restored and gently modified it, replacing its tired but original 326 cubic-inch V8 with a crate 350 and doing other little things to it. It drove very nicely and stopped confidently on its drum brakes. Assuming the top doesn’t leak this would be a fun car to own.

1973-79 VW Bus. Good lord, but do I love these things. They were common during my 1970s kidhood and I got to ride in several. They had great visibility and plenty of room for a large crew. When Chrysler introduced its minivans in the 1980s I wondered what all the hubbub was about, because VW had already done it with its ubiquitous Bus. Spotted in downtown Zionsville.

1985 Toyota Celica Supra. A college buddy owned one of these; he bought it new. He let me drive it a time or two and it was great fun — low slung, tight handling, good acceleration. I guess this was more a boulevard cruiser than true sports car but so what? It was still a joy to drive. Spotted in downtown Zionsville.

1987-91 Honda Civic. I can’t remember the last time I saw one of these. Most of them have died a sad death because the kids all bought ’em cheap, hopped ’em up, and hooned ’em into the ground. And holy cow, is this ever an itty bitty car. When they were new they didn’t seem so small, but cars are so much taller and bulkier now. I found this in the parking garage next to my office in Downtown Indianapolis.

1987-91 Ford F-150. Ford trucks from the last 30 years are so common that it’s easy to overlook one. But here, parked in downtown Zionsville, was this one looking very nice. If I had to guess, I’d say it was an unrestored original that has received great care.

1987-91 Ford F150. When it rains, it pours. Here’s another F150 of this generation, also in very nice original condition. I found it at a nearby big-box store.

1989-93 Plymouth Sundance. This Sundance is an art project! I found it behind the dormitory my son lives in at his school.

1990-92 Oldsmobile Silhouette. Good heavens, how did GM’s designers think this design was a good idea? But these sold well enough, and were hardy enough, that I manage to find one every two years or so. I found this one at a Cracker Barrel in Indianapolis.

1992 Mercury Tracer. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I came upon this Tracer in the big-box-store parking lot. Tracers were far less common than their Ford Escort sisters, and the wagons were the rarest of them all. I know this is a ’92 as that was the first year for the lightbar grille and the last year for motorized front seat belts. I sort of wished this one had a For Sale sign in the window. I’ve always really liked these cars, ever since my dad had a terrific one in four-door hatchback form that lasted and lasted. The wagon would be just that much more useful.

1992-97 Ford F150. It was a good year for old trucks. This shortbed F150 is in like-new condition. It parked next to me in the garage where I park to go to work.

1996-99 Saturn SW. I always thought this body redesign of the original Saturn was better than the original but still weird looking. Spotted in Downtown Indianapolis. That broken side mirror and a little peeling clear coat were the only obvious flaws on an otherwise nice condition survivor.

1996-99 Toyota Celica. In profile, I always thought these looked like the old Ford Pinto. I always thought the headlight treatment was cartoonish. Spotted in the Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indianapolis.

To see all of the Carspotting posts I’ve made over the years, click here.

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Old Cars

Carspotting 2018

I photograph old cars wherever I find them parked. I found a decent lot of them in 2018: 17 to share with you. My two rules: the car has to be parked, and it has to be at least 20 years old. Here now the cars (and trucks).

1952-53 GMC truck

1952-53 GMC Truck. What a great old truck to start with. I found this on a photo walk on South Meridian Street in Indianapolis.

1967 Plymouth Fury II

1967 Plymouth Fury. It’s got to be 25 years since I’ve seen one of these on the road. During my 1970s kidhood, these were as common as pennies and usually driven by prim, proper older ladies. Found parked on the square in Crown Point, Indiana.

1968-72 GMC truck

1968-72 GMC truck. I wish GMC had changed trim details sometimes, as Chevrolet did, to make it easier to narrow down the year of these trucks. Spotted at the Rusty Bucket bar on Indianapolis’s Far Northside.

1973 VW Bus

1973-79 VW Bus. Another find on the square in Crown Point, I love how this bus was restored to basic specifications.

1974 VW Beetle

1974 VW Beetle. Margaret and I came upon this little guy while strolling through Madison, Indiana. Those aftermarket wheels have got to go.

1974 VW Super Beetle

1974 VW Super Beetle. My son and I found this one in a lot on the Purdue campus. That is what VW wheels are supposed to look like.

1980 Chevrolet Citation

1980 Chevrolet Citation. Probably the best find of the year, this car is parked on a side street right here in Zionsville. I drive by it all the time. Since this photograph someone hit it, smashing in its rear passenger door. How very sad.

1981-87 Chevrolet truck

1981-87 Chevrolet truck. I liked the styling of the generations before and after these far better, but I still wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to own one. Found in the parking lot where my wife works.

1981-89 Lincoln Town Car

1981-89 Lincoln Town Car. My aunt Betty used to drive one of these, in this or a similar blue. Found in a strip mall in Fishers, Indiana.

1982-85 Chevrolet El Camino

1982-85 Chevrolet El Camino. An unrestored original. I think these are beautiful and I have always wanted one. Spotted in Crown Point, Indiana.

1984-92 Lincoln Mark VII

1984-92 Lincoln Mark VII. Someone drove this to get groceries one day. I found it at the Meijer in Whitestown, Indiana. I always thought these were very handsome.

1986 Ford Escort Pony

1986 Ford Escort Pony. The ultimate car for the mid-1980s skinflint. Spotted at the Walmart on Indy’s Southside.

1987-90 Ford Mustang

1987-90 Ford Mustang. This is the car I wanted when I graduated college, but it was just a few thousand dollars out of my reach. Spotted at the Kroger in Brownsburg, Indiana.

1987-93 Cadillac Coupe deVille

1987-93 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. Our youngest son and I were breakfasting after seeing a heavy-metal show at the big outdoor music center in Tinley Park, Illinois, when we came upon this cruiser.

1989 Subaru Legacy

1989 Subaru Legacy. Even though this car didn’t change much through its run, I know it’s from 1989 because it has a “25th anniversay” sticker on its window. Spotted at the Zionsville Walgreens.

1989-92 Ford Ranger

1989-92 Ford Ranger. I love these little trucks. I’ve always jonesed for one. Found in the parking lot at Zionsville Community High School.

1997 BMW M3

1997 BMW M3. Not only have I spotted and shared this one before, I’ve driven this car. It’s owned by a partner in a firm I used to work for, and one day when he took me to lunch he handed me the keys. Such fun. I came upon it on Main Street in Zionsville.

Here are my Carspotting posts from 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and a special edition after I came back from Route 66.

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Old Cars

Carspotting 2017

I photograph old cars wherever I find them parked. 2017 turned out to be a great year for finding them — this is probably the biggest harvest since I started doing this, back in 2012. What a bumper crop!

My two rules: the car has to be parked, and it has to be at least 20 years old. And so, here now the cars.

1961 Ford Falcon

1961 Ford Falcon. Margaret and I had finished a big dinner at our favorite Broad Ripple restaurant and were walking the surrounding neighborhood when we came upon this like-new Falcon. It has to have been restored at some point, pretty faithfully (I do question those dog-dish hubcaps).

1968 Buick Skylark

1968 Buick Skylark. I had to move fast, as this car was preparing for takeoff. I spotted it in the parking lot at the Walmart Neighborhood Market near where I used to live.

1968 Chevrolet Camaro

1968 Chevrolet Camaro. The parking lot behind the Nickel Plate Bar and Grill in Fishers turned out to be fertile ground for old cars this year. It’s always nice to come upon a Camaro that hasn’t been resto-modded into a firebreathing muscle car.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro

1969 Chevrolet Camaro. Like this one has. At least it is tastefully done. By the way, I lived in my old neighborhood ten years and saw exactly one old car parked there…until this year. This was the first of several I saw, but I managed to photograph only this one and one other.

1970 Pontiac Firebird Esprit

1970 Pontiac Firebird Esprit. Where the Camaro above was obviously a restoration, this Firebird is an unrestored original. That’s how I prefer them! Just check out the nicks in the paint. This was another find in the nearby Walmart parking lot.

1973 Chrysler Newport Custom

1973 Chrysler Newport Custom. This is far and away my favorite find of the year. My cigar-chomping great uncle William drove a car much like this one. I remember riding in my dad’s car once as we followed William somewhere. His windshield washer nozzles were misaimed, and he took great delight in spraying washer fluid all the way over his car and onto the hood of Dad’s 1971 Chevy Impala while we waited at a light. This was another find in the Nickel Plate parking lot.

1975 Ford Thunderbird

1975 Ford Thunderbird. A neighbor in my old neighborhood kept this car parked behind his house for several months before it suddenly appeared curbside. Turns out he’d listed it on Craigslist. It lingered here for several weeks, but finally disappeared.

1973-74 VW Thing

1973-74 VW Thing. My Toyota needed some attention from my mechanic. As I parked it on his lot I spied this funky little Thing looking pretty used up.

1977 Chevrolet Corvette

1977 Chevrolet Corvette. While taking my sons out for dinner in Fishers, we came upon this electric blue Corvette. On the one hand I respect it for surviving, but on the other I’m not much of a fan of these boulevard cruisers.

1977 Ford F-150

1977 Ford F-150. A building is going up next door to where I work in Fishers, and all manner of the workers’ trucks park nearby. This is by far the oldest truck I’ve seen.

1977-81 Pontiac Firebird

1977-81 Pontiac Firebird. On the day I helped my youngest son start his college career at the University of Indianapolis, we came upon this yellow Firebird on campus. Another unrestored survivor!

1983 Buick Skylark

1983 Buick Skylark. I see this car on the road near my office almost every day. It passes by at about 11 am, like clockwork, beneath the window of a conference room where I have a daily meeting. One day I spotted it parked at the McDonald’s down the street. I never thought of these “J cars” as particularly well built, so it’s always a surprise to find one still rolling.

1983 Jeep Wagoneer

1983 Jeep Wagoneer Brougham. Indiana lets drivers of antique cars use old license plates from the car’s model year. The plate on this one was from 1983, but this grille is from 1974. Maybe the owner liked that grille better and bolted it onto his Wagoneer. Wagoneer Broughams (as this car is badged) were made only from 1981-83. It was the mid-level trim those three years, slotting below the base model and the upper-trim Limited.

1987-89 Chevy Celebrity

1987-89 Chevrolet Celebrity. I was very surprised to find this well-used old car in a very tony Zionsville neighborhood.

1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. Olds made Cutlass Cieras with composite headlamps and the original six-window greenhouse for just one year: 1988. Spotted in downtown Fishers.

1989-95 Plymouth Acclaim

1989-95 Plymouth Acclaim. These changed so little across their run that it’s very hard to know which model year this one is. I always think of these as the perfect car for people who don’t like cars. My friend Elsa owned one twenty years ago when I first met her. She doesn’t care at all about cars. She’s owned two Accords since, and still says her Acclaim was her favorite car. Spotted in downtown Fishers.

1990-2000 BMW 3 seires

199x BMW 3-series. It’s hard to believe that BMW made these for so many years. To me, this is the ultimate 3-series body. I found this on the same day and in the same place as the 1977 Corvette. You can see the Vette’s hood through the BMW’s greenhouse.

1992-95 Pontiac Bonneville

1992-95 Pontiac Bonneville SE. Hard to believe these now qualify as old. Spotted at the Fishers Super Target.

1993-94 Ford Explorer Limited

1993-94 Ford Explorer Limited. Hard to believe given how many of these Ford made, but these early Explorers are quite rare today. Perhaps the Obama-era Cash for Clunkers program did a lot of them in. I found this one at the 38th St. Meijer (big-box store similar to Walmart) in Indianapolis.

1993-95 Chrysler LeBaron GTC

1993-95 Chrysler LeBaron GTC. The LeBaron was once a high-end Chrysler. This compact convertible had nothing to do with the model’s history and should have been named something else. Another find in the Nickel Plate parking lot.

1994-99 Dodge or Plymouth Neon

1994-99 Dodge/Plymouth Neon. I suppose this Neon could be newer than 20 years old, but it’s hard to tell just by looking at it, as Chrysler didn’t change these much over their manufacturing run. Someone sure slathered on the aftermarket trim bits, though. Spotted in the parking lot of my previous employer.

1995-96 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

1995-96 Chevrolet Camaro Z28. Spotted at an Indianapolis Dairy Queen, this Camaro was in mighty fine shape considering how badly these were flogged by their teenaged second, third, and fourth owners.

1995-97 Ford Contour

1995-97 Ford Contour. Another once-common car that’s mighty thin on the ground today, this early Contour was waiting for its owner at the 38th Street Indianapolis Meijer.

There! A whopping 23 cars this year. That’s almost one every two weeks! A remarkable harvest for here in Rustopia.

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Old Cars

Carspotting 2016

I take photographs of old parked cars when I come upon them. Normally, I write about them over at Curbside Classic, the old-parked-car blog. But this year I’ve not made time to write over there as much as usual. So for those of you who read both there and here: you’ll see some cars today that I’ll write about over there eventually!

However, the harvest was not ripe this year. Here are the handful of cars at least 20 years old that I found.

1973-pontiac-grand-ville-convertible

1973 Pontiac Grand Ville convertible. Margaret and I capped our wedding weekend with dinner on Main Street in Zionsville. Walking back to our car, we came upon this long, low convertible. It appears to be a survivor — that is, original and unrestored. Just how I like ’em! More on Curbside Classic here.

1975-lincoln-continental-mark-iv

1975 Continental Mark IV. This was parked at church one Sunday morning. It belongs to one of our neighbors, who we let park in our lot since on-street parking is hard to come by in this neighborhood.

1979-chevrolet-corvette

1979 Chevrolet Corvette. Margaret and I found this on 56th St. just off Broadway in New York City. This is the reddest Corvette I’ve ever seen! More on Curbside Classic here.

1984-88-nissan-maxima

1984-88 Nissan Maxima. I don’t know a whole lot about these, except that a college buddy’s dad had one. At the time, I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t have spent the same bigger bucks on a Buick. Oh, how naive I was.

1986-90-dodge-ramcharger

1986-90 Dodge Ramcharger. I’ve always thought these looked great. When I wrote about it for Curbside Classic, some commenters decried the skinty tires. As if all trucks need to be jacked up and on giant knobby tires. I think this thing looks just right.

1990-honda-civic-crx-si

1990 Honda Civic CRX Si. Somebody I work with owns this. I don’t know who, mind you, but it showed up in the lot at work a couple months ago and is there every day. It’s a survivor, and it’s refreshing to see one of these in original condition. I hope this guy keeps it this way forever.

1993-96-lincoln-mark-viii

1993-96 Lincoln Mark VIII. I always thought these were good looking. But this one had peeling paint everywhere. A shame. More on Curbside Classic here.

1996-ford-escort-lx-sport

1996 Ford Escort LX Sport. I’m pretty sure Ford offered the trunkback version of this car only this year. My dad had the hatchback version, in this color I’m pretty sure, and it’s the car he owned the longest. That thing was hard to kill.

1997-bmw-m3

1997 BMW M3. This car belongs to one of the partners at the company where I work. We went to lunch one day and he let me drive it. I’ve always wanted to drive one of these! We didn’t go far, and I was not about to sink my foot into the floorboards in my big boss’s car, so I didn’t find out what this M3 was made of. But just rowing it through its gears put a smile on my face. And ok, it’s only 19 years old. But it’s my blog and I want to include it!

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Old Cars

Carspotting 2015

I take photographs of old parked cars when I come upon them. I write about most of them over at Curbside Classic, the old-parked-car blog. But I know you might not read that blog, so near the end of each year I round up all those cars and share one photo of each here. The only rule: the car has to be at least 20 years old.

1930 Nash c

1930 Nash. Obviously modified during a restoration — just check out those fat modern tires, and I’m sure that grille was originally chromed — it was still great to find this car on Monument Circle early this year. I’ve seen it here a couple other times, with its owner sitting in the driver’s seat. Read more about it here.

1983-88 Toyota truck g

198x Toyota Truck. Despite being hard to kill, these trucks are fairly unusual to find where I live today. I’ve always thought this was the perfect compact truck, and I’d love to have one. Read more about it here.

197x Chevy truck

197x Chevrolet truck. I found this shortbed on a street in South San Francisco while I visited there on business in April. I wrote a short blurb about it here.

198x Toyota Camry

198x Toyota Camry. This battered old soldier was waiting for its owner on Massachusetts Avenue one Friday night in early spring. The nighttime lighting was more challenging than my iPhone could handle, but I had to get a shot anyway, as these old Camrys are few and far between today.

1992-95 BMW 325i a

1992-95 BMW 325i. These used to be everywhere, but when I came upon this one Downtown, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen one. And I don’t think I’d ever seen one in green. Read more about it here.

1988 Ford Ranger STX a

1988 Ford Ranger STX. It had been ages since I’d seen a first-generation Ranger, and the one I came upon was top of the line all the way. This was a pretty expensive little truck when it was new. Read more about it here.

1992 Olds Custom Cruiser

1992 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser. Chevy and Buick got both sedan and wagon versions of the last big B body: the Caprice and the Roadmaster, respectively. But for some reason Olds got just the wagon, and then failed to sell many of them. So it was remarkable to come upon this one as I stopped in tiny Kirklin on the Michigan Road earlier this year. I wrote a short piece about it for Curbside Classic, here.

1991-93 Mercury Cougar a

1991 Mercury Cougar XR7. These have always looked ridiculous to me, with that oversquare rear passenger window and the rear wheel arch set so far back. But they sold by the bazillion, half of them in this very 90s color. See more pictures here.

1988-89 Mercury Grand Marquis b

1988-89 Mercury Grand Marquis. I’ve always had such mixed feelings about these. I respect them as one of the last large rear-wheel-drive American sedans, and I sort of like the square, creased styling. But my Ford Focus has about the same amount of front and rear legroom. These just aren’t that large inside! But I almost bought one last year. Read why here.

1983-84 Chrysler E-Class j

1983-84 Chrysler E-Class. Chrysler tried, and failed, to make a luxurious K car. This was it. It’s hard to believe this one has survived in nearly pristine condition. Read more about it here.

1982-86 Mitsubishi Mighty Max Sport c

1982-86 Mitsubishi Mighty Max. I’ve always liked these little trucks, which were more commonly seen in the United States wearing Dodge badging (as the Ram 50). More pix here.

1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer b

1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Did you know this SUV was produced for a whopping 28 model years, from 1963 to 1991? But now that they’ve been out of production for almost as many years, they’re becoming rarer. I found this one while meeting a colleague for coffee one morning. Read more about it here.

1976-77 Chevrolet Vega b

1976-77 Chevrolet Vega. The Vega was arguably the best looking of the early-70s domestic compacts (which included the Pinto and the Gremlin). But they were plagued with reliability problems, and most of them met their fate long ago. So it was delightful to come upon this one up in Home Place (a little neighborhood sandwiched between Indianapolis and Carmel) over the summer. Read about it here.

1992-98 BMW 3 series coupe b

1992-98 BMW 3-series coupe. This was the car I lusted after when I was in my 20s. If there had been a for-sale sign in the window of this one, I might have been a goner. Over at Curbside Classic, I used this car to ask the question: what is your favorite BMW? Read it here.

1968-75 BMW 2002 b

1968-75 BMW 2002. I bought a lot of topsoil for a landscaping project, bringing home ten or so bags at a time in the back of my hatchback. I probably should have had a few yards delivered by truck. But then I would have missed this 2002 parked at a nearby Home Depot. More pics here.

1995 Mercury Sable a

1995 Mercury Sable. Time was, these roamed the Earth in vast numbers. But the herd has thinned, to the point where seeing one at all is remarkable. What’s even more remarkable is that this one looks barely used.

1970 Ford F250 b

1970 Ford F-250. I visited my alma mater for Homecoming in October. I like to see what the kids are driving, because sometimes a gem lurks among the hand-me-down cars so typical of the college set. I was surprised to find that a student from Montana drove this truck to Terre Haute — a drive on the order of 24 hours, in a vehicle that could best be described as punishing to drive. See more photos here.

1967 Pontiac Bonneville b

1967 Pontiac Bonneville. The last old parked car I found this year is one of my most satisfying finds ever. I love the 1967 and 1968 General Motors B-body hardtop coupes — so large, so audacious. This one was parked on US 40 in Cambridge City. The full story is here.

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