1963 Fiat 600

1963 Fiat 600 1963 Fiat 600 1963 Fiat 600 1963 Fiat 600

I’ll just start by saying that I have virtually no idea what year this car was made between the years 1955-1969. If anyone has more information or can narrow down the year, that would be great. I’m just approximating right now with 1963.

When I first spotted this car on the streets of Paris, I thought the 600 was just like a slightly enlarged 500. In fact, the 600 was released 2 years prior to the introduction of the far more famous 500, so I suppose the Fiat 500 is a shrunken 600.

The Spanish car company SEAT built this car under license for 17 years (1957-1973) as the SEAT 600, which helped provide cheap transportation for poor Spanish families; it is an iconic car in Spain, more so than in Italy, where the Fiat 500 is the iconic one. 2,695,197 Fiat 600s were produced along with 737,319 SEAT 600s.

Paris, France

Photos by The Professor

 

1987 Subaru GL-10 Turbo

1986 Subaru GL-10 Turbo 1986 Subaru GL-10 Turbo 1986 Subaru GL-10 Turbo 1986 Subaru GL-10 Turbo 1986 Subaru GL-10 Turbo

These turbo wagons are very few and far between. This one looks to be an original California car, as evidenced by its sunburst plate (the rarest modern California plate, even if this one’s a bit dirty). There’s not a whole lot of information to be had about this car (Wikipedia doesn’t even mention it), but it’s certainly a rare beast. The only thing that would make it even more Subaru would be the optional 4WD system that this one doesn’t have.

It’s these types of cars that I find the most interesting. The average person probably wouldn’t stop and look twice at it, but I find it fascinating, much more so than, say, a new Mercedes.

I mean, I must have seen dozens of Mercedes today, but this is the only GL-10 that I recall seeing in a very long while.

Mar Vista, CA

Photos by The Professor

1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible

1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible

The Corvair, of course, was highlighted in Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed, after which sales fell more than half from 220,000 in 1965 to less than 110,000 the next year. Nader’s book crippled the reputation of the Corvair, and sales never recovered.

This is not the most attractive example of a Corvair imaginable–the knockoff wire wheels and the drab color and trim do nothing to help its looks. However, it is a fairly-well preserved example of a none-too-common convertible model, which makes it a worthy picture target.

Santa Monica, CA

Photos by The Professor

1959 Messerschmitt KR200 Kabrio

1959 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabrio 1959 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabrio 1959 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabrio 1959 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabrio 1959 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabrio 1959 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabrio

Made by the company far more famous for producing fighter jets for the German Luftwaffe during World War II, the KR200 “bubble car” was originally conceived as a result of temporary sanctions against aircraft manufacturing in the Messerschmitt factories. When the sanctions were lifted in 1956, the rights to the car were sold to a man named Fritz Fend, who established a company called Fahrzeug-und Maschinenbau GmbH Regensburg (FMR); hence the “FMR” logo on the hood of this microcar.

It produced all of 9.9 horsepower and was shorter than the wheelbase of a new Chevrolet Impala. The last picture shows a stark juxtaposition between the hulking Bronco and the diminutive Messerschmitt–it looks like a diecast model. Definitely a model for those with a secure self-image as their head sticks out a few feet above the top of the car.

Pacific Palisades, CA

Photos by The Professor

1973 Jensen-Healey

1972 Jensen-Healey 1972 Jensen-Healey 1972 Jensen-Healey 1972 Jensen-Healey 1972 Jensen-Healey 1972 Jensen-Healey

A car that was a mess of different parts from different manufacturers: Lotus engine, Vauxhall suspension, Chrysler transmission…none of it worked very well. Most of these rusted out a long time ago; this one seems to have lived its whole life in Southern California and has fared considerably better.

This car, which marked the end for two fine British marques, was not so fine itself (I suppose that’s why it marked the end, then).

Santa Monica, CA

Photos by The Professor

Outtake: 1997 Toyota Paseo Convertible

1997 Toyota Paseo Convertible

It’s been a while since I saw a Paseo, and I don’t recall ever seeing a convertible. When I researched it a bit more, I realized why. This is a second-generation Paseo, only sold in the US for model years 1995-1997. The convertible was released in August of 1996, meaning it was only sold here for the 1997 model year. If I had known that, I probably would have taken more than one picture of it, but at the time it was just a curiosity and not an actual interesting car. Next time I’ll know.

 

Santa Monica, CA

Photo by The Professor

 

1964 Porsche 356 SC

1964 Porsche 356 SC 1964 Porsche 356 SC 1964 Porsche 356 SC 1964 Porsche 356 SC1964 Porsche 356 SC

1964 was the most popular year for the 356 as well as being its second-to-last year of production. 14,151 ’64 models were sold out of a total 76,000 from 1948-1965. 1964 was also the first year of the most iconic Porsche ever: the 911.

This SC model is the most powerful Porsche 356 model ever built, with 95 horsepower and four-wheel disc brakes.

Mar Vista, CA

Photos by The Professor

1983 Dodge Shelby Charger

1983 Shelby Charger 1983 Shelby Charger 1983 Shelby Charger 1983 Shelby Charger 1983 Shelby Charger

This is a souped-up version of the Dodge Charger that nobody remembers. There have been 3 different Charger models on 3 different platforms. First, there was the classic B-body Charger, made from 1966-1978. Currently, Dodge sells the 4-door Charger on the LX Platform, introduced in 2006. But in between, there was this: the L-body Charger, built from 1983-1987; the cousin of the Plymouth Turismo (even rarer).

This is a special Dodge “Shelby” Charger. The Shelby option tacked on a body kit, better drivetrain components, and an upgrade to 107 horsepower over the base 84 HP. The most desirable L-body Charger was the 1987 Shelby Charger, which had 175 horsepower, but only 1,000 were built.

This is the only L-body Charger (Shelby or otherwise) that I’ve seen on the street in at least the last ten years.

Santa Monica, CA

Photos by The Professor

 

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