60’s

1965 Dodge Dart

This Dart may win the award of being the oldest daily-driven car around my neck of the woods. I actually saw it just a couple weeks ago, getting its brakes fixed at a repair shop. I imagine it must take a good deal of dedication to keep dailying a 53-year-old car, but I suppose Dart parts are cheap and relatively plentiful, and since it’s probably got a slant-6 under the hood, reliability isn’t likely to be too much of an issue.

For some reason, the ’65 Dart (and specifically the coupe) is still quite a common sight on the streets of Southern California. It’s gotten to the point that I won’t always stop and snap photos of one if I see it on the street, just because I see so many of them. But I had been waiting to catch this one at a standstill for awhile by the time I finally got these pictures. There’s just something about an honest daily-driven classic that appeals to me so much more than a meticulously-restored garage queen.

Santa Monica, CA

Photos by The Professor

1969 Ford Torino

The Torino was introduced for the 1968 model year, as an upmarket series of the Fairlane. This particular Torino, a 1969 model, sports the new-for-’69 351 “Windsor” V8, one of around 8.6 million 351W’s that would eventually be manufactured by the end of production in 1996.

It’s also a great example of my favorite types of finds: old cars that are still being put to good use. It’s not in the greatest shape: there’s a few dings and some misaligned trim and a badly battered roof, but it’s honest in its weather-worn state. While it hasn’t quite aged gracefully, it’s still plugging along almost 50 years after it started, and that’s quite an achievement indeed.

Santa Monica, CA

Photos by The Professor

1961 Ford Ranchero

One of the most tragic byproducts of the evolution in car design has been the elimination of two-tone paintwork from the automotive color palette. Not that this Ranchero is the poster child of two-tone application: cream and light brown render perhaps too much of a resemblance to an oversized vanilla fudge sundae, but still: a massive improvement over a hypothetical solely-cream-colored Ranchero, which would just look like a slab of vanilla popsicle.

Just as two flavors are always better than one; so too are two car colors. Also, California should totally bring black the blue plates from the ’70s and early ’80s like this Ranchero has: they’re much more visually interesting than the drab blue-lettering-on-white-background plate that they haven’t changed since about 1993.

Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA

Photos by The Professor

 

1964 Rambler Classic 550

I just realized that even though this blog is called “Roadside Rambler,” we had not, until now, featured an actual Rambler in any of our posts. So, to assuage any concerns of false advertising, the oversight has been remedied in the form of this car.

This particular Rambler is a base-model 550, equipped with AMC’s 232 cubic inch straight-six engine, the second year for an engine that lasted until 1979. Its parent family of engines is one of the more well-regarded designs in motoring history: introduced in 1964 in the Rambler American, it continued on until 2006 and included one of the most iconic American motors of all-time, the Jeep 4.0L straight-six. This particular example is finished in the lovely shade of Woodside Green.

But one of the most interesting parts of this car is its scandal-ridden salmon license plate. The situation went like this: Oregonians who spent an extra $30 (initially, plus every two years to renew the plate) were assured that this money was being used to fund salmon conservancy efforts: a worthy cause. However, in a shocking example of a severe public funds misappropriation, half of the money raised was actually being funneled to the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, paying for, among other things, staff salaries and a website improvement project. The total misallocated funds ranged into the millions of dollars, prompting an understandable scandal and a hasty vote by the Oregon legislature to fix the issue.

Lesson learned: always double-check where your money is actually going.

Portland, OR

Photos by The Professor

1965 Chrysler New Yorker

1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker

The 1965 New Yorker was a fresh redesign penned by Chrysler’s chief stylist Elwood Engel, with many styling features resembling the famed 1961 Lincoln Continental, also designed by Engel. 21,110 buyers sprang for the sedan in 1965, no doubt attracted by the 340 horses under the hood.

El Segundo, CA

Photos by The Professor

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