Roof Rack

1970-73 Volkswagen 1600 Squareback

Looking back through the archives, it seems I hadn’t yet posted a 1600 Squareback. Which is surprising, really, since this is one of no fewer than 8(!) that I’ve shot over the years.

Squarebacks are sort of on that weird frontier of being too common to stop and take a picture of and too old to not stop and take the picture. I also think that outside of California (and maybe the PNW) they’re not nearly as common: I imagine rust has claimed quite a few of them by now. Still, in Los Angeles at least, there are still quite a few rear-engined Volkswagen fans for whom a Beetle will simply not do. Or maybe they just want something a bit more practical.

(Side note: if anybody knows how to narrow these down by year for the ’70-’73 models, please let me know: I have absolutely no clue of any distinguishing features between the years.)

Santa Monica, CA

Photos by The Professor

1987 Peugeot 505 Liberté

1987 Peugeot 505 Liberté 1987 Peugeot 505 Liberté 1987 Peugeot 505 Liberté

The Liberté trim level was for 1987 only, supposedly commemorating the 100th anniversary of France gifting the Statue of Liberty to the United States. For unknown reasons, 505 Libertés had a different engine than the rest of the US-spec 505 line, with an ancient and wheezy 2.0L 4 that was soon to be discontinued. Oddly, the car also came without power rear windows – again, nobody really knows why.

Cheviot Hills, CA

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

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