Friday, July 22, 2011

Automobiles in America

Nice old Hudson
I like cars. In fact I like anything mechanical. I enjoy motorcycles, trains, trucks, airplanes, and even farm machinery. When I travel, I am constantly on the lookout for interesting cars sharing the road with me. For my car-nut friends, here are some of the vehicles I have encountered so far.

We saw a nice variety of porsches while driving across Texas. Everything from a nice 356 to new boxers and other new models to a very rusty 914, all heading in the opposite direction; I’m assuming to a local Porsche gathering.

We passed Denny Hamlin’s Sprint Cup car on the way to Kentucky Speedway, and one of his show cars parked next to us at a rest stop.

Through New Mexico I saw four nice professional off-road racing buggies on their way to an event, and there was an NHRA drag race the weekend after we left San Francisco, so I saw a lot of dragsters on their way to the event.

On the bus in Las Vegas, we followed a nice red ferrari down the “Strip”.

Did you know that BMW’s little convertible two seated sports car is exactly the same length as the width of an 18 wheeler? I know this from coming across an accident on a long bridge where a little white BMW was neatly stuck to the front bumper of a big truck. It had just happened, and the driver who didn’t look badly hurt was still in the car. Imagine getting into a situation where you are being pushed down the road sideways by an 18 wheeler on your drivers door. The car fit so nicely on the front of the semi, that I doubt that either driver could see the other - very scary for both drivers!

While Driving through Oakland, California, a member of the famous (or infamous) Oakland chapter of the Hells Angles passed us on his Harley.

Peugeot Pickup?
Outside the nice little lunch spot I blogged about previously, was parked a Peugeot pickup truck. It was probably from the early sixties, and I suspect a home-made pickup, since I was not aware Peugeot even made a pickup, especially for export to the states.

I have read articles stating that the days of finding classic American automobiles sitting beside the road, in old barns, or in wrecking yards was long over. I can report that this is definitely not so, especially through the South-West. I suspect you will not find many two door 1957 Chevys waiting for you to restore, but I saw lots of interesting vehicles from the 50s, 60s & 70s sitting wanting loving restoration.
Being Towed to a better life

We pulled into a rest stop in Arizona, and a road beside the access ramp were were six pickups from the  50 all parked in a row, quietly rusting away, but mostly intact, and still on inflated tires. In Nevada, I saw three old sedans from the 50s sitting abandoned beside the road, looking like they had failed on a trip out old route 66, and have remained there ever since. We passed a junk yard off to one side of the road where I saw about four Corvairs sitting in a row, all looking restorable.

I would have loved to stop and add some of these “Sleeping Beauties” to my collection of photographs of old abandoned vehicles, but this is difficult when pulling a trailer. I had a difficult time just finding a picture for the blog posting, and was lucky to get the one old car you see here. If I was driving a car I would have been able to stop and explore some of these old cars. I guess it’s just another excuse to come back another time.

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