Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Regal Hooptie

I love this guy! He was very proud of his car, which as you will see is MESSED UP. No matter though, he caught me taking pics of it, grinned ear to ear and made sign language motions saying "go ahead and finish taking pictures of my beautiful car please!". There wasn't any of that pesky English being thrown around, just big smiles and happy gestures. I hereby declare him King of Hoopties for his poise and good humor.
Now let's get on to this dastardly beast of his:
What we have here is a slightly used 1982 Buick Regal 4 door in the jaw-droppingly boring hue Light Sand Gray. When they choose a name like that for a color you know what you're getting; the visual equivalent of Lithium. Brown pinstripes seal the deal.
This is the perfect background wall for this ride! I heard this thing driving earlier (it is LOUD) and turned my head in time to see it swing around a corner and drive away. I was so bummed as I realized I was seeing (and hearing, and smelling) a Hooptie for the ages. Imagine my happiness when I stumbled upon it parked a few blocks later! Take a good look at that hubcap because that's the only one. It's not original though; my best guess it's from a mid to late '90s Mercury Sable.
Man this thing has seen some battles! A look of determination can still be seen through its wounds of which there are many; some homemade mailbox reflector held in place by snip-cut pieces of riveted metal, lightly mashed-in bumper, grill knocked out, so many small scratches, bits of primer, rust, and dents as to be consistently terrible.
I mean really! This thing is like a leering drunk at the bar stumbling around looking for a fight because he lost the last one.
I just like the totality of it. Every inch of this car has evolved into something beyond mere transportation and more towards industrial impressionism.
Alright from this vantage point I can almost see the car as it was meant to be when it was built. By the way, something barely discernible but wholly unique to this model is on display here; the name Regal is attached on to the passenger-side taillight lens itself. This is how it left the factory, and it is the only instance I can think of where an automaker made that decision. Originally there was a bright metal trim piece underneath the taillights and trunk lid, one side of which read Buick, but this has long been sacrificed to the parking gods.
Dammit this is when I know I have a disease because from this angle voices start piping up in my head saying things like "the way the rear edge of the rear wheel well trails off is kinda cool" and "I like how the sharp line of the back window makes a soft angle to become the top of the trunk with another soft angle down the back". This car is a thoroughly used zombie but I can't help digging it! *That sporty aftermarket mirror on the door is not only black, but attached a few inches behind where it ought to be.
Somehow against all odds the hood ornament remains.
At first glance I thought the grill was missing entirely, but it's just laying back, doin' tha Rockaway. "Chrome" of this era is just a shiny veneer that peels and flakes off as you can see under the turn signals. This was the era of cheap materials for sure. This side marker light is just gone completely!
At first I thought those smoky pond water outside headlights were due to age but they might just be some sort of tint job seeing as they're so consistent.
I have to point out that this car has matching plates and valid stickers in the windshield where as most cars in this condition seem to have a single out of state plate thrown on the back. Someone is paying to keep this thing on the road and presumably it passes inspection (though it sounds like the exhaust stops right after the manifold these days). The fact that not only is this being used daily, but proudly by its owner makes me very happy! I feel a bit crummy dissing it so much but it's just asking for it. Regardless, go forth King of Hoopties and spread your message to the people of Brooklyn!

1 comment:

  1. Sweet! I drive a hoopty looking 1986 Cadillac Brougham and I love the look of rust and beater