Thursday, July 9, 2015

Cali grab bag featuring a drivable muffler, Police Squad! style, and El Camino action!

As I was scrolling through my recent West Coast adventures it became clear that there had to be at least one catch-all for the few rides I was only able to get a couple snaps of or were otherwise unclassifiable. Let's jump right into the unclassifiable section:
Yes! I've known of this beast for years as it is parked in my part-time childhood town of Paradise, California. While it's been stationary as long as I can remember it this was once a drivable muffler for Kelly's Muffler. Is it a car? Is it folk art? Is it advertising? Yes to all three!
Let us admire the taillights and overall rear styling of this MufflerCar. I'm assuming the exhaust would come out of the enormous exhaust tip but maybe not! Mysterious are the ways of MufflerCar.

Oh see this is just my type of puzzle as there are enough clues in this picture to reckon what make and model car this was when it left the factory. From the soft square openings for the gauges, top-center heater control location, gunsight vents, horn ring, and odd left-of-the-steering-wheel ignition location I'm confident this vehicle started life as a 1969-1973 Datsun 510. Too bad as they're cult cars these days renowned for their capability on the track and in vintage rallies.
Who needs that road cone to warn people that MufflerCar is on the scene? With the plywood remnant over the back I'm assuming it was a place to sit in parades or something like it. Too bad she's dormant at this point.
Now on to Police Squad!
*If you haven't heard of Police Squad! (in color) I implore you to drop everything and tune in right now; Police Squad! Episode 1 - A Substantial Gift
This sweet little number is a 1973 Plymouth Sebring in Amber Sherwood Poly. As per usual for a car from California it's nonchalantly perfect and rust-free.
I believe this is the year of the Police Squad! cruiser but that was a 4 door Plymouth Fury. I love this fuselage body style and color scheme (white vinyl roof!), but these cars have yet to really catch on with collectors.
It was parked in a driveway near the Oakland Airport so I figured I wouldn't go stomping around trying to get a shot of the front, but she's a beauty.
Around the corner I found this blue workhorse:
A 1968 Chevrolet El Camino in what looks to be a repaint, but the factory color closest to this one is Grotto Blue. The '68 and '69 were almost identical but there are 2 clues to discern the vintage that I know of. That small diagonal chrome trim piece in the front (you can barely see it here) that follows the side of the grill opening goes all the way down to the fender well on this year, while it doesn't go past the bottom of the grill in '69. In addition, the reverse lights for this year would've been located in those two rectangular openings on the bumper had this truck been ordered with them (still an option in '68!) while the '69s got larger versions on the tailgate itself.
She's got 2 flats in the front I doubt she'll be rolling the streets in the immediate future.
There are more odds and ends for the future but we'll leave it for now. 

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