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DOTS: Good Cars Bad Tips Edition

My camera phone did this naturally and I love the yellow tint
My camera phone did this naturally and I love the yellow tint
Photo: Who is the Leader

Today was one of those days where you realize immediately you should just go back to bed. Sadly, I woke up. The carspotting was good though! Or Carp Sotting as I usually type.

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Mercury Montclair in its natural habitat - no wait this isn’t a boomer’s garage
Mercury Montclair in its natural habitat - no wait this isn’t a boomer’s garage
Photo: Who is the Leader

Yes, this beautiful Mercury Montclair has always eluded my camera before now but I finally cornered it an a picturesque alley behind some suitably Art Deco storefronts.

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Illustration for article titled DOTS: Good Cars Bad Tips Edition

I love the color combo right here. I wouldn’t want this any other way. I’d take one over a technically more valuable ‘55 Chevy Bel Air every day of the week.

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Illustration for article titled DOTS: Good Cars Bad Tips Edition
Illustration for article titled DOTS: Good Cars Bad Tips Edition
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I love this front end. Yes, it is ostentatious and overdone, but it is just such a classic look. I can see why some long for a time when the biggest measure of success was how big the plane on your hood was.

Edit: Thank you Fintail for pointing out the Mercury as a ‘55.

Illustration for article titled DOTS: Good Cars Bad Tips Edition
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Illustration for article titled DOTS: Good Cars Bad Tips Edition

I love the inverted barber pole esque lights inside an oval surround. Distinctive, functional, and quite good looking without being over the top. I also enjoy seeing the absurd and ornate trunk keyhole covers on cars of this era.

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Illustration for article titled DOTS: Good Cars Bad Tips Edition

One thing about photographing chrome. You can’t not be in it. Too bad because these hubcaps would look a lot better without my ugly mug reflected in it. Turkey balances me out though. Once again I got several drive by compliments from people in cars.

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Illustration for article titled DOTS: Good Cars Bad Tips Edition

This scene almost looked normal in this day’s carp sotting. I have seen a suspicious amount of Mini Cooper Coupes around recently. The Chevy SSR is not as frequently seen.

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Illustration for article titled DOTS: Good Cars Bad Tips Edition

I think this car gets a bad rap. Sure, it’s impractical, but it is supposed to be. I think it still looks pretty good. A whole lot better than the bloated pickups of today.

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Illustration for article titled DOTS: Good Cars Bad Tips Edition

The rear end has sort of a faux step side look, but I like the sleek bumperless design. How did they get this thing federalized? Imagine this with yesteryear’s 5 mph impact bumpers.

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Speaking of boomers, wait, I didn’t speak of them? It was implied, sure. A convoy of C3 Corvettes rolled through in all the model’s best colors and iterations. I couldn’t pull out my phone while driving though, especially through narrow curvy pedestrian filled streets. This is the only place I know of where I have fully supported a comprehensive road narrowing project.

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Yep, this used to just be wasted open road but now there is more sidewalk. Great. Shot between the arm of a RR crossing arm.

Illustration for article titled DOTS: Good Cars Bad Tips Edition
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Technically, I saw a Citroen 2CV.

Illustration for article titled DOTS: Good Cars Bad Tips Edition
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Seems inadvisable, given the lack of doors, straps, and even the most basic safety. Notice the license plate. Usually I see these running without one.

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I haven’t seen one of these early cab-over-engine designs in quite a while, much less a mostly intact tow truck. Great examples of why I love American attempts to make space saving designs when space doesn’t come at a premium.

Thank you Fintail for pointing this out as a 1941-47 Ford COE. 

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I believe this to be inter-war GM COE from around 1935.

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Another interesting old survivor sat behind it. This time a Ford Falcon van, hailing from the 1960s postwar boom.

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This one is missing the signature headlight bezels but these are much prettier than a van has any right to be. Also dangerous, since these COE designs had developed a reputation for being deadly even by the lax standards of the 1960s. Detroit replaced this generation of forward thinking cab over vans with conventional front engined vans that took up more room.

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My research indicates this is a circa 1938 Chevrolet coupe. These are pretty popular among the hot rod crowd, but the rust and neglect this old project has seen means a replica body would be a much easier, faster, and cheaper route to show quality vehicle.

Thank you Fintail for pointing out this is a 41. 

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It still has a 5 digit Kansas plate, so it has not seen the road for a long time.

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Yup, not much hope for this classic. Not much in the way of a salvageable part on it.

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Someone clearly loves their classic Chevys at this tow lot. A half ton and 2 ton heavy duty pickup sit huddled together, neglected in a puddle of mud, awaiting an eventual final trip to the crusher.

The Corvair up on the container shows much more promise. No surface rust, complete glass, and good period wheels make this look pretty solid from this distance.

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Illustration for article titled DOTS: Good Cars Bad Tips Edition

That’s not all. Another Corvair in much worse shape sits high and mighty up on its soapbox, telling the whole world it deserves better. The Beetle looks consigned to its fate as well.

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Across the street, not pictured, sits some vandalized train cars on a siding from the main track running parallel to the street. Some other tankers sit in their own enclosure, now cut off from the tracks, as a permanent liquid storage for a concrete plant. A junkyard of late model cars also butts up against this forlorn scene, an ominous warning to those poor cars counting the days they have left. I hope at least the black Corvair sees enough attention to get back on the road.

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In more cheerful news, Turkey cracked a mischievous grin for the camera. Someone loves their walks.

The artwork in the background is this year’s contest winners and are posted every other fence segment, sometimes on both sides of the path, for about a mile.

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Oh, and about the title. One does not simply order $70 of Bojangles and not tip the driver. But someone did, and it took 45 minutes to boot. I made $5 in an hour during a peak time. Thank you so much for not answering your door.

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