(Found In) Temescal (Oakland, California): 1962 Chevrolet Corvair 700 Sedan

IMG_2311It’s forgotten quite often that the original plan for the Chevrolet Corvair was to be an economical rival to the proliferation of modest European Sedans that found support on the shores of the United States throughout the 2nd half of the 1950’s. Not only was the Volkswagen Beetle a target. Sedans from Renault, Fiat and Volvo alongside more mundane rivals from the domestic market were part of The Corvair’s world domination plans.

Of course, the vast majority of Americans wanted their basic transportation, well, basic. Where did that leave the Corvair Sedans in the wake of the runaway niche success of the Corvair Coupes and new for ’62 Convertibles?

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Dynamic Divergence: Back To School Essentials – 6 Rides That Where The Lead Of The Carpool

ff865f9002544b89d4a03df523a03cd5-stationwagon-seat-beltsWe’ve seen our nation wide open on the highways this summer. Now it’s time for us to head back to the realities of gaining more knowledge. It’s back to school season, and every big box parking lot is filled with the spoils of breeding the next generation of thinkers and doers…and spoiled brats and bullies too.

We’ve typically gone back to school in the back seats of nearly 80 years of family haulers as schools became anchors of suburban development, long out of the walking distance of the industrial revolution, yet closer in than one room school houses of America’s rural frontier myths. In terms of utility, intelligence and style, what were some of the premiere pods of the Carpool over the years?

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(Found In) Longfellow (Emeryville, California): 1968 AMC Rambler American 440 Station Wagon

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Always walking to the beat of a different drum, the heritage of AMC stretched back into two independents that had long done it their way. It’s by no chance that the first, least expensive option on offer in their showrooms nationwide relied on the manifest-destiny ringing “American” nameplate.

Back in the days of AMC being rooted in Nash, the Rambler concept was by far the most continually successful compact car concept, making sure to offer those a lot of comfort in their decreased footprint. Closing in on 20 years after the beginning of that risk, what did the littlest AMC product give you in 1968?

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(Found In) Islais Creek (San Francisco, California): 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible Coupe

img_2170While once upon a time rival the Ford Thunderbird always seemed ready to switch up it’s identity to keep up with the party, the Chevrolet Corvette stayed very close to its roots. Nearly 65 years later the Corvette remains the longest running mass produced sports car on offer from the good old United States of America.

It wasn’t without many a harrowing challenge, questions about its credibility as such, and many many death watches. How did it stack up during it’s sophomore season of its 3rd generation?

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(Found In) Civic Center (San Francisco, California): 1966 Cadillac DeVille Convertible Coupe

image (5)As the 2nd half of the 1960’s got underway, Cadillac found itself not doing much wrong. The most premium General Motors offering had long banished American luxury rivals to the lower rungs of the sales charts, if not into the grave. However, this swagger combined with swelling size would eventually be the sword The Standard of The World would nearly mortally wound itself on.

The 1966 Model year represented perhaps the pinnacle of substance, style and snob appeal that would be eventually whittled away from copious Caddies for more than 2 decades. This knight in shining white armor droptop tells a rather peculiar tale of being laurel crowded, yet resting on said laurels at the same time.
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(Found In) The Bayview (San Francisco, California): 1969 Dodge Charger R/T 2 Door Hardtop Coupe

12570985_10153265225732201_290692963_n If this Dodge Charger was decked out in All-Black, it would cut a far more threatening presence on the streets of San Francisco. As it stands, resplendent in a shade close to gold, it remains one of the most celebrated muscle machines of the late 1960’s.

The Charger was a cross section model with little definition. It too big to be a Pony Car, too unique in design to be a mainstream Mid Sized Muscle car (and Dodge had Coronet R/T models to serve that purpose) yet not as luxurious as some rivals to be cast as a personal coupe. In theory, it was one of the most unique Mopar offerings for the 2nd half of the 1960’s, and had a special corner of the market all to itself.
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(Found In) Mission District (San Francisco, California): 1969 Toyota Corona Four Door Sedan

12626165_10153265452272201_1427667649_nIt didn’t take long for Toyota to learn some important basics about success in the American Market. Within 2 generations and one spectacular failure at the end of the 1950’s, Toyota was fast becoming the most important import brand in the United States as the 1960’s gave way to the 1970’s.

The brick laying car to Toyota’s success on the American Market was the 1965-1970 Corona. Riding into the marketplace where very few cars provided such an excellent motoring experience for the price, Toyota cleaned house, captured sales and ended up often being voted the compact car of choice over the others. It was a process of simply mastering minor details that other brands and efforts missed. By polishing details and heightening expectations of what a small car could be, the Toyota Corona revolutionized the American dream of what basic transportation could be.
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(Found In) Adams Point (Oakland, California): 1962 Pontiac Tempest Convertible Coupe

12306004_10153168671557201_719705256_n General Motors’s efforts at providing reduced sized motoring during the early 60’s delivered an engineering 1-2-3 punch. For 1960, ’61 and ’62, three different compact models from America’s premiere manufacturer took home the coveted Motor Trend Car of The Year award.

1961 belonged to the Pontiac Tempest. Where would Pontiac go for the encore season of 1962? Perhaps a little bit more sport, as par for the course in recent tradition in the scope of offerings from the “Tin Indian.” Have a coupe, have a convertible! All stripes of fun were in as the littlest Pontiac tried to offer the virtues of GM’s “excitement” brand in a more tidy, better handling package.

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(Found In) Santa Fe (Oakland, California): 1964 Buick Electra 225 Four Door Hardtop

12242244_10153145153132201_2127920083_n1964 represented the capstone return to restrained elegance that was a long term calling card of Buick products. Swept up in the exuberance of the 1950’s, Buick spent a few seaons of the decade being the #3 volume producer of American Cars, edging out perennial price leader favorite Plymouth in 1955 and 1956. Those boastful totals right behind low priced domestic rivals Ford and Chevrolet were the result of some rather bodacious offerings from Flint, Michigan. Not totally exclusive “Doctor’s Cars” they had been in the past, (especially the price leader Special and hot rod Century) some of the upper crust mystique of Buick lost its luster as the high volume brought a few quality gremlins as well.

By 1960, the true, innately conservative streak that solidified Buick values for most of the brand heritage started to return. An emphasis on the relative restraint compared to upper crust rivals returned year after year throughout the early 1960’s before becoming resolutely entrenched by the middle of the decade.

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(Found In) Richmond Annex (Richmond, California): 1964 Mercedes – Benz 220S 4 Door Sedan

22532986728_983fb0df46_zIt wasn’t quite the glory years period that Mercedes Benz would experience on the American Market in 1964. The seizing of the desirable luxury throne would take another decade. However, as Cadillacs, Lincolns and Imperials continued their march towards abundance and excess being synonymous with luxury, the Old World craftmanship from Germany started to appeal to a select number of fine goods consumers.

The springboard models for certain shoppers to transition away from traditional American Luxury barges where the redesigned W111 series cars from Mercedes Benz. Although the design process for these cars started in 1956, they incorporated features and technology far ahead of most manufactures for decades to come.

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