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V.I.S.I.T. – Identity Confused Chevzuki Swint Turbo GTi

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An eighties 1 liter 3-cylinder hot-hatch on a set of genuine panasport wheels. For personal travel around San Francisco, can it get any better than this? I recently took a weekend trip to the SF bay with my wife, little brother, and little sister, and while they spent time seeing the touristy stuff like China Town, the Fisherman’s Wharf, and some bridge somewhere, I spent most of my time carspotting. I suppose that’s what I do anywhere we go, though, so it should come as no surprise to them. This one had so much of my attention that I had to walk a block out of my way and across a busy street to see it. They didn’t understand my fascination, but you might.

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V.I.S.I.T. – Scouting Out An International Scout II

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Every now and again a quick trip to the grocery store turns into a great opportunity to ogle some vintage metal. This beautifully restored/modified International Scout caught my eye, and I just had to park next to it (You can see my Mazda in the background of some of the photos after the jump). Here in Nevada, the majority of vintage trucks like this seemingly have four foot lifts, tires taller than any my cars, and Monster Energy decals all over them. Not to mention the fact that half of those are beat to hell and back from rocks, dirt, and a complete lack of care. The “it’s just a damned old truck” mentality runs thick here, and it’s hard to find good ones. This seems to be one of the good ones.

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V.I.S.I.T. – Butchered Buick Is Master of Disaster

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I came across this, um… thing parked outside my local supermarket back in October (notice the pumpkin display and the golden leaves on the trees). I’m not sure what possesses someone to (seemingly) deliberately rip away the roof and rear doors of a defenseless Buick Century, but looking at the myriad other bizarre details, I am guessing illegal chemicals are somehow involved. Evidently, it’s fun and cool to scare children. Two more freakish views after the jump. … Continue Reading

V.I.S.I.T. – Fairlady In The Streets

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A few weeks ago, my wife and I were walking around town cruising from bar to bar on our own little fall afternoon bar crawl, only we were going from craft brewery to craft brewery sampling the finest this town has to offer. It was quite fun, and we had some really good brews. As we were cutting through a residential neighborhood to get to the next stop, we saw this nasty old Datsun on the side of the road, and I just had to stop to admire it. It’s rough in all the right places, and it doesn’t have damage or rot, it has ‘patina’. This design has always been a favorite of mine, and I’d certainly love the opportunity to drive one around, but I’m afraid I might not fit. I snapped a few photos here with my potato-phone camera, and here I’ll offer my ‘expert’ analysis of the car after the jump.

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V.I.S.I.T: 1972 Bond Bug

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The seductive curves of the female form.  The dynamic lpoise of a wild animal pounced to attack. The streamlined aesthetic of a fighter aircraft, elegant and trim yet concealing massive firepower. For generations car designers have drawn inspiration from these things and many more, leading to many a design classic.

By contrast, when creating the Bond Bug Tom Karen was heavily inspired by a piece of Red Leicester cheese he found at the back of the fridge.

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V.I.S.I.T: Czech street scene- Automobily Prahy.

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I’d been looking forward to this trip for ages. There were a number of gravities which pulled us towards the Czech capital; not least the fascinating history that the country has built up having been directed under a number of regimes during the last century. The architecture, too, promised (and delivered) a rich blend of renaissance, gothic, cubist, art-nouveau and brutalist styles to gawp at. Beer too, is in abundance and very cheap.

Of course, I had my camera on standby in case I encountered anything wheeled that was notable. Judge my results for yourself with the photoflood after the jump.

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V.I.S.I.T. – A Pair Of Open Air Porsches

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The other day, we went out for a drive to the farmers market, and I spotted a pair of beautiful Porsches on the way. One was an old 6-pot swapped 914, while the other was a very well cared for 964 Carrera 4 Cabriolet in Porsche Purple Metallic. I’ve seen both cars a number of times around town, but usually while I’m in a hurry or concentrating on driving. The fact that I finally managed to track both of them down and get photos (albeit terrible cell-phone photos) of them on the same day borders on miraculous. Hit the jump for a few more pictures.

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V.I.S.I.T. – 1970 Saab 95

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If there’s anything I’ve learned while living in Seattle, it’s that the coolest cars show up in the most unexpected places. Just last night, a Hummer H1 truck was parked in the neighbor’s driveway; the week before I was driving behind something that looked like a space capsule on wheels. You know never what you’re going to see on the streets, and this blue beauty is no different. … Continue Reading

V.I.S.I.T: Mighty Morphin’ Bitsa Bird

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While visiting family in rural northeast Kansas, I happened to park next to what I assumed was a ’77 or ’78 Trans-Am in white…but wait! Something was obviously missing, namely the shaker hood that the puking chicken should’ve been caressing with its wings. Somewhat less noticeably, the front spoiler was also absent. I tracked down the car’s teenage owner, who was working nearby. He told me the car was actually a ’78 Esprit, the upscale “lux” version that lacked most of the Trans-Am’s tacked-on gills and fins. (This one, however, had been spec’d with the optional rear spoiler.) He replaced the front fenders with a vented pair from an ’81 Trans-Am, which came complete with fender flairs. To complement the look, matching rear flairs were installed on the wheel wells in back and a big hood decal was added.

So, what do you think? Is a smooth Esprit hood worthy of wearing the Bandit Bird? Or does the lack of pokey-throughy engineness just make it look like a man wearing a tube top?

V.I.S.I.T: “Your Forecourt Is Intriguing To Me…”

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The city of Lawrence, home to the University of Kansas, is your typical small, Midwestern college town. As such, there is very little exotic there, and very few businesses that are not oriented toward the needs of cash-strapped college students. Not a great place to find unique old cars. But as I passed through that charming burg Monday afternoon, I glimpsed the distinctive rear end of a very cool old Saab wagon with the equally distinctive butts of two Porsche 928s next to it. As they flashed by, I couldn’t tell what sort of business was there, but these are not the sort of practical, cheap, plentiful vehicles that college kids normally drive. On the return trip, I slowed down enough to see that one of the 928s was be-tarped, there were two Bimmers further down the row, and they were all parked in front of an establishment called Red Ink Racing, Ltd. (Great name!). I still don’t know if these are cars for sale, customer vehicles in for repair, or the owner’s stalled personal projects. But parking these out front as the public face of your business tells me you’re my kind of establishment.

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