Several springs ago I took my trusty Canon SLR and went out walking through my neighborhood, searching for interesting cars to photograph. Anyone living in an older (read ancient) neighborhood will immediately know what I had in mind. I was searching for cars that had been alive for a long time and because most of the houses around me only had single car garages, these were the cars that lived outside. I set out from my house without any particular direction in mind, and pretty quickly stumbled up a rather serious Volvo 240 in rally trim and an elderly Land Rover Defender (MkII?).
The Volvo I had seen roaring around the neighborhood once and I can tell you that it was very loud! As I was photographing these two cars the owner came out and we started chatting. The Volvo had been built as a rally car with suspension and engine tuning, along with the IPD body work. The Defender was running and I just loved the way it had weathered.
Before leaving I tried to talk the owner into selling me either, but he wouldn’t have it so I gave him my phone number and kept walking. Shortly there after I happened across a decrepit house, with a decrepit yard that held several faded cars.
Oh and there was a trailer there as well. Anyway, being a BMW fan I was gutted to see the 530 left to rott, but it’s not very surprising. I read once that BMWs were luxury cars and they were expensive to buy, so even though you can pick one up for cheap on CL because of depreciation, the prices of parts will still be what they were when the car was new. Inevitably these cars are bought and driven until something expensive breaks and then they get parked.
Along with the Beemer, there was a Pinto and some kind of Datsun, all from the same general period of time. Maybe this person set out to showcase cars of the 1980s and then forgot about them.
From there I set off back home and having done this a couple of other times I can tell you that it’s pretty fun. If you don’t live in this sort of neighborhood I’d suggest finding the nearest college and walking around there.