Doane Yawger: Chevy convertible, station wagon and trucks capture enthusiasts’ attention

05/01/2014 7:57 PM

05/01/2014 10:24 PM

One of the joys of everyday driving is stumbling upon something old or rare on the streets. It’s the next best thing to a formal car show.

We’re entering that golden time period, during which there will be a number of car shows offering too much to see and not nearly enough time to see it all. I can hardly wait.

Until then, I content myself with staying on the lookout for cool rides cruising around Merced and elsewhere.

For example, in recent days my eyes were treated to a red 1964 Chevrolet convertible, looking like pure fun on wheels. Seen from a distance but nevertheless appreciated was a 1956 Chevrolet station wagon, in red and white.

Several early 1970s Chevrolet pickup trucks have been seen around Merced. A couple of early Falcon Rancheros from the early 1960s definitely are worth a second look.

On a more exotic level, a 1963 Studebaker Avanti can’t be beat, along with a 1962 Studebaker Hawk two-door sedan.

Recently I also spotted a 1970 Ford Maverick two-door sedan, a car I contemplated buying way back when before I settled on a Chevrolet Nova. You couldn’t go wrong either way, I think.

Several times I’ve glimpsed early Ford Mustangs around town and they can’t be beat, either. A gold-colored 1964 Ford Fairlane four-door sedan caught me by surprise. Four doors weren’t cool way back when but they are now.

Speaking of sedans, you couldn’t miss a 1941 Buick four-door sedan seen around downtown Merced recently, looking showroom-new after 73 years.

We’re all familiar with the mid-1950s Studebaker milk truck rolling around Merced, but it’s easy on the eyes compared with more modern and mundane box vans.

Several old Volkswagen pickups and panel vans have been spotted, at least one of them in 1960s hippie garb.

I’ve saved the best for last: At the gas pump a couple of weeks ago was a gorgeous 1956 Oldsmobile two-door hardtop. The old Olds just reeks style and pizzazz, and goes down as my favorite sighting of all.

I’ve seen at least one brand-new Corvette and it’s menacing-looking, definitely pegging the cool meter.

Who knows? Tomorrow may yield something even more spectacular than any of these. Stay tuned for more random sightings.

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