RustyButTrusty on the Street – Pontiac and BMW 3-fer

As San Francisco is an interesting place for spotting unusual (or at least old) cars, so are Oakland and Berkeley. And for people who live where interesting cars are a not-too-uncommon sight among the hoardes of Priuses, Accords and F150s, you owe it to yourself to not forget to appreciate where you are. Our first car is a 1973 Pontiac Catalina coupe. Wait, you say, Pontiac? Sure, they’re an orphan brand now, but there are loads of those still on the streets! Well, with attrition, some of the less-popular versions of the General’s platforms have become as rare as cars that had much-lower sales numbers when new. Who knows what engine this car has in it – anything from the 350 to the 455, with a less-than-impressive horsepower range of 150 (boohoohoo) to 250 (meh).

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The star attraction of today’s post is a little BMW collection that is street-parked in Berkeley. As you can see on this picture, it comprises at least 3 BMWs, possibly more, that the owner has stashed around the neighborhood. And with luck, most were parked together for a spontaneous photo session (which explains the blurriness). In order from near to far are a 1967 2000 tilux, a 1974-76 2002, and a 1969 1600ti.

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While the 2002 is interesting, we’ll focus on the rarer variants of BMW Neue Klasse cars. This blue 1967 BMW 2000 tilux is near the top of its range. It featured a dual-carburetor 120hp engine from the 2000CS coupe, along with wide tail lights, extra exterior trim, and the love-em-or-hate-em rectangular headlights – only slightly less divisive than the ones on the coupe. It also had a nicer interior with wood trim and nicer materials.

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Another never-sold-in-America variant was this 1969 1600ti. It was also equipped with dual carbs from the 1800ti, making for 105hp. This car may well be a conversion of an American market car, seeing as it is equipped with all-red (instead of red and orange) tail lights, headrests, and body-mounted license plate lights. Anoraks, please offer your detailed analyses. Either way, this car looks pretty smart in Polaris silver with nearly no adornment aside from the lip spoiler on the trunk lid.

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So for the readers in other parts of the country, here’s something to help you through your endless snowdrifts. If you appreciate it, forget commenting and please do a rain dance for the drought-stricken Californians.

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