Rusty But Trusty on the Street – BMW 2002tii, Jaguar XJ6, Pontiac Catalina, Datsun 2000, and Mercedes 280SL

Time for more catching up on the local sights. First off is an early-morning sighting of a BMW 2002tii the way we like them – daily driven and a little crispy around the edges. This would probably horrify the local BMWCCA show crowd – after all, no amount of Q-tips will clean the dirt out of the nooks and crannies on this one – but it’s great to see someone actually using their 2002 – a tii no less – as intended. This looks to be the Agave green color, and aside from the rust, it looks really straight and complete, down to the steel tii wheels with hubcaps. This has been a California car since at least the early 1980s, judging by the sunrise plates.

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Next up is an early Jaguar XJ6. It’s great to see one of these out and about, and in such good shape. The early chrome bumper cars are really just as Lyons intended, with those little bumpers taking so much less from the voluptuous design. What do these look like when de-bumpered? Nice to see a woman driving a classic in this male-dominated hobby!

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Here’s a 1974ish Pontiac Catalina. Who knows how people managed to park in this neighborhood when conveyances like this were what most people drove? The thick b-pillar/thin C-pillar arrangement is unusual, and kind of recalls the look of some 1950s GM cars where the roof top extended beyond the top of the C-pillar.

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This Datsun 2000 was parked right downtown in the San Francisco Financial District, with a construction hard hat in the passenger seat. Again, even though it’s a little rough around the edges, it’s great to see this car still being used just like a regular car, even over 40 years on.

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Lastly, this Mercedes 280SL is a frequent appearance in front of the Omni Hotel. Sure, it’s beyond the normal Rusty But Trusty budget, but it does have a little rust and a minor scrape from a careless valet. With these cars becoming more and more valuable, owners will be reluctant to bring them out and they’ll start spending most of their time in a climate controlled storage space somewhere. Which is a shame, since most higher-end Mercedes are still eminently usable classics.

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