RustyButTrusty on the Street – Alfa, Mini, Mercedes, Volvo

Welcome back to RustyButTrusty on the Street, where we take a look at recent sightings of people using classic cars as they were originally intended. First up is the RustyButTrust 1977 Alfa Romeo Spider, which was a surprise participant in the 2014 Motherlode 400 Rally since the Alfetta was still down for repair. 40ish classic cars hit the small town of Hornitos, CA for lunch, and you have to wonder what the locals thought at being swarmed by that many old cars at once. In the background, you can see another participant’s 1969 GTV. The driving on this year’s Motherlode Rally was amazing as usual, with more technical driving than some other vintage rallies and two nights at the same location so you needn’t drag everything with you.

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Next up is an Austin Mini van, seemingly an early version with sliding windows and exterior door hinges. This belongs to a nearby restaurant, though it’s not clear what it’s being used for – perhaps catering deliveries? Dark green paint and Cosmic wheels make for a pretty cool look combined with the signage, and the car seems to be wearing Spanish plates. It’s been sitting in this location for several weeks, so perhaps the owner has lost interest and there’s an opportunity to pick up an interesting car at a reasonable price?

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In the WTF file, we have a W123 Mercedes 200 with British plates and right hand drive. Your faithful correspondent was not able to stick around long enough to find out if this car was truly a British-registered car on some kind of slow-ass world trip making a stop in San Francisco, but it’s interesting to see it on the roads nonetheless. Just like having fewer or more than two wipers adds to a car’s head-turning factor, having the steering wheel on the wrong side does too.

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Last but not least, a Volvo 122S in nice shape was stopping off for some pastries at the local bakery. Shiny pale blue paint and black plates make this car, and it looks great parked among all the modern metal on the street. Thanks to their durability and style, it’s not entirely unusual to see these being used as daily drivers on city streets – a real confirmation of the staying power some old cars have, even if they are obsolete.

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