(Dynamic Divergence) Whatever Happened To Laurence Jones at Curbside Classic?

“Hope Laurence is doing well. Miss his photography & writing.”

I get sincerely really annoyed when I see things like this on Curbside Classic each time some old musty content I wrote is unearthed. It’s pretty easy to see that I’m doing well if effort were made to seek out where I’ve been or what I’ve done. I absolutely loathe being dragged back into a graveyard as a ghost. continue reading


Dynamic Divergence: Driving A Corvair At The End of the World

photo credit Philip Ruth

It’s been just 6 months since I made the most ridiculous vehicle decision in my life.

Is it really, tho?

I capped a decade of mad-cap vehicle choices with one of the most controversial things to roll on four wheels. Granted, I chose the 2nd generation Corvair, the lesser of the problematic versions of the oddball Chevrolet. I was told, warned, and threatened even, to stay away from the first generation cars and their handling abnormalities. You’d think Ralph Nader was a ghost already the way his diatribes from Unsafe At Any Speed haunted my vehicle search.

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(Found In) Golden Gate (Oakland, California): 1961 Dodge Dart Seneca 2 Door Sedan

170D2987-5DBA-4EF4-88DA-A499E215FDCAStrange times call for strange subjects, correct? Nothing gets more absurd and always great for examination when it comes to automobiles than the products Chrysler Corporation produced between 1960 and 1962.

None of them can be considered, even in the context of the later googie-interstellar design influences throughout product design, ‘normal.’ They all beamed down from outer space and asked to be taken to our leaders. Strangest of all might be the collective 1961 line. The friendliest face, with the most devastating mission, would be the line of 1961 Darts. Granted the Dart line up of 1960 had already did plenty of damage to the order established on the planet Mopar.
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Dynamic Divergence: The New #Road Order

img_0785We are on the brink of a new world order. The ways that the eventual new reality will settle into being is happening on all sorts of fronts. With that, we’re seeing some of the worst traits of our collective psyche rise to the surface. Greed as a steamroller to protect our collective fragile egos manifests in multiple ways in the United States. One place where it isn’t analyzed in an above board fashion are the choices buyers are making when selecting new motor vehicles.

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) opened its doors to the public this week. By the looks of the new products on offer, you’d think it was 1996 all over again. Large, hulking trucks and SUVs with silhouettes that cast shadows over what we considered gargantuan 20 years ago paraded forth against dark, slightly apocalyptic set designs. Continue reading “Dynamic Divergence: The New #Road Order”

Dynamic Diversion: Personalized Cadillac Style

IMG_5178Sometimes you just change your life in a drastic way. Sometimes you do so with a supporting cast of characters. Fiction or life, who can really tell.

You may be wondering why Dynamic Drive has been rather dormant in the last 2 months. Truth is, before even losing a job, and escalating housing costs, I had already been pre-planning my trajectory out of the Bay Area for months. This meant that there had been a general slowdown in posting, less hunting for new vehicles to find and share with you in the San Francisco Bay Area, and trying to plan out where I was headed.
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(Found In) Hoover/Foster (Oakland, California): 1969 Pontiac Bonneville 428 Convertible

IMG_4416The truth of the matter is that we can’t lead forever. As much as we crave the stability and consistency in life, time and competition makes sure that we never become stale. Pontiac found itself the leader of a new type of youthful, vibrant, and enthusiastic market of automobiles in the early 1960’s, far away from the gussied up Chevrolet with a Straight 8 that it was at the beginning of the 1950’s.

By the end of the 1960’s, success had started to spoil the sweetest of milk on the market. While all of Pontiac’s line-up in 1964 presented a sporting rakishness, just a mere 5 years later, like a number of American Brands, the Tin Indian tried to field itself in categories it was none too well adjusted to fit into.
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(Found In) Uptown (Oakland, California): 1988 Mercury Sable GS 4 Door Sedan

IMG_3844We’ve covered how much of a revelation the Ford Taurus was to new car buyers when it debuted 32 years ago in the Fall of 1985. But what is to be made of its sister ship, the too new for now Mercury Sable? With half skirted wheels, a full light bar substituting for grille work and a “floating” roof above “wrap around” glass, the Sable gave visual incentive to move into tomorrow today with many a styling feature that once was the reign of Science Fiction.

But was there much substance underneath the fantasy found in fancy Ford dealerships? What *more* did you get over the already trend setting Taurus?

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(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1958 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday Hardtop Coupe

IMG_3459Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or in the eye of the buyer, I guess. In the twilight zone of the late 50’s, many an automobile brings up the question of what exactly did “good taste” mean in terms of what American car shoppers wanted.

This is where the 1958 Oldsmobile enters into our consciousness. When all is said and done, can you believe that it was one of the most popular faces for ’58? Perhaps entranced by all the sparkling jewelry, we spend time with this glittery gem, figuring out if it was a ghoul or the genteel beast most middle class buyers wanted that year.

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(Found In) Civic Center (San Francisco, California): 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera Cruiser Station Wagon

IMG_3341What if I proposed to you that the Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera was the most polarizing car of the last 40 years? I’m sure you’d point out there’s plenty of other cars that deserve a bigger medal in terms of era defining cars but I have some key arguments.

Some will say that it was the car that planted the seeds of death for the Oldsmobile brand. Others will tout their ability to abuse the basic sound design of them (of course, once those pesky GM bugs got worked out of the earliest editions) for more than 2 decades and multiple hundreds of thousands of miles worth of trips that could loop the globe. The true meaning of it, as a symbol, lies somewhere down the middle of course, and I try to rectify that while looking at this indeterminable of model year well-equipped Cruiser Wagon version.

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