Monday, September 27, 2010

Street Parked: Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival

Washington's Olympic Peninsula is famous for being infested with vampires and werewolves. These creatures of the night apparently have good taste in cars. My lovely wife and I recently visited went last September to the scenic seaside town Port Townsend - PT is a must see for any visitor to the Olympic Peninsula. Our day trip happened to coincide with Port Townsend's wooden boat festival; we came for the quaintness, stayed for the boats, and I was distracted by the Street Parked classics.

No werewolf can catch this cat:
So curvy, so sensuous.Where is Austin Powers' video phone?
These cars are as strong performers as they are stunningly beautiful. What a great car; it's not too perfect to keep it off the streets. However it is clearly well loved and maintained to a good standard. The wheels look like newer 72 spoke chrome jobs - when new, this car likely had painted wire wheels. The shiny knock-off spinner nut is original, notice how it's a left hand thread? That's to keep the forward motion friction from loosening the wheels on the right side (the left side has normal right hand threads). How scary would it be to take a left turn and see a right wheel keep going straight?
Righty loosey?

MGA driver: Jacob's sports car?
Half a block from the Jaaaag this innocent white MGA was dwarfed by its neighbors.
This little fellow's grill won't stay dent-free for long.
This a 1959 or 1960 MGA with a 1600 cc engine and wing mirrors that appear to be from an late '60s AMC Ambassador.
Old guys rule.
With its rollbar car looks like it could have just come from hooning on Grizzly Peak. This is an MGA that is true to what having a sports car is all about. Hint: it's not about preserving the car's concourse "provenance". Need wing mirrors? This pair from an old AMC in the junkyard will do the job. Give yourself a scare halfway through a decreasing radius turn? Whip out the hole saw and weld in a roll bar.
From the Craig Anderson school of dash labeling.
The cockpit of this car features handy captions for the various bits and pieces. It has a "Strangler", "Starter", and a "Piddler" among others. Click the image for a ginormous version.

A bundle of snakes gathered by the curb:
This is what a motorbike should look like.
This Honda CB550 presents my favorite form of motorbike. The engine is visible and beautiful in its functionality with the most elegant headers this side of a Cosworth DFV. The rider sits upright and comfortable, not crouched like a croissant wrapped around a giant Skittle as on a present day superbike.


Early MGBs much lighter and more elemental than their later, taller, big rubber bumper shod brethren. This B, with its spots of primer, looks to be getting some cosmetic attention. These pre-smog-era cars are only slightly more complex than a hammer, which makes them great at being reliable old cars. No computers or byzantine vacuum systems means most problems can be fixed by the side of the road with a simple tool kit.

A banjo to steer her...
Rollup side screens and a heater are the only nods to luxury on this car. Ever have a car with one speaker?

Such a well balanced design.
The low back seats give this car a really clean profile. An early MGB is probably the best low buck entry into a cool classic that can be driven regularly.

Who let this guy in here?!?:
R package Miata: dripping with amenities geared to comfort.
Compared to these cars, my R package Miata is a luxury car!

Here's a slideshow of the day:
There be pictures of boats ahead.