Realrides Of WNY

RealRides of WNY

Yes, it does look like something you might see in a Mad Max movie, but this circa 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro Westfalia was spotted on the streets of Brooklyn last week by RealRides’ NYC photographer (a.k.a. my daughter Katie, who lives in The Bronx). That extra-long model name needs a RealRides breakdown: the Vanagon name came into being with the advent of the third generation (T3) VW van in 1

RealRides Of WNY

This Tonawanda Hose Company fire truck, seen in last week’s Memorial Day Parade in the City of Tonawanda, isn’t just a 1957 Ford truck. It’s a 1957 Ford F-900 Big Job. Lol Ford! Gotta love a name like “Big Job,” especially when they put it on a huge chrome-plated badge right there on the hood. The F-900, if you haven’t guessed, was Ford’s Extra-Heavy model, with a GVW of 29,000 lbs. This truck sty

RealRides Of WNY

Okay, let’s be honest here; how many of you knew this was a 1959 Panhard Dyna Z before peeking at the copy? When I first saw it in a Salamanca front yard a few years ago, I wasn’t totally sure myself. But, there it is! The Panhard was a separate make built by the quirky French car firm Citroën. I kind of think it resembles a guppy from the front; and though it may look small in the photo, the Panh

RealRides Of WNY

The factory brochure described this 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk as “…a sports car with family ways.” One headline even went so far as to say “Now… a new kind of family car… conceived with a sports car.” Well, that certainly would get the Golden Hawk in a family way, wouldn’t it now? Under the hood of the Golden Hawk (and no other ’56 Studebaker) was South Bend’s most potent engine — a 352 V-8 rate

RealRides Of WNY

This eighth-generation 1980 Ford Thunderbird is from the first year of a three-year styling cycle, one that seems more like a glorified Ford Fairmont than Ford’s über-luxury personal sports coupe. Oh sure, the usual suspects of the genre were present, including what Ford describes in the brochure as “Continuous loop belts with pleasant reminder chime.” Lol. Of course, if you moved up a notch or tw

RealRides Of WNY

Well, it seemed like a good idea (after all, it worked with the Capri). Bring a couple of Ford of Germany’s nicer offerings over the pond and sell them at Lincoln-Mercury dealers. Only problem was — well, there were probably several problems, but from what I’ve heard and read, the sales people weren’t enamored with the cars, and could make more money selling Lincolns and Mercurys. The poor exchang

RealRides Of WNY

From our “Don’t see one of these every day” category comes this 1960 Ford Fairlane 500, done up in a fake Town of Chetsville Fire Chief livery and sitting out front of — where else? — Old Tyme Chet’s restaurant in East Aurora. This model sat right around the middle of Ford’s full-sized offerings for 1960, which ranged from the cheapest Custom 300, up through the Fairlane, Fairlane 500, and the squ

RealRides of WNY

Every once in a while you come across something really… odd. Like this 1957-ish Isetta. Talk about compacts! The Isetta was an Italian-designed microcar which was built under license by, among others, BMW! Certainly a far cry from today’s offerings from Munich. While doing a little research on the Isetta, I came across one that was previously for sale on Hemmings.com, which was painted in the live

RealRides of WNY

Every once in a while, a RRofWNY reader will send along a photo of a Ride he/she encountered in their travels. Such as this pristine circa 1960 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia, which Facebook friend Alan Bedenko sent me last week while visiting New York. This sporty little rear-engined car was largely based on the VW Beetle, and was in production from 1955-74. If you’re trying to figure out just where thi

RealRides Of WNY

If yesterday’s find was relatively rare, today’s is positively rare — a 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna Estate Wagon. Fewer than 7,500 of them were built, split pretty evenly between two- and three-seat versions. This one was seen in probably the best place for it: outside of a restoration shop — this one being in Wheatfield (yes, the same one as yesterday’s car, but it’s now a couple of years late