Interesting, But Not Quite Orphans

Intriguing as the cars within the Orphan Car Show may be, the show usually attracts a number of vintage vehicles to Ypsilanti’s downtown.; Sure enough, I managed to stumble across a few during my trip to the show.

Walking into the show, I first came across a nice teal Austin Mini from the late 1960s.; Yes, it had been accessorized, what with the chromed roof rack, Minilite wheels and plastic wheel flares.; Regardless, it still looked quite attractive – enough that it easily could have been on display in the show itself.

Next up was a (literal) shocker – a 1976 Sebring-Vanguard Citicar.; Built in the height of the OPEC embargo, the Citicars never quite connected with consumers, making this yellow car quite a historic vehicle.; Although more sophisticated than some of the Chinese electric cars we saw at the 2008 Detroit auto show, the Citicar isn’t much more than a lightly-trimmed fiberglass box; we’re not sure how comfortable that would be for commuting.

Not everything we ran into was an orphan – much like this pristine 1972 GMC Suburban, parked alongside the Grand Trunk railroad line.; This mint example sported a deep green-over-silver two-tone paint scheme, and nearly flawless chrome.; Three-door Suburbans (there’s no rear door on the driver’s side) are always interesting finds, and it’s refreshing to see one that hasn’t been lifted for dirt trails – although it is fitted with large alloys.

Those wheels looked tasteful in light of another pseudo-attendee: a pseudo-Packard.; In reality, it is little more than a Cadillac Deville hearse from the late 1980s with a horrid front fascia – not unlike that of the Stutz Bearcat revival – grated on.; Packard badges, including the bright red octagon, were stuck everywhere (mostly to cover the GM origins), but even a liberal dosage of badge engineering wasn’t enough to warrant the Packard’s inclusion in the show.; Perhaps it’s best to let some things die.

Personally, no parking lot find could trump the little red roadster parked next to me – a 1967 Datsun 1600.; From a distance, I mistook the little Fairlady as an MG; only as I approached the car did I realize it as being something more interesting.; Anglophiles may loathe me for preferring the 1600 over the similar MGB, but the Japanese drop-top is slightly more obscure.

And on that Sunday, obscure was everything.


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2015 MINI Cooper

2015 MINI Cooper

MSRP $25,700 Base Convertible


27 City / 34 Hwy

Horse Power:

121 @ 6000


114 @ 4250