Cars on the street, 1984-1985

I again found myself poring through old photo albums when I noticed that I had a few street scenes from 1984 and 1985 which I found interesting. Here they are, and here’s hoping you also find them of some interest.

 

BLOOMFIELD, NJ

I lived in Bloomfield from 1980 to 1989, and would occasionally take snapshots of parked and moving cars.

 

This shot was taken along a service road of the Garden State Parkway. I was practicing my panning. Here is a Subaru Coupe neck and neck with a Mercury Colony Park station wagon

 

The silver VW Scirocco on the right was mine, parked behind my apartment complex. Next to it are a very rusty mid-70’s Chevelle, and a 1965 Ford Fairlane, coming up on 20 years old, making it an ancient car for its time.

My college friend Beth came to visit me in Bloomfield. I think she bought this Subaru new. (I find it ironic that it’s a 2-door like the Subie above; this was back when Americans actually bought 2-door cars.) It’s probably FWD, as AWD was not yet standard across the board. Note the VW Squareback; when did you last see one in the wild?

 

SMYTHE VOLVO, SUMMIT NJ

I worked at this Volvo dealership from 1980 to 1986, and would sometimes bring my camera to work, if only to document some of the goings-on.

 

The dealership bought, then later demolished, an apartment building on an adjacent property. I had the camera ready to take some photos of the planned destruction. Note the Ford T-Bird and Honda Civic on the left, and various Volvos in for service on the right. And that’s our gal Friday, Sue, imploring me to not take her photograph!

 

Street parking near the dealership was non-existent. Management made a deal with the church across the street which allowed employees to park there (the lot, frankly, was practically vacant except on Sundays). Yes, an employee (a son of one of the dealer principals) commuted in a Volvo 1800. At the top of the row, next to the Chevy Caprice, is a VW Dasher diesel wagon driven by the Parts Manager. The silver wagon on the far right is my Audi Fox wagon.

 

The Service write-up counters and the Parts retail counter were inside the workshop. Customers entered a back door and literally walked among cars on the lifts. This is the view from my service advisor’s desk. The place looks incredibly dingy, yet I don’t remember it that way. I guess I got used to being in that environment on a daily basis.

 

CLINTON, IOWA

 

I made a Christmastime trip with my girlfriend to visit her family in Iowa. We drove, and I didn’t trust the Audi to make the trip, so I rented this Tempo. It was among the first of Ford’s jellybean cars. The car performed just fine.

 

PARK SLOPE BROOKLYN, NY

These next two photos were taken in the Park Slope Brooklyn neighborhood where my girlfriend lived. This photo was heavily edited to focus on the cars. In the foreground are a Honda Civic and Toyota Tercel (I think). Across the street it’s harder to tell, but I will guess that the car on the left is a Datsun/Nissan, maybe a Sentra, and the one on the right a then-current Buick Riviera.

 

Yes, this Porsche 356 Coupe was parked on the street in Park Slope. What was it worth in 1984, a couple grand? My current edition of the CPI value guide pins this 356 SC at between $66k and $126k.

 

All photographs copyright © 2023 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Cars on the street, 1984-1985

  1. Fun trip through your archives. I tend to forget how attractive was the Scirocco’s design. From the B-pillar forward, a mini Espada. Just a coincidence, I’m sure. 🙂
    Accurate observations: 1) two door cars just don’t exist any longer except for performance/luxury coupes. 2) Many service departments of that era were indeed dingy. Your was too. 3) 356Cs were just another used car. 4) The Audi wouldn’t have made it to Iowa!

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    • Hi Bob, yes, the 2nd gen Scirocco was not a bad-looking car. I had owned a 1st gen one for a short while, and there was also more room in the newer one. As to your points 1 through 4, correct on all counts (esp. #2; I’m shocked how bad the shop looked in that pic, and I stood in that spot every day for 5.5 years). Best, Richard

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