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Carspotters' Challenge #50--First Avenue, 1976

The location is identified as "First Avenue," but no word on what city it's in.

First Avenue #1The two photos look to have been taken from the same vantage point.

First Avenue #2The theatre marquee dates this as 1976, when Clint Eastwood's The Enforcer, the third installment  of the "Dirty Harry" franchise, was a first-run feature. So ask yourself, do you see anything interesting?

Well, do ya, punk?

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

(Photo obtained from the Station Wagon Forum's extensive collection of vintage street scenes, to which it was contributed by member "B-Square.")


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In the first image, I see a Vega Notchback just ahead of an AMC Javelin. At first, I thought the Javelin was a Mustang Grande.

But in the lower right corner of that image, a sign says "Razor Cut / Beard Trim 1.25 / School Cuts." I hope those specials aren't for the same people.

The steepness of the streets sure looks like San Francisco, but it's hard to tell for sure. The way people are in coats looks like winter in Seattle or summer in San Francisco.

2nd photo might be a 75-77 Chevelle 2-door parked right side in front of pickup.

Can't be Seattle; 1st Ave is a two-way street, even back then.

Hmmm, lessee... - 1st photo:

Front & center is a 75 Pontiac Grand Am, behind it is an International of some sort (Travelall, pickup). Crossing the road is a 73-up Ford full-size wagon (LTD, Galaxie), behind it looks to be a 71-72 Ford LTD/Galaxie.

That 1/4 panel looks to be from a mid-60s Dodge Dart. On the street is a Vega, Javelin, behind it looks to be a late-60s Dodge Dart or Plymouth Valiant, behind that looks to be another mid-70s full size Ford.

2nd photo: Rear end of a 71-72 full-size Ford wagon, that 1/4 panel looks like it belongs to an early 70s Ford F-series pickup, there's another one parked across the street, in front of that is a 73-up Chevy Chevelle, in front of that looks to be a 68 Plymouth Fury, another mid-70s full-size Ford - can't tell what that white car is, my guess is a 69-70 full-size Ford.

Definitely west coast somewhere - if you squint closely, you'll see a sign pointing to I-5 next to the marquee. This also rules out San Francisco, which has no 1st Avenue (it has a 1st Street, though) and is also nowhere near I-5. Also, if you pay close attention, you'll notice a lot of light colored plates with dark writing - in the '70s, California used a combination of dark blue backgrounds with yellow lettering and black backgrounds with yellow lettering - both would appear as the inverse of the license plates shown in the picture.

After looking a bit deeper into the source pictures, it's clearly Seattle (see ); plus, the license plates shown in the picture match the general layout and color scheme of Washington plates. So, the question is, if it's not on 1st Avenue, then where is it?

With a bit of Google Street View-fu, here are the details I was able to latch on to:

1. The picture was taken in a high-density area. Downtown Seattle would be the logical location.
2. I-5 is on the left. The turn takes at least two lanes, so the left turn must be a major road.
3. The road bends to the right, meaning it's at a realignment point on the grid.
4. At the bend, the road is traveling uphill.

Assuming the location is Seattle, this suggests an odd-numbered street (when they're one way, they travel southbound, leaving I-5 on the left), either at Denny, Olive or Yesler. However, looking at Google Street View, it appears that all southbound streets go downhill at Yesler, so that rules that one out, which leaves Denny or Olive. Meanwhile the area around Denny doesn't appear built up enough to match this photo, though it's possible that the construction of Key Arena might have demolished this particular neighborhood.

That International in the first photo looks like a Scout to me.

Nathan you could be correct, didn't think about a Scout. If memory serves, all of the Internationals (Scout, Travelall, pickup) shared the same front end in that era (or at least pretty close).

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Pictured above: This is a forlorn Chevy Vega photographed by reader Gary Sinar. (Share yours)

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