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Parking Lot Series: University of California at Irvine

This mid-1960s image of a parking lot located at the University of California at Irvine is next to the site where a new administration building was going to be built. During this period the Irvine Company began to develop the City situated in the center of Orange County located southeast of Los Angeles.

In the fifties and early-1960s, similar photos would show a small number of imported cars, although at the time this photo was shot a significant amount of imported automobiles are visible in this lot. Foreign vehicles produced by more than a dozen manufacturers can be seen here.

Share with us what you find of interest in this photograph, or any other information you can add to this article. The picture is courtesy of the UC Irvine Libraries.

View hundreds of other images in the Parking Lot Series.

29 responses to “Parking Lot Series: University of California at Irvine

  1. Many more imported cars here than in contemporary Detroit or on the East Coast. Two light-colored Porsche 356s in the back; near-new 356 Coupe on the left; the one on the right appears to be a Speedster or Convertible D. The small boxy car behind the two VWs on the right could be a Goliath, am not sure.

  2. In the lead photograph, parked on the right, is a solid black 1962 STUDEBAKER Grand Turismo Hawk.

    Parked to the left of this ’62 STUDEBAKER Hawk is a light colored 1961 PONTIAC Tempest station-wagon.

  3. I counted at least six 1965-1966 Mustangs in the parking lot. Can anyone identify an older vehicle? Perhaps the photo is from the late 1960’s?

  4. VW Karmann Ghia Fiat AC ? Mercedes ? Volvo Toyota Nissan Ford Germany Austin Healey stumped after that…something behind the Chev in my favoured blue….

  5. In the lead picture, center of the photograph, is a white over tan four-door 1963 or ’64 RAMBLER Classic [two cars to the left of a red two-door CHEVROLET Corvair].

    • I count 9 VW bugs. There are 5 in a row along the right side, a black one in the second to last row on the right, a white one behind the mustang which is next to the ’57 Chevy and 2 more bugs to the left of the guy in the dark suit walking away near the left of the photo.

  6. What building is that in the first picture? It doesn’t look like all the other Pereira designed buildings UCI was known for from that period.

    • The building is Irvine Town Center, across Campus Drive from UCI. It was long gone by the time I got there in 1985. The parking lot is where the Administration building was later built. Zot!

  7. I do believe that’s a Studebaker pickup hiding behind the tree in the very foreground, far left.
    The standouts for me are the two 356s and the baby blue 190SL. Indeed the white 356 appears to be a Speedster. Across from it, in front of a dark VW, is another sports car that may be an MGA.
    Three spots to the left of that dark VW is a sporty looking car that I’m not sure of. Not a Karmann-Ghia… it may be a Borgward Isabella…? I’m kinda stumped.

  8. …also note that there are parking meters for the spaces which are closest to the street; something is painted on the asphalt in each of those spaces, while the middle spaces, the ones which are filled, are likely for cars which have a college-issued parking permit or else they’re free.

  9. Volvo freak that I am I spotted a 122 facing away in the fourth row, first picture, between the red Corvair and the two-toned Rambler American and in the second photo a white PV544 lurks in the next to last row between a reddish Oldsmobile and (I think) a blue Buick Special convertible.

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