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The Loneliest Yard Sale: 1975

The Loneliest Yard Sale: 1975

My brother and sister-in-law hold a rather minimalist yard sale on a hazy day in the lot behind their apartment on Seabright Ave. in Santa Cruz, California. A later photo shows them gloating over a thin stack of mostly one dollar bills, so apparently they were gratified at the results. Thirty-five years later, some of their items may have gained in desirability. What would you purchase now (if anything)? I spot some vintage, even iconic, vinyl, plus a cool table radio. Neither my 1972 Datsun 1200 nor their Fiat wagon were on the block. The round table was off-limits too, I think. Cat is named Rasha; doggie is someone else's. 35mm Kodacolor negative, Konica Autoreflex T with Hexanon AR 35mm f/2.8 lens. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Good old memories

You had a Fiat 128 Familiare!

I can remember the 128 (and above all the 127) very well. In the 70s, particularly in South Europe, like Spain, Portugal or Italy, they dominated together with the FIAT 500, Mini, Renault 1100, the roads. The 128 Familiare (3-Door Station Wagon) though, was a rare animal.

The Fiat 128 was one of those long-lasting models, produced from 69 to 85 and in the former Yugoslavia they continued until 2003(!). At the same time it was the base for many models produced around the world, at Zastava (Serbia) or SEAT (Spain), for instance.

Your model seems to be a 1975 (launch: Nov. 1974) FIAT 128 3-Door Station Wagon in North America US-Trim (Rectangular side reflectors and US front and rear bumpers). It featured a 4-speed manual power-train (very short 1st and 2nd with a tremendous lack of precision after a while), with a, noisy, 1290 cm3, 4 cyl. inline engine, with sporty 63 HP (in 70s Europe not so bad for such a small car). The original stock roof rack gave it a real nice luxurious touch.

I'd love to have one now.


I know that this is a reply to an old post, but I wanted to comment anyways.

That Aggravation game looks like the four player version where the colors are printed on the box and you have to set the board on the box so that it sits over the right colors. My parents would play this version with my neighbors every New Years Eve.

The version I got as a kid is the six player Deluxe version that came out in the early 70's. It is a fun game, my wife, I, and friends just had last played this last winter.

If you pick up this game, try to find one at a garage sale of some place. The new versions still sold are all "modernized" with cheap plastic marbles and psychedelic paths for the marbles, which to me leaves a lot to be desired.

Tint camp

Other car colors from '70s Australia. Lettuce Alone, Plum Crazy and Orange Utan.

The board game

tterrace: Thanks for the name of the game I mistook for Chinese Checkers. I don't know how I missed that one -- I'm a lifelong lover of board games -- but the 70s was a pretty busy time for me and I didn't get to play much during that time. I googled it and it looks like a fun game, so I'd still make an offer.

How much for the clock radio?

The white one on the same table as the old table radio. The kind where the numbers tumble down. They were quite new in 1975 weren't they?

Now, for bonus points

Under the shoes on the table to the left.

I spy with my tiny little eye

Okay, that might be too regional. The T-square should not be under shoes even though I haven't used one in the 16 years that I have been a professional draftsman (since this is Shorpy, Draughtsman).

tterrace responds

ALB: You can also see my Datsun here.

xpurg8d: That's not Chinese checkers, but Aggravation.

Hillary: I'd never noticed that evidence of my obvious absence!

Lyle Green: Thanks!

Thanks to a couple folks for identifying those things as roof racks. Now, for bonus points, spot the t-square.

Nice rack

How much for the clamp-on roof racks for my car? My dad had a pair that we used to carry the jonboat fishing. I hadn't thought of those things for years!

Roof Racks

I spot a set of roof racks in front of the round table. Somewhat adjustable to the width of whatever vehicle they were to be mounted on. Wouldn't be very usable today as the pads needed a rain gutter to mount to. These have been replaced by the modular units from makers like Yakima and Thule. If I remember correctly ours were purchased at Montgomery Ward.

We used to use our set on the old family wagons to haul a canoe or two. Many fond memories of the trips we made to get them in any water larger than a farm pond be it a lake or river.


I find the Datsun product extremely desirable. Any other pics of that one? I remember one a year back or so. Maybe the Fiat or another model close to it.

Lots of lost memories

The weather was drunk outside a lot for me in the early 70's.

Not the car

I'm the age of those people, so I had most of that same stuff in 1975, including the sweater that your sister-in-law is wearing. My car in 1975 was a Fiat 850 Spider and it was usually out of commission because of starter problems, so I rode a bus to work most days.

Today I would pay good money for that nice little Chinese checkers board in front of your brother. Cheap or not, the game is fun and I like the looks of that one.

Car Color Redux

In response to Rob's recent post about car colors named after vegetables in the '70s (how about "eggplant" these days?) -- color names could also be very whimsical, and not necessarily vegetable-related.

A college mate of mine had a circa 1972 Ford Maverick, painted "Anti-Establish Mint." I kid you not!

Slept in!

That's another great garage sale [as we call them here in Australia] that I've missed. I must get up earlier... Those LPs - how much for the lot?

Peas, corn and carrots

The '70s were a time when most new cars seemed to have been painted the color of vegetables.

Avocado anyone?

I had an avocado colored refrigerator which closely resembled that Fiat wagon. The refrigerator was faster in the quarter-mile though.

Harvest Gold or Avocado Green

The two cars are the either/or colors of every refrigerator, dishwasher or washer/dryer combination in every 70's home!

I see you there

I like this photo because the photographer is visible in his absence -- the black stool you were sitting on, the third cup of coffee on the table.


How much for that fancy over-the-toilet storage unit in 1970's green? My local home improvement store has been out-of-stock for about 35 years now.

An appreciation


Thanks for another wonderfully evocative portrait of life in the 70's. I come to this site almost every day hoping that you've posted something new. Your pictures bring me back to a time when we were young (relatively) carefree and the world seemed full of possibilities. It seems such a short time ago. Great work. Please keep posting.


I'll take the shoes.

Some well made funky vintage shoes would be nice.

Come to Williamsburg, Brooklyn

and all this crap will be overpriced in vintage boutiques for all the new yupsters moving in.

Sasha kitty

I hope she wasn't on the block, and that the carrier is a spare. Otherwise, I take a pass too, even at the same age of sil and bro. I have always liked the old stuff.

I marvel at the young eyes looking at these photos because even with a magnifier I need your words to direct me.


No screw-mount Visoflex lenses. Oh, well, better luck next time.

Do they have any more radios in the house?

I'll take that tube radio and any more they happen to have.

The Yardsale Tapes

Nobody's mentioned that you can also see a copy of the Band's "Music from Big Pink," whose cover art was painted by the man whose picture is in the box just below it.


Those cars, though not for sale, look to be in a desirable shape --- if only there were real time-traveling available.


I collect old tube radios, would love to have the old radio. Wonder where it is today? (If your brother still has it, tell him I'll pay top $$)

Yes --

I think I'll take the radio -- I already have "Blonde on Blonde" in wax.

I'll make an offer

On that round coffee table, which appears most likely to be a 1950s Heywood-Wakefield wood top with bent bamboo legs. I have the side table that goes with it and it would look great in my sunroom. The table top radio looks to be brown, marbleized Bakelite and I think the same exact one now sits on my husband's desk. Also very collectible.

Not much else to tempt me because they are too young; they haven't had a chance to really accumulate "stuff." Had they been about 60 and unloading, I'd be cleaning up everything in sight, which reminds me of a recurring dream that I have often--where I am the first one at the very best garage sale of the oldest junk. I wish I HAD gone to more garage sales back in the 70s!

I Want You

Yes, I want to go through that box of LP records. I see a copy of Bob Dylan's "Blonde On Blonde" on top! Maybe it's the mono version!!


I just noticed the box under the clothes, for a Mod style, egg-shaped 8-Track player.

I have one of those!

Cathode Ray

I'd take the TV and the picture tube next to it, maybe the old radio too!

What were the seedlings?

Cuttings from houseplants? Or seed starts?

I spy

Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde. I'll take it.

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