Thursday, April 30, 2009

Three images

Three images of beautiful decay... who said shabby can't be attractive!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Have you ever wondered...

I often wonder just how some of these old junk beauties ended up where they are? I mean some of these cars are to be found in the remotest places! I then get to thinking just why were they abandoned there? I mean - how come?

It's obvious that this Dodge C0ronet was just taken out and shot! :-)

With a working vehicle or a truck I guess sometimes they are left right where they broke down many years previously. If that happened to be in a remote location then that would explain it, but how about the vehicle below?
The panel van looks to be on a small intersection, even the grass has been mown around it!

This Kaiser was possibly parked here before there were any trees at all! I love the way the light falls in this picture, I can almost hear the birdsong in the background.

here's an unusual find. The car on the right looks to have been used as a crash test vehicle of some sort. A strange bedfellow for the old Buick but a great photo.

This one is a typical scene for many old cars that I have seen in England. the two cars are Ford Populars (known as Anglia's in the US) and are 'Popular' (groan!) with the Hot-rod community. Unfortunately this is how most end up. They are bought as a project that never quite gets the time and attention needed, and they end up quietly rotting away.

Which brings me to the next phenomena that seems to haunt the british classic car world. I refer to vehicles that were once sound, but are now increasingly in danger of becoming beyond saving like the Austin Devon shown above.
On occasion cars like these are discovered having apparently sat for many years untouched. One of the most frustrating things about these cars is that should you ask the owner to sell, your offer is declines as he is "Going to restore it someday". So there it remains, until one day when passing you notice it has gone...the scrap man took it!

Barn finds like the old Mercedes above are different in that they have been partially hidden from both the public and the elements. Often they have been totally forgotten about, only coming to light after the death of an elderly relative. There are certainly some beautiful old cars still out there looking to be found.

When taking a walk in the woods who would expect to come across something like this? Perhaps from a distance, if the light was fading, and at the end of a long day you could be forgiven for thinking that you had just seen the ghost of a '38 Buick!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I know that I really shouldn't attribute feelings to inanimate lumps of metal but sometimes I come across a photo that seems to suggest just that.
You know that feeling you get when walking through a dog pound? When all the dogs are looking out of their cages, some jump around to greet you, while others quietly observe you with those big 'Please take me home' eyes.
Well that's exactly how I felt when I saw the photograph above!

The 1950 Buick is one of my all time favourite cars, when I see them neglected like this I almost want to set up a jalopy sanctuary to give them a home! LOL!

Or how about this older Buick? She sits there after who knows how many years of neglect, yet to me she still displays a haughty air of grandeur. The 'pose' is that of a grand old dame that quietly longs to be young and beautiful again.

Here's a rare and interesting view from the inside out!

The combination of light and deep blue shadow reflected in the green and orange (rust) colours of this old Olds is a winning combination. She looks to be complete, down to and includind a period sunvisor. This one really would have to come home with me!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Britain in the 1950's

I was looking on Flikr for interesting photographs when I came across one mans collection of colour photo's from the 1950's and 60's.
They were taken in Britain, and unusually for this era using colour film which was rare and expensive back then. On seeing this collection I was immediately transported back to the England of my childhood!

Contained within the collection there are also photographs captioned 'Americans stationed in England' which show presumably US service personel and their vehicles, they all seem to be enjoying life in England too!
The next few pictures are of US personel and/or their vehicles taken in a snowy winter of the 1950's.

Take a look at the beautiful Buick roadmaster on the right of this photo', to British eyes in the 1950's any American car would appear unbelievably luxurious! The effect these service personel had on sleepy English towns in their Buicks and chevy's would have been similar to a spacecraft landing in your downtown mall today!

Below is a typical English scene of the 50's, quiet town scenes like this are no longer found as today these little towns are packed solid with modern traffic.

I just had to include this one! (below) These 'country pubs', that have been the image many associate with Britain for years still exist, although sadly none are as busy as once they were.

Finally here's a shot of London in the 1950's. The relaxed pace, and the uncongested roads are in strong contrast to the London of today!
The collection of photographs that this small selection came from provided hours of nostalgic viewing. They are much more than photographs, they are a record and social documentation of the changing face of Britain. The fact that they are in full colour adds an extra dimension to them. Truly a fascinating glimpse into the past!

To see Mr. Doveson's complete collection of Britain in colour take this link.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The latest trend.

The news headlines in the UK are currently full of the governments latest big idea - the introduction of electric vehicles.

Now the more cynical amongst us may well conclude that it is actually a ruse to distract our attention from the usual fare of astoundingly corrupt politicians, the failed economy, and the bankers continued huge bonuses.
The electric vehicle bandwagon was eagerly seized upon by the politician Peter Mandelson (himself previously twice removed from office in disgrace ) who has announced that the government is considering offering a cash sum of £5,000 against anyone willing to go electric.

Now is it just me, or are the current crop of electric vehicles such as the Nissan above rather unappealing? It's not often that I concern myself with modern cars as I much prefer the character and style of a classic, but on occasion I have also looked at a classic and wondered "What were they thinking?"

Case in point would be this 1950 Martin Stationette. For curiosity value alone it has to be preserved but who could honestly imagine wanting to own and drive one back in 1950 when there were so many fabulous makes and models out there?

There followed the charming (but equally ridiculous) Peel Trident (below) which came into being for reasons of fuel economy. Cars such as these speak of an era where the gullible public succumbed to the tax breaks and incentives offered by the government to drive such things, but frankly, thank god there were still the Buick, Pontiac, Chevy etc. drivers back in those days that chose to stay mainstream!

So I guess what I'm saying in this post is that on the odd occasion that I have seen a peculiar looking vehicle in a museum, and have wondered to myself "Who would have wanted such a thing?"
The answer is the same sort of people who would trade in their car today for something like the electric Nissan in the first photo!
If electric cars are the future, then I think they need to advance considerably in design before being touted to the general public as a viable alternative, which is happening in Britain currently. Failing that I have a plan....

Many of the cars from the classic era had a frontal arrangement that gave a happy 'smile', just like the cute little Panhard below.
In fact the Panhard looks like a childs pedal car made large. Perhaps if the British government want to hoodwink the public with their electric car stunt they should make electric cars look like overgrown, smiling pedal cars? At least that way if our politicians do insist on treating us like children, we would then be able to act like them!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Long term parking!

I came across these pictures on the web and couldn't resist posting them.
This looks like the car park that time forgot...I only wish it was local. I believe it to be in Canada, but how and why they are still there is a mystery?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The road to restoration.

I've been a little lax on posting just recently due in part to moving home and secondly, well - we have had a spell of reasonable spring weather here in the UK and that has had me outdoors a lot making space for the restoration of my old Citroen 2cv.
Shown above, (in her fetching scrapyard bought white bonnet) my old 2cv has repeatedly, and reliably travelled the length and breadth of the country. She is undaunted by sub zero temperatures, floods, or imperfect road surfaces, and we have grown so fond of this little 'ugly duckling' that it has now become part of the family. She is 22 years old now and in need of a major refit.

Here in Europe the 2cv was a common sight for over four decades. Providing no frills cheap yet reliable transport, and being great fun to drive charming the little Citroen became equally popular with all social groups.
As anyone who has ever owned on will tell you, the main downside is rust,. 2cv's are made of very thin steel and when rust takes hold they are prone to disolve before your very eyes!

Unfortunately my car has also rusted out beyond reasonable repair but I have been lucky enough to find a complete replacement bodyshell that is pretty sound apart from some minor fire damage to the interior (shown below).
The plan is to strip my old bodyshell off, repair or replace various tired components of the running gear, and finally repaint and rebuild the car in time for next summer.

I have never attempted anything like this before, although I have tinkered around with old cars now and then in the past. The work will take around a year, mainly due to costs as I can't affort to go out and buy everything needed for the rebuild at one time.

I have discovered a classic car blogsite that enables me to follow the progress of other classic fans as they rebuild their own cars and post the results, this gives me great encouragement as I love to see old cars saved and restored stage by stage.
The pictures below are of a Triumph sports car currently under restoration by the owner, these are photo's from his own blog.

Check out the other resto-blogs here at 'my classic car restoration'

Friday, April 03, 2009

I'm back!... with more rust-art!

Well after the enforced break due to moving home I am now back posting rusty items! Today my post is about rust art with a difference... as I came across a German old car fan that makes these great dioramas in miniature.
Check out the old woody in the photographs above, the rust, the worn and faded patina of the paint, and the attention to detail are fantastic. In fact such is this guys attention to detail that he even includes the little bits of trash that often gathers around old wrecks, old maps or magazines are left inside on the cab floor...even mice droppings!
I also like the way he drapes the cars in old tarpaulin sheeting, as if they were once intended for restoration but never quite made it.

The BMW boxer twin above is great - just like several that I have owned... notice the beer bottle! I also like how in the next pictures he has created a scrap heap by piling the bike up against this 'Bubblecar' of the 1950's.

Each individual diorama stands on it's own wooden plinth which is then strewn with anything from engine blocks to beer crates, all in scale. The time and effort spent weathering and texturing these cars really gives them a realistic appearance, so now that I'm settled into my new home I can see myself becoming a regular buyer of this work, maybe I'll build up a whole junkyard of the things lol!

If you would like to see more of this artists work take a look at his ebay site HERE, it's in German but an English translation is provided lower down the page. His prices are very reasonable too considering the amount of work and the uniqueness of these items.
Amazing work.