“Drop a gear and disappear.”

It may be difficult for others to understand the American love affair with cars. We’re a big country with a lot of highways. A good century ago our Captains of Industry got together to certify that we would never have public transportation on the same scale as Europe and further ensure that we would indulge in their products and get about our vast nation in cars.

I enjoy cars. If you’ve got a ticket for me and I’ve got the ear plugs I’ll go to the races. I also appreciate a good car show.

I wonder if future generations will have the desire as well as the means to sustain and indulge in this love affair.

They say you can tell a lot about a person by the car they drive.

I would qualify that statement by amending it a bit; you can tell a lot about the people who have extra money to spend on cars by the cars they bought and which ones they choose to drive and which they keep for show.

A lot of older Americans enjoy restoring a classic car then hitting the car show circuit. I can understand the love. I sincerely hope future generations can pursue such a pastime as they enter retirement.

This show on Tuesday, June 8th, was part of ‘Back to the Bricks’ Visionary 2021 Promo Tour.

We went because our next door neighbor entered one of his cars.

Published by dunelight

28 thoughts on “Cars

  1. Hallo dunelight, wonderful post!. Truly the old American vehicles were an indication of American industrial sophistication and Art meeting, now classical designs. Absolutely beautiful!. Ha ha, i have always been addicted to a show called Project Bluebook (American) not for the UFO’s but for the cars!. Hope you are safe and well friend, greetings from Oz.

    1. Hello! The old cars…the golden age. I love all the hood ornaments and gnarly grills. Now all cars look the some.

      If Project Bluebook is on Netflix I’ll have to look it up. Thanks for stopping in!

      1. Oops…now all cars look the same.

        My husband was addicted to Car Talk, a radio show where people from all over the US phoned in with their car troubles. The hosts, two brilliant MIT graduate brothers who owned a car repair shop in Boston regaled all with their fix-it answers. He loved that UK TV show, Top Gear.

        Where does one stream Project Blue book? OMG..I just remembered a crazy MTV show called Pimp My Ride. Have you seen that old show?

  2. A fine set of detail shots. I can see why the car is so necessary, but have no idea how the use will be reduced in the face of efforts to counteract climate change.

    1. And so I’ve always wanted to ask someone like you (my age range and class); in the US as a teen your own car was THE thing to strive for. It was your ‘in’, a fastlane to chicks (do you still say ‘birds’?) and social popularity. As we became adults cars become a class symbol..a way to show the world we’d ‘made it’, you are successful. Some of us viewed the car as an extension of our persona. Is it the same in your country?

      Our country is vast. Most places a car is necessary in order to get to work/hold a job. You cannot work construction or farming without a truck. We do not have the public transportation infrastructure that you and other European countries have (short-sighted on our part, that). In writing this I’ve come upon some American articles that the American love affair with the automobile was a romantic myth. The fact that new cars or even old used cars are outside the wherewithall of a great deal of Americans make me believe the writers.

      What is your view/history on cars? With your taxes on petrol I’ve always assumed you have looked at them as tools as opposed to necessities as status symbols.

      1. You are right about the car as a tool. Here my reluctant history begins:
        I don’t mention in the post that at my interview for the job I was asked how I viewed driving, and replied that it was just about getting from one place to another. At the time I had never sat in a driving seat 🙂 The lack of a car did not hamper dating. I haven’t driven again since my licence was stolen in the 1990s.

    1. Thank you! There was an El Camino at this show and my father owned one back in the day (early 60’s). Goodness..I remember riding in the back of that thing along with my brothers all the way from Des Moines to Knoxville (Iowa) so we could go fishing down by the dam. As I looked at the one in this show I was shocked at how shallow the truck bed is. How was it we didn’t fall out? I still think they look cool but when I think of lower elementary aged kids sitting in the back of one going down a bumpy road at highway speeds I scream a bit in my head. Dad did not have it long. He’s a long story of bad choices. I’m sure his sister, my Aunt that raised me, gave him no end of grief. Before the el camino he had an MG. We were poor and none of us fit in that car and he was always borrowing station wagons from friends. He had a lot of friends. Actually, I think there was one station wagon and everyone in the neighborhood borrowed it for family road trips. I don’t recall who it belonged to but I rode to Maine in it with my Dad (old classic wagon) and to California in it with his sister, my Aunt who raised me. Did we all use it? It seems like it was that way. It was a poorer neighborhood. I still love cars and road trips. I loved owning trucks, extended cabs for nieces and nephews, because, Lord help me, I’m forever hauling bikes, kayaks, beach stuff, dirt around. The extended cabs were great when all the family kids were young.

      1. Wow! You what cool memory share 🙂 I could see kids in the back of an el camino, grinning or raising their hands going over bumps or hanging on for dear life going around corners. My Dad only bought GM cars, he would never buy a fancy foreign car, I still laugh about it because every Chevy my Dad bought had problems with the starters or power steering. I used to work on them when he would try and fix them. My arms were thin enough back then to reach into the tight spaces of the engine. Gosh, thanks for sharing as it did bring back some cool memories. 🙂

  3. Ah, the Chevy takes me back to my teen years. But it was the yellow Vette that really caught my attention. My dad always drove an Oldsmobile, except for the one or two years for some reason he picked a Rambler. When it proved too weak to negotiate the grades in the Rockies on our summer vacations, the Olds made a comeback. My first car, shared with a sister, was a green ’52 Buick. A real tank to keep Daddy’s girls safe.

    1. The Rockies are a whole other animal when it comes to cars. When I was a teen every mountain dweller had a Suburu. Remember getting out to turn the knobs on the hubs to engage 4 wheel drive?

    1. Thank you. Before they changed the rules I would have been labeled Aspergers, aka one wicked-smart mess. Unfortunately along with excellent spatial reasoning comes an unusually high tendency to blurt out socially unacceptable truths while naively questioning the same. Yeah…took me years to figure out stuff like…say…other women do NOT want to be asked who dyes their hair, if they did it themselves, or what color they used because it’s so pretty. Who knew one simply does not compliment such things. In the heartland it is still a big secret that a woman of a certain age may dye her hair. :/ (Thank God, you ask a young woman about her hair and she is more than ready to share how she did it. Tricky unwritten social rules…always changing.)

      In short I see, I hear, I feel, I taste ALL the details. The world is chock full of overwhelming details coming at us and it takes a long time to figure out which are relevant to whatever current situation or task is at hand. I see students struggle with the same things I did, still do. I tell them it’s a data stream, note it’s passing but reach in and grab that which is currently relevant to your needs. In photography I’ve found my ‘voice’, I’ve learned I don’t need to blend, I can focus in on what I find interesting and start sharing what I see and people will either like it or not.

      My friend, Gary, who follows you, we discuss your writing, had polio (Vaccine came out the year after he got it.) and he is legally blind. This informs his work. He sees the world in patterns of dark shadows and shapes, very different from other photographers. I encouraged him to keep the DSLR that belonged to his deceased partner (A blind man shooting!). I knew his eye was interesting, he took to it like a duck on a private lake and we shoot together when we can. He shoots marvelous over-all patterns that we who see more may miss and I am forever shooting details and the interplay of…colors, shapes, the human bits, stuff.

      His work is on Instagram..I think. Gary Shum Chicago. Are you on Instagram? Lord knows I hate to give Zuckerberg any more power.

      Edit: words

  4. What beauties! cars these days are almost disposable, at least the common ones, and their designs are efficient but they have not personality, not as these wonderful machines, closer to the expression of powerful horses than the computerized and utilitarian modern ones. It is a beautiful chronicle, Kim, I hope too this culture to be a healthy and a reasonably affordable one.

    1. From your mouth to God’s ear. I talk to these retired car people and it often turns out they had a career in a well-paid job that had benefits and a retirement account. Those jobs, jobs a guy could get after high school graduation and earn a living, buy a house and support a family are gone. So many American’s my age do not see what is happening to 30-40 year olds who are immediately following us. On the whole we in the First World cannot see beyond the end of our nose. That is how we ended up with our previous president.

    2. By the way, today I saw a painting by Charles Coutney Curran, “Yüksekliklerde” (on the heights), made in 1909. The colors, the light, even the clothes it is so similar to the photograph in your avatar. I was happy to see the light you love and recognize it related to you : )

  5. Really relateble I just started my own travel blog and then covid hit and I could not travel anymore from my country. No travel planning for me at all 😦

    1. In the US when Covid hit hardest a lot of pay for use data bases dropped their pay walls. I read a lot of Pioneer Diaries/logues while looking at the places they were describing on Google Earth. I am blessed with a home, a yard, a spouse and access to beaches and dunewoods. I realize I am luckier than others.

    1. Thank you and weren’t hood ornaments the best? I wish …I wish some design element like that would come back…a little something that sets models apart from each other.

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