Every once in a while I’m transported back in time. I see or hear or smell something that strips away the high tech digital world of the present. On August 4th 2016 I could have sworn that I was passing through some kind of time slip. I have posted about the Shay Reproduction Roadsters before however for those who don’t know these are antique car design with modern modern materials. The Aesthetics of the older vehicles bring to mind thing like the feel of fine leather upholstery and the smell of wood polish. There was a time when people drove for the pleasure of the open road and not just going from point A to point B. There was an age when a person’s time was their own and a craftsman was appreciated for the quality of his work and not just the sheer volume of production. The artistry in the architecture blended with craftsmanship and skilled hand gave life to the machine. Mass production made them affordable but each piece had its own personality. We gave them names and made them members of our families. When the older ones began to break down we learned how to repair the machine and extended it’s lifetime until there was no choice but to let it go. As I look towards the future of the motor car I can see a time when Artificial Intelligence just might have the potential to deepen our connection with the vehicles. I can imagine how smart cameras embedded in car will recognize our faces and the cars will know our names. When it will learn our routine and wish us a good morning as we step out of the house. There will be lots of bells and whistles. There is already cars with Wi-Fi networks to keep us entertained. Advanced warning systems to keep the driver from changing lanes at the wrong time and cars that drive themselves are becoming more and more common. But, in all of the wondrous technology that is on the rise I have to admit that I will miss the simple pleasure climbing behind the wheel just driving.
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Tonight’s Feature Image is available for purchase in sepia, black and white or color. Just message me with the Title “Shay Reproduction Roadsters 2” and let me know what size so I can reply with a quote. You can use the message button on Facebook or the Contact Form on my website.
I have been working on a short Slideshow today. I have a client who wanted to look over a selection of my photos so she can place an order. I really couldn’t find any reason not to share it here as well. 🙂
The Feature image was taken on the way to my day job and this spot is part of my daily life.
Back in the day warm weather meant cruising. Now, there’s a fine art to this favored pastime of previous generations. First, you need a vehicle. It doesn’t have to be a classic vintage machine but that certainly helps. What’s important is the “CQ” or Coolness Quotient. If you don’t really have a classic ride then there’s several ways of compensating with what’s available.
For example, a compact car such as a Dodge Colt or a Chevy Sundance the preferred method was to fill the back seat with stereo equipment. Next, you needed a good mix tape. In the old days play lists were stored on high tech spools of magnetic film. It was important to make sure you had the right flow to the music because there’s no shuffle like we know today. You could fast forward or rewind. If you were really good at it you could count the seconds and stop the spooling at just the right time to get the song you wanted.
The next thing you need is a long stretch of quiet road and plenty of friends. The party starts in late afternoon. You simply spend hours and hours of driving slowly up and down that quite road with the volume on 10 and the windows down. Hopefully until the wee hours of the night. As you cruise the stretch you look for places to park and visit your friends.
On a good night every teenager in the county will be there. Some will push the envelope too far and the police might be called in to restore order but for the most part trouble is minor. For the guys it’s really about finding the girls. I suspect, that the girls would show up to be found by the right guy.
I’m sure the stories abound. Those kind of stories get better every time we tell them. 😉 What was really important was the memories and the friendships made.
I’ve always loved the artistry of older cars and Trucks. Some people can quickly rattle off the make and model. They’ll tell you all about the horsepower, fuel economy and history that went into the vehicle. I’m not that guy. I’m the guy that just wants to drive. And yet there’s something special about early models. The curve of fender. The chrome and leather along with the fine woodwork created something that was more than the sum of its parts. Driving a roadster is about the journey more than just the destination.
Pictured here is a Shay reproduction vehicle based on the 1929 Roadster. It was made in the 1980s. I think about the world that we are going to live in within the next 20 years. Will a car even have a steering wheel? More sophisticated doesn’t necessarily mean more perfect. The melding of man and machine was perfected decades ago in a time when iron and steel merged with flesh and spirit to produce the freedom of an open road.