Ford A

Living is not unlike watching a sunset while driving somewhere. Pressing business precludes most from pulling over to enjoy the sight, so they steal quick glances while trying to stay on the road. From this comes nostalgia, the longing for the good old days or, at least, for a few fragments of them.

Special Deluxe

Along with classic cameras and guns, cars hold a special place in the hearts of many. It is especially true for people who grew up back when cars had style or muscle unequalled by modern econoboxes.

At first glance, old cars are but rustbuckets overdue for a trip to the dump. Some show remnants of bygone glory. Others not even that...

Sunliner Peeling paint
Seeing the marvels of design restored makes it easier to understand why so many will devote years to the task. Turning a grimey, disused collection of parts and tuning them to run better than new is a triumph most savory.

Unlike the generic vehicles of today, most classics have distinct and sometimes elegant forms. An enthusiast can tell marks and years apart easily, with only a fragment of the car for reference.

four eyes, stoned look
The people who designed these cars definitely were not afraid of too much style. Their paradigms may have been stale, but the implementation was very nicely done.
Many vintage vehicles follow the credo similar to human naturism: their precise mechanics are unfettered by heavy fenders and glitzy chrome. Most of the times they were not burdened with air conditioning, stereos or effective brakes, either.
Ford A, front
Even econoboxes of the time had style and class. This particular car, Ford Model A, also had enough reliability to impress even the Soviets. Most of Russian cars and light trucks of the 1930s were based on its chassis.
Judging by the nameplates, these fine old monsters were meant to be special from the start. I doubt that an '89 Geo Metro would ever achieve the classic status.

There is an element of play in the hard work of car restoration. Perhaps that is why cheery saturated colors are so common.



The names of cars used to have more meaning, too. Consider this emblem -- does it not appear to glide atop the hood, akin to a sail boat on Riviera?

We know that AMC Gremlin lived up to its name, at least in appearance. But the era of meaningful car names was at its end - else Ford Pinto would have been named Kaboom or Fireball.

The jolly face on the 1927 Roosevelt is, in fact, Teddy. With such a precedent should we expect, a few years hence, a GMC Clinton or Chevy Nixon?




Air intakes and louvers have been a mainstay of automotive design since the 30s. I do not know if the cars sporting these numerous gills had muscle, but they certainly kept up the appearances.

Air Intakes
Good thing old cars do not get banned because of their looks. This car has enough air intakes to qualify as the eeeevil Saturday Night Speeder Special, at least in the minds of legislators trying to save people from themselves.


If we go blaming criminal act on inanimate objects, we can start by confiscating all classic V8 cars from civilians. After all, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker used one just like that to evade capture after robbing banks. If an ordinary joe like you gets a fast car, what's there to keep him from running amok?

And don't laugh: this is exactly the logic used to restrict ownership of BARs and Thompsons. A handful of gangsters used them, therefore millions of law abiding citizens should not have them.

The same authoritarian compusion to keep potent or fun toys from "civilians" killed AMC Pacer. Next time you get into your tiny underpowered tin can on wheels, remember, the oil crisis did not kill the car industry...government regulators helped.


Back to something more pleasant...have you noticed how much attention to detail was shown in the vintage designs? Does the spare wheel in your car look that good?

On the bright side, your modern car probably starts without a crank. You must be so spoiled!


Cars, like people, often have long and eventful lives. What has this Model T runabout seen over its eigthy years? Pity it cannot speak.

However strange and diverse the cars may be, their owners are a more peculiar lot yet. One such gentleman had wanted a Jaguar since childhood. He finally got his wish some thirty years later. Would you like to know how that happend?
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