3/17/14

Beater

Consider the life cycles of non-living things. Every drop of rain that falls onto a slope washes away another bit of mountain, just as a clock is already ticking when auto assembly line workers tighten the first bolts on a fresh chassis. The '55 Hemi Imperial they're building passes from bank manager's indulgence to secretary's dreamboat to teenager's hot rod love nest in a season as far as the mountain is concerned. But just as sediment from high country streams lives on as flood plain and delta, some stylish Nova SS hardtop has donated its grille and maybe its V8 to the humble '67 Chevy II 100 post coupe below, keeping some of itself out there in the wind, part of the cycle, for another couple of weeks at least.


These guys are working hard on a shoestring somewhere in the hills of Southern Ohio, just across the river from Kentucky, manual jacks in a line and Seger on the radio somewhere.



Model T sheet rod, your average everyday $15 car.



Scarred '51-2 Buick faces another long drive home to Michigan with the four boys fighting in the back.



'41 Plymouth P11 2-door sedan, '53 Colorado plates, converted to pickup after spending the late forties as the canvas-roof woodie seen below.




BMW 2002 w/ wide-angle rear view mirror and aftermarket rims. Polaroid roll film print.



'34 Desoto Airflow w/ '41 Michigan plates on a warm day in late fall, a few leaves still clinging to the trees.



'52-4 Henry J Corsair Deluxe serving as mascot for Gammell's Atlantic Service in Lebanon Pennsylvania. A December 1969 Lebanon Daily News clipping gives the station's address as E. Cumberland St. @ 2nd, but it says E. Lehman St on the door and we're at the corner of S. Sixth according to the sign over the fire hydrant.



'37 Ford convertible with sealed beams and honeycomb grille mesh. Produces its own unique combination of rattles, flapping, squeaks and exhaust roar when in motion.



'31 Chevy stripped to the essentials and repurposed as farm tractor.



Selectively shaved '50 Chevy Styleline Deluxe w/ aftermarket headlight rings, gas door guard and drip rail mirror. Third car so far with a whitewall up front.



'36-7 Cord 810/812 Phaeton Sedan convertible in New York Central freight yard.



US Army soldier on military base with '33-4 Austin 4 Bantam.



MG 1100 Sports Sedan aka BMC ADO16, from a series of photos taken in the eighties and nineties by an unknown British Columbia car spotter.



Outside the high school in McClusky North Dakota, north of Bismark. This '50 Hudson Pacemaker 6 replaced a '48-9 step-down that wound up on its top in a field along the highway outside of town.



Citroën Traction Avant, still kicking in São Paulo Brazil in the mid-sixties.



Bucolic Pacific Northwest scene featuring an Oregonian and his favorite girl and a dusty '28 Dodge Victory Six. Kent & Genevieve on the banks of the Columbia July 30 1933.
 


Messerschmitt KR200 Kabinenroller & Kabrio, USA plates, on military base somewhere in Germany with superior officer's '59 Rambler Ambassador Cross Country station wagon, VW Beetle and photographer's shadow.



'38 Hudson Terraplane, '49 Utah plate. Taken outside Tooele Utah by Max (Pancho) April 1949. Location is likely Tooele Army Depot, originally set up as a WWII munitions storage site.
 


Studebaker Commander from 1966, the very last model year, with front fenders rusting out behind the wheel wells like they do. Built in Hamilton Ontario, with snow tires and BC Canada plate.



Model A Ford jalopy as rolling billboard for Rocky-Ray-Rusty and the KORL Ozark Drifters Western Music @ Pete's Club, Nightly 8 till 12, antlers and all.



Attempted resurrection of '52-3 Kaiser Dragon somewhere in Eastern Pennsylvania, farm wife and jug of Zerex antifreeze close at hand.



Back in BC with a badge engineered Mercury Econoline sold only in Canada. Although the belt line accents sweep back from a box that mimics the shape of the emblem between the headlights, I'm assuming they're not factory issue, since random scraps turn up around the door handle.



'34 Ford Five-Window Coupe somewhere in postwar Southern California. She's got hubcaps & a few more lights now. Looks better too.



'57-60 Wartburg 313/1 Sportwagen Cabriolet constructed by Karosseriewerk Dresden, one of 469. BMW's old Eisenach plant, on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain after WWII, turned out BMW-based EMWs and DKW-based IFAs before Wartburg production began in 1955. Sliding the abbreviated cockpit rearward and extending the hood left the tweaked three-cylinder two-stroke engine and transmission stranded a considerable distance from the firewall. 
 


'31 De Vaux Custom Coupe w/ '41 Texas plates. Economy car devised by Norman de Vaux, organizer of William C. Durant's West Coast operations for Chevy, Star and Durant; along with engineer Elbert J. Hall of the Hall-Scott Motor Company, designer and builder of airplane engines and rail cars, who assisted Packard's Jesse Vincent on the Liberty V12 before concentrating on bus, truck, tractor and marine engines following WWI. Production of the De Vaux began in Grand Rapids MI in early April 1931, with cars rolling off an Oakland CA assembly line by the middle of the month. By January '32 it was all over, rights and Michigan assets passing to Continental Motors, who tried their luck on a couple of slightly refined versions before retreating to engine building in 1934.



'40 Ford DeLuxe convertible coupe.



Jaguar XK-120 Roadster somewhere in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley. One of the owner's projects around this time was stuffing a spare Jag mill into a Crosley Hot Shot, seen in Backyard Special.



Tomboy with '39 Ford DeLuxe sporting sealed beam conversion and '48 Minnesota plates.



Hard working '33 Olds skeleton down on the farm.



'26 Model T Ford jalopy w/ '47 Iowa plate.
 


'56 Packard Custom Clipper w/ '87 Montana plates.



'36 Ford Convertible Sedan w/ Pines Winterfront grille bars (middle bar removed to clear the hood stacks), '37 Desoto bumper and '49 Olds wheel covers. Here is a picture of my car at school. I have new hub caps and white side wall tires which I put on after you left. Herb Keekamp and Don Pasel are by the car.



'30-2 Cord L-29 w/ Pilot Ray driving lights and '39 New York World's Fair plates. This is my Dad getting help on the car from the neighbor children. Imagine the uses of bailing wire around the front-drive Cord's troublesome U-joints and half shafts.



'63 1/2 Ford Falcon Futura convertible w/ badge for Windsor 260 V8 fitted to the first 75 or so Shelby AC Cobras. This one appears ready for a parking lot gymkhana against a Fiat 124 Coupe, Triumph GT6 and, if you squint, Alfa GTV and Fiat 850 Spider. Hopefully the big Buicks backed against the wall at left are staying where they are for the time being.



'54 Studebaker Commander Conestoga station wagon. I've never understood the scorn heaped on sedans and wagons produced alongside the sleek coupes created by Robert Bourke and Holden 'Bob' Koto for Loewy Studios. Maybe they're not as sexy as Starliners, but their crisp clean modernity, derived from one of the great industrial designs of all time, should earn them favorable comparison with the bread and butter Dodges, Pontiacs and Fords of the day. This particular car seems to have suffered through many high country hunting excursions, transporting dead bears and deer and who knows what home with the conquering hero.




'27 Lincoln Coaching Brougham by Judkins w/ graffiti 'This Is The Car That Takes The Beverly Hillbillies To The Palace Theater'. Beverly Hill Billy's Hack in front of the Palace Theater 6th & Broadway Los Angeles May 20th 1931.



'69 AMC Javelin SST 343 somewhere in British Columbia.



'34 Chevy in Cinder Point, between the railroad tracks and Illinois River on Peoria's South Side. My dad car May 1949.



Space age '67 Dodge Monaco 500 in Vancouver BC.



Iron age '36 Dodge growing lighter by the week.



'32 Buick ranch hack somewhere in California's Central Valley.



'60 Olds Dynamic 88 owned by the guy who's always yelling at the kids to get off his lawn.



'32 Cadillac Phaeton on duty as passenger ferry jitney, perhaps in New England. Sign on shed reads Nedman Boat Line.



Standing proud with battered '50 Olds 98 and grape stake fence.



Taken by Roberta Hill, a Washington DC Civil War and bus-streetcar-railroad historian, movie buff and avid collector of license plates and Beswick China horses. Here she documents a '48-53 Chevy pickup truck w/ DC plates and creepy doll heads.




'59 Chevy Impala convertible on Sylvan Lane in Creve Coeur IL, across the Illinois River just a couple of miles south of Cinder Point, seen behind the '34 Chevy eight photos back.



'47 Crosley Convertible w/ '47 Virginia plates, nearly new and already headed downhill fast.



'58 Packard Hawk caught trying to eat its own bumper. Polaroid SX-70.



Easy going girl with '38 Nash, '51 New York Empire State plates.



'55 Chrysler Imperial Coupe.



'35 Ford w/ '42 New Mexico plates and unidentified fog lamps.



'84-5  Ford Tempo GL. R-2 Electric, located on Pier 63 at the west end of 23rd St. in Manhattan, filled the wiring needs of budget-minded New Yorkers in the late eighties and early nineties. My friend Janet was resident office manager. Her living space included a waterside deck with an old porch swing hung over the murky Hudson - amenities an Upper East Side billionaire might kill for. The parking lot was always filled with an assortment of woebegone work vehicles picked up at police auction and kept in service by a Vietnamese immigrant with a genius for making do with whatever was at hand. Alongside tired Voyager and Caravan K minivans, there was always an oddball like a '70ish Mercedes Benz ambulance. These heaps led a very tough life on the streets of New York City, but R2 employees knew there was always a replacement available if whatever they were driving that day was taken out by a Checker cab kamikaze or towed from a loading zone. These Polaroid SX-70s were taken in 1993 as the car sat outside a Tribeca coffee shop, a prime Manhattan road warrior bested at the time only by a rust bucket East Village Chevy Cavalier with mismatched oven racks over the side windows to keep out intruders. Those were the days.