riding along in my automobile

1955 ford fairline sunliner

More classic cars from the Antique Automobile Club of America, who were showing off their golden oldie vehicles at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair in Santa Rosa last weekend. I had some nice chat with some of the car owners, who were all very excited about these cars, as was I. I’ve said it before, you think of America, you think of cars like this, big and swanky, not the beige Toyotas that everyone here drives (including us). These aren’t simply ‘cars’, they are Automobiles. It’s worth saying all those extra syllables. I even recognize the sparkling whitewall tyres (thank you ‘Cars’, or rather thank you my three-year-old-son). The blue automobile above is a 1955 Ford Fairline Sunliner, ah 1955, I remember it well from Back to the Future. (Actually I saw an actual DeLorean a couple of months ago, on the Freeway, I’ve never seen a real one before! It was heavy) While sketching, someone did ask me why I chose to draw this one, and not, for example, the more interesting looking car next to it (a green Kaiser Dragon). This one, he said, was one of the less interesting of the cars on display. I told him, well it’s pretty interesting to me, but mostly it’s because I could see ll of it; the Dragon was partly hidden by a display board (and by this car). I tell you what I found interesting, there is only one wing mirror, on the driver’s side.  

1936 cord

This however was the car that everyone seemed to rave about, and it’s easy to see why. The big, powerful red 1936 Cord is like something out of a retro sci-fi fantasy, less of a car than a comic book come alive. Those metal pipes coming from the side make me suspect that this is in fact a Time Machine, what Doc Brown would have made if he had a better budget. How could I resist? I must admit, I’d never heard of Cord automobiles before. This looks like a Cord 812, though I may be wrong. As someone who usually can’t tell one car from the other (having been stuck in car parks full of beige Toyotas looking for a beige Toyota), I love the variety in design of the old cars. They don’t make ’em like they used to (but we probably get better mileage nowadays).

sketching old cars at the harvest fair

4 thoughts on “riding along in my automobile

  1. Janice L-H says:

    This one reminds me of my Dad’s old ’57 Mercury. They liked to make them with the turquoise two-toned paint jobs too. Push button electronic start buttons! No seat belts nor child-proof locks/windows in those days! I remember when we were driving down the street (me bouncing around in the bench front seat), the passenger car door came open while in motion. I swear I didn’t turn the handle (yeah right). Dad didn’t stop the car – just reached over and grabbed my left arm and pulled! Since I still had my right hand on the door – it closed shut. We didn’t tell Mom about that!

    Sheesh – I remember the time when they started putting 2 side mirrors on regular sedans. WooHoo! People thought they’d never need to turn around and look again. However, that’s the first question the insurance agent will ask you if you run into a car (“Did you turn around and look before you changed lanes?”). In California we have a “share the lane” policy with motorcycles in the vehicle code. Lots of SUV’s on the road with blind spots! Everybody please turn around and look!

    • pete scully says:

      That’s a great story! And yes, SUVs have their blind spots, but bad too is that they have their headlights so high off the ground, usually at most other motorist’s eye level, meaning they blind you when driving toward you on dark roads. Very dangerous!

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