Saturday, March 30, 2013

Heavy Metal: Car Show of a Bygone Era of Wondrous Design



When the Beatles sang "Baby wont you drive my car"  they were not talking about automobiles, but our fascination with these machines still amazes the heck out of me.  Recently, the weather was perfect and ripe for an outdoor event. Tarpon is the home of  several antique automobile dealerships.  It was no surprise that The Tarpon Springs Antique Car show returned to town.  Crowds of people milled around our main street "Tarpon Avenue" to reminisce about their favorite car, listen to classic rock and have a good time.  There were hundreds of cars ranging from early Model T to fancy rare Limousines.  I photographed but a handful.  Take a look for yourself and see if you find a favorite.


For working people there were all manner of pickups



Even a few classic hot rods managed to get into the act.  Of course the owners of all these cars seem to be people who owned them since they were made or had managed to spend a small fortune to re-acquire them and relive an old memory or two.


This marvelous old GMC truck with wood decking I am sure is not used to haul anything other than a packet of memories.


For me, there was never a car more beautiful than this one.  Every detail of this car seemed conceived to seduce you to purchase it.  Any guesses?


Minor details such as the ribbed metal framing the headlights and in air intake on the hood above were part of the elegance and design of these cars where there was attention to every detail in a quest to design  cars and possibly a world that was unique.  Give up?


When this 1966 Thunderbird  was manufactured we were interested in modern and streamline design that was accented with an √©lan and a flare long since departed from our modern efficient computer managed vehicles.  The fins had gone but the metal remained.  Gasoline was 24.9 cents per gallon.  My first car was a 1964 metallic aqua colored Chevrolet Impala that my father bought me in 1970 for $300.00.  You can't buy tires for that money much less any car these days.


Any teenager in those days would have wanted a Mustang or better yet a convertible Thunderbird!  Here is one that awakened many memories long ago forgotten.
  


There were a multitude of styles showing the long distinguished history of these machines that have allowed us to travel, discover and experience the world in comfort.  I only know a few cars by memory as since my youth I have owned quite an assortment of foreign cars.  My second car was an 1970 MG Midget that was a love.  I followed it with a sensible Fiat 131 sedan, then I had an Oldsmobile Regency 98 for a business car.  I added a second car during richer times and had a 124 Fiat Spider: Quite a honey!  There was a Honda when times got tough and another Oldsmobile 88 wagon with an opera seat for who knows what family?  When that failed I went ultra modern and got a Prius which I have had for eight years.  Recently, the Toyota dealer wanted me to trade in my Prius.  He said they needed used Priuses or is it Prii?  He also informed me that he had recently had a customer checking out a new Prius.  His old one had 250,000 miles.  Upon hearing that news I informed him that I was hopeful that mine would also last that long and said goodby.  It is nice not to have a car payment!


1926 Willys-Knight 70

This 1958 Plymouth Fury Commando was a knockout at the show.  I have never seen such a wonderful effort to restore a car and be so true to its styling.


Beautiful 1933 De Soto


My friend Vori was in town from Philadelphia for the show an explained to me that the two projectiles on the bumper of this 1955 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (above) were called Dagmars after an early 1950's TV personality from a show called Broadway Open House.  Her extensive cleavage and  and low cut-gowns and conical shaped bras managed to get her indirectly into the daily parlance for automobile styling.



1950 Buick 8


1965 Mustang

1929 Essex


Here is a little more interesting  1933 Dodge Brothers Ram Sedan 


Even formula car people were represented.  The St Pete Grand Prix was run last week.


So when I said heavy metal it refers to a world gone by.  These car were built like tanks to offer protection to its passengers.  Nowadays car are designed with technology and electronic sensors to react in a moment of need.  An inflatable air bag and a good seat belt will protect you from bouncing into all the metal or not that is in your car.  Regardless, it was strange being surrounded by all the nostalgia by way of cars and music.  I like the past but try to live in the present as much as I can.  I came across this straggler, who like me also made its way from New Jersey to Tarpon Springs.  With loving care it will live in the memory of many for many years to come.  Happy Gardening!