Monday, December 3, 2012

Rusty Old Cars . . .

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What is it about rusty old cars that appeals so strongly to many of us ? Is it a nostalgia thing ? Romantic echos of a bygone age ? Is it the unforgettable memories for those who lost their virginity in the back seats of behemoths like these ? Old cars, like old people, reach a point where they just aren't ever going to go any further. Not a mile more. Too many parts have failed. Rust too far gone to ever be cured by a quick treatment of rust remover and a fresh coat of paint to gloss things over. The end of the road. The end, period. And yet, their abandoned bodies call to us still, from the side yards of dilapidated old garages on backwater roads. Still something profoundly beautiful in their fading carcasses.
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Saw these aging beauties on a trip to Pennsylvania a couple of years ago. On automobile license plates in that state they used to print a slogan on the edges of the plates that said, in poor grammar, "You've got a friend in Pennsylvania". When I found these old darlings not far from the Susquehanna River, I couldn't have agreed with them more.
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17 comments:

French Girl in Seattle said...

Bonjour Owen. Amazing how many of your post I end up showing to my 12-year old who always enjoys them! This one will be no exception, for Junior loves all cars; even the old ones; the abandoned ones; the ones who "aren't ever going to go any further..." - Merci pour lui! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Owen said...

Dear Vero... I'm glad someone is enjoying them then !

Jess said...

Hi Owen, it's been a while since I've been visiting here, I forgot what a feast of visuals it is! These old cars are wonderful shapes, I really love to see them, not so keen on the rust like you are though I'm afraid! ;)

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Beautiful texture in these shots of rusty cars! They are very gorgeous and I can see why you were drawn to them.

Lorrene said...

I think I used to drive one of those, before the rust set in.

Steve said...

If backseats could talk I bet they'd have a tale to tell...

Owen said...

Hi Jessie, it's been ages... well, I guess rust is something that just sort of grows on some of us... :-) (not getting any younger !)

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Alyson, I think rust is the perfect complement to Autumn colors...

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Dear Lorrene, why on earth did you give it up ??? Maybe it was guzzling too much of your gas money ?

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Hey Steve, I'm sure you could make those backseats speak, if you set your pen to paper about them !

Marginalia said...

It's just metal. Then again we're just skin and bones.

Stickup Artist said...

For me, it's the colors, textures and patterns formed by the process of rusting (or is it oxidation?) on the metal and paint. That gets me every time. If you have any close-ups, they'd also be so awesome to play with for distressed effects on photos. Really cool post. Makes me really miss the East Coast...

Le Journal de Chrys said...

Un billet qui sent la rouille!!!
Alors comme ça, tu fais aussi la visite des cimetières de voitures?

Bonne journée Owen

Alistair Robertson said...

I think we all like to connect to simpler times when we had no or less responsibilities and simpler technology stirs those echoes effectively and evokes common feelings in 'ahem' people of a certain age {like me I hasten to add}

Photographically rust is a magical process, colourful and often adding character, texture and colour to things just as lichen on marble or wrinkles in a face show life has many stages and weathers through us all.

Evocative images again my friend. I enjoy your narrations almost as much as the images themselves.

Monica said...

As you know,- I love rusty cars! Love your series!
:)

The Poet Laura-eate said...

As irresistible as the faded grandeur of an old seaside hotel (my own particular weakness)

louciao said...

So much character in the face of the first shot, with its toothy grin and cigarette dangling from its lips. Do you see that? Those paint jobs done by Mother Nature are real works of art. I'm surprised that the cool airplane hood ornament on the green Chevrolet wasn't stolen long ago. Certainly some cars are more beautiful in their lingering deaths than in their hay-days.

Miranda Stahl said...

The thing with vintage cars is that no matter how dilapidated they look they still look classy.
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Owen said...

Dear Lynne, the cigarette dangling bit made me think of Stephen King's book Christine, about an old car which takes on a life of its own, and not a very pleasant one at that... But, yeah, these old dreamboats often are all the more magnificent in their decline. And how long will it take for them to disintegrate into stains of rust on the ground there ?

Tanner Torchia said...

Rust is certainly an issue with cars and any other structure made from metal. But in these photos ,we can see that incurring rust had a somehow good effect with the way each car looks. The cars emit a vintage and classy feel, but it would me much better if they were preserved.

Tanner Torchia@Tulco