Sunday, January 1, 2012

Shiny New Year!

Random thoughts about Hot Rods.
Wandering down Main Street on New Year's Day, looking to see which cafes were open for breakfast, feeling, then hearing the distinctive sound of V8's or possibly V12's, finely tuned: k'thump, k'thump, k'thump.
Not much ground clearance.
The rumbling demands attention. Sucking down fuel that smells like avgas, creating a deep, low grumble, a rhythmic backdrop of sound - not too intrusive over the hiss and whine  of cappuccino machines.

Like people entranced by the lilting tune played by the Pied Piper, men, women, children turn and gawk - are compelled to follow the glittering Hot Rods down to the once peaceful park overlooking the sparkling bay.
Only mildly distracted, (breakfast is far too important to be rushed!) we eventually wander down to join the happy throng.

Bear-sized blokes delve under bonnets and dashboards, lean over to admire perfect leatherwork. In ones and twos or groups, deep voices share their love of their machines.  Women too, polishing cloths at the ready to further shine the mirrored chrome, carry chairs and picnic baskets, rub sunscreen into each others backs - keeping safe those hard to reach spots.
I'm delighted with the Mini, it reminds me of my first one. I splurged on having it painted purple and used to pack it with camping gear and head off for weekends at a national park. Looking at one now, I can't imagine how I fitted in my camping gear comfortably.  Later, I had an Austin A30 and I really regret selling it - tarted up, it would look a treat.
I have fond memories of the cars my uncles owned; some with running boards. I remember one had to be crank started, I can't imagine this one would be so antiquated! Does anyone remember chokes? How you used it regulate the mix of fuel, then left the car running to warm up.   I wish that one of us had had the forethought to keep one of those old cars. These are beautiful, absolute labours of love and bring back great memories!

Where do they get fuel for Hot Rods? They're unlikely to use unleaded, and what will they do when petrol becomes scarce, will they safeguard some fuel for an annual outing to get together and share stories of days of glory and chrome?
I love the way the bonnet folds back on itself, it oozes charm and elicits thoughts of chiffon and champagne and hedonistic days gone by. Some of the cars had dickey seats beautifully re-leathered, now there's another job for a craftsman.
We played the game "If you could afford any of these cars, and insurance and fuel were no problem, which would you have?" This is the one I chose - chrome, gold and those wonderful old tyres. Gorgeous!

Which one would you choose?


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue .. loved the pictures .. and yes if I could have one it'd be a bright sunshine yellow one with a dickey seat .. we had a posh friend who when they collected us from school .. we could ride in the dickey seat. I do remember chokes ..

Love the pics .. just not a car kind of girl really! Cheers Hilary

Ms. Becky said...

oh wow, that's difficult to choose a favorite. I think I would choose the two-one pick-up. I've always wanted a vintage pick-up truck. and if money and gas were no object, well then yes! but I'd feel a bit of guilt I think, knowing how inefficiently it would be burning that petrol. wishing you all the best Sue,in this new year.

Michelle said...

That last car, your favourite looked familiar. I checked my friends facebook and it's theirs :-) Small world.

sue said...

Becky, I share your thoughts about burning petrol, I had to go back to see what you were referring to as the two-one pick-up. I guess it's the blue ute!

Michelle ... !!! gosh! :) small world indeed!

Eve said...

I would choose the yellow one! Nice car...they have a car show like this in my town every summer, it's wonderful..I usually take a grandson and we stroll along, eating ice cream and looking at the cars..hey, are you doing the a-z challenge this year? I'm gonna go for it again...have a great day Sue!

sue said...

Hi Eve, I like the idea of car shows like this one happening all over the world. Yep I'll be doing the A-Z I'm trying to get organised so I'n not overwhelmed when the time comes. Take care Eve, thinking of you.

Barb said...

Oh my gosh, Sue - cars as old as I am! And, still looking shiny, I might add. (Hope you will take some beach pics soon. I could use some.)

sue said...

Barb, thanks for the nudge, I've been a bit slack - hope you got your snow!

Leisa Dreps said...

It's hard to pick the best-looking car in that show. The yellow one looks particularly great. It's a great color to have in a sunny day because it looks so bright and shiny under the sun. It gives that particular chance a bigger spotlight, don't you think?