Monday, July 19, 2010

Corvette summer

London, ON, July 2010
[Click all photos to enlarge]
About this photo: It's our Thematic Photographic summer-themed week all week long, and I'm hoping you'll click here to share your own. Click here for more info on the Gawd-awful movie from which I stole the title to this entry. Mark Hamill and Annie Potts, what were you thinking?
I'm a bit of a realist when it comes to cars. I believe the state-of-the-automotive-art needs to advance to the point that our vehicles do less harm to the planet. At the same time, I appreciate, deeply, the impact the automobile has had on modern culture. I'm not a car guy and I don't have motor oil coursing through my veins, but I spend a lot of time appreciating vehicles for what they often are: Rolling pieces of engineering-based art that happen to inspire a good number of us in a whole lot of ways.

So when someone parked a blue, early-70s Corvette in a nearby driveway on a brilliant July afternoon, I couldn't resist shooting it surreptitiously from afar. The curves and surfaces almost begged for some attention, even if your humble shooter was too chicken to step off his own lawn to capture them.

There are a whole lot of reasons I should not like this car. It's a two-seat, gas-sucking, emission-spewing hog that could probably be bested by a Hyundai Sonata 2.0T in a closed-course, only-for-professionals, head-to-head race. It's only marginally more reliable than the British Racing Green Plymouth Cricket (a rebadged Hillman Avenger) my mom owned when I was a kid (the one with the huge chunk missing from the dash; the one that spent more time waiting for parts at the local garage than it did in front of our house.) It's the poster boy for all that went wrong in the American automotive industry in the 1970s, now referred to, somewhat derisively, as the Malaise Era*.

Yet, it's a stunning piece of work to simply stare at. I know its fiberglass body is the purest example of form over function. But what form! My camera loves this thing infinitely more than it ever would the Sonata, and I could probably spend the better part of a day walking around it picking out new perspectives.

Alas, I only had a few minutes and limited angles due to my inherent desire to not be noticed. So these will have to do for now.

Your turn: Your favorite car to shoot is a...? Why?

* Malaise Era definition: Reference to the era after the 1973 Oil Crisis, generally agreed to be 1973-1982, when automobiles, especially American ones, experienced a perceived downturn in style, performance, and quality. [Source:]


Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

Great shots, Carmi. Not sure I could pick a fav to shoot. However, I did have a bright orange 73 Stingray for a number of years back when I first met my husband. LOVED that car. I would love to shoot it now, but it's far away.

Pamela said...

shoot? I've had a few I'd really like to shoot. literally.

hee hee.

Pamela said...

oh oh oh ... back a few... ahem ...years
I owned a 69 AMX with a 490
4 on the floor,
over sized cam,
solid lifters,
forged pistons

I got it in the divorce. he got the 57 vette.

I raced it in the ETs once.
Scared the Ets right out of me.
picture that? giggle.

Mojo said...

Actually, Corvettes usually do really well on closed courses as long as the surface is relatively smooth. It's only when you start encountering real-world pavement that they start getting truly upset. I'd never own one mind you -- at least not that I'd actually drive -- but they're nice to look at. And photograph. And this one appears to fall into my favorite 'Vette age bracket -- '68-'72.

I could spend hours no, days trying to decide on a favorite automotive subject. Classic hot rods, exotics, customs, unreliable British (I know... redundant) sports cars, obscenely expensive luxo-mobiles...

And then I'll get back in my reliable uberfunctional pickup truck with my dog and be glad that I don't have to buy the insurance on that thing!

But if I could have my pick of any car to spend a day with I suppose it would be the 1966 Ford GT-40. I've never actually seen one of these in person, but any car that could dethrone Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans... Yeah, I could shoot that.

David said...

i will now take pics of anf from a 1989 ford 460 powered RV that guzzles a gallon every 9 miles... and I will LOVE it as it allows me to take mom along camping again.
Filler UP gas station man....
oops I just drank up another dinosaur