Thursday, June 20, 2013

They don't make them like they used to

Blue Ford
St. Thomas, ON
June 2009
I love the look of older cars. They weren't designed in wind tunnels or by focus groups. They were crafted by designers whose signatures were baked right into every curve* and flourish.

Yes, today's cars are far more efficient and safe. They can do things the antiques couldn't even dream of, and they'll last longer and do less damage to the world around them.

But. Because with me there's always a but.

I still stop in my tracks when I come across a well preserved older vehicle, and I'm guessing I'm not the only one who does. There's something inspiring about a machine that survives time. The people who take it upon themselves to keep them alive are even more inspiring. To listen to them talk about their cars, to see their eyes and faces light up as they explain what it took to get them from pile of rusted metal to pure rolling art - you feel reverent just being around them.

The Toyota Camry is a lovely car. It's safe, efficient and reliable. But I just don't see crowds gathered around one 40 years from now while the owner, fresh off a ground-up restoration job, waxes poetic about why this particular vehicle deserved to be saved from the ravages of time. Some things are best let go. Of course it's impossible to read the future and know beyond a shadow of a doubt what will and will not be a future classic. But with the benefit of hindsight, I'm kinda glad the Ford Customline V8 in the photo above continues among us.

Your turn: What separates something that's worth preserving from something that isn't?

* Thematic's curvaceous theme is here, and you're all invited.

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