Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lots of old car pictures from the family photo album

This is not the normal article where I go take a bunch of pictures at a car show and tell you how the weather was. As far as I'm concerned, this article is special.

If you come from a family of car nuts like me, you’ve probably noticed that the car turns up in quite a few family photos. Heck, if you go through my old shoeboxes full of pictures, you might get the impression that my grandparents spent all their time in the driveway.

My granddad was a used car dealer in Colorado Springs, so cars weren’t just a passion, they were his life. I always enjoy the stories my dad tells about all the cars that passed through there as he was growing up. It’s interesting to hear about where they came from and what they did with them.

If it weren’t for that car dealership, I probably wouldn’t even be here. No, I don’t mean here, writing this car blog. I mean, I wouldn’t even exist. You see, my mom purchased a ’60 Corvair sedan from that lot. It was all of $75, and really wasn’t much of a car. It had several problems, for which she brought it back to get help. One time, the steering wheel came off in her hand while she was driving it to lunch!

Now I have to admit, my dad doesn’t seem all that flirtatious. But the story goes that he started leaving notes on the Corvair when it was parked around town. They started dating, eventually were married, and a couple years a future car blogger was born.

Believe it or not, my mom still claims that Corvair was her favorite car of all time.

I really do enjoy looking at these old pictures, though. Take the one to the left. That’s my dad and grandmother standing next to a ’47 Ford Sportsman convertible that was maybe a year or two old. Today, a Sportsman like that is worth six figures and treated like a show queen. But when that was taken, it was just another car. They were driving on a dirt road somewhere. The car wasn’t particularly clean. It would be sold on the lot like so many others for less money than a set of tires today.

The picture to the right is my grandparents doing their best Bonnie and Clyde impression. That photo is dated 1935, years before my dad was born. But even then, many of the pictures were taken against the backdrop of a car. Cars are just such an important part of our lives. And as much as the people and the clothes, the presence of a car in a picture helps pinpoint the era in which those people lived.

I’ve done stories kind of like this before, but I've never posted this many pictures. There are some things in here that nobody has set eyes on for decades, including my parents. Many of them are kind of a chronicle of my dad’s lifetime, because my granddad had a lot of different vehicles because of the car lot. But there are plenty of pictures from before his time, and even several pictures of my cars or cars I remember from when I was a kid.

There's a great picture of my grandmother straddling the radiator mascot of a fancy Pierce-Arrow. My mom is in one of them dressing up the top cover of dad's '64 Corvette convertible. There's a very young version of me cooking a marshmallow in a campfire next to the "Caveman Van." The early-series '47 Chevy truck that my dad taught me how to drive on is in there. They all have some kind of neat story--at least to me.

The photos themselves are also kind of interesting. These are all directly scanned from the original photos (except the digital pics, of course). Most of the pictures from the 1930s/'40s/'50s are still very nice and made good scans. By the 1960s and '70s, things switched over to an early Polariod camera--you know; the kind with a big flash bulb and that nasty paper with the goo on it that burns your skin. Those pictures scanned fair, but not as clearly as the older ones. By the 1980s and '90s we were pretty much taking our car pictures with a Polariod Sun camera. Those pictures are God-awful. They never were all that sharp in the first place, and they are deteriorating fast. Of course, by about 2001 we picked up a digital camera, and those pictures are all amazingly clear.

I hope you enjoy the slideshow below. I know it won't have the same kind of meaning to folks outside of my family, but there are still some interesting cars in there. I even tried to write a few captions when I knew what to say. Thanks for looking--I appreciate the opportunity to toss a story like this out there once in awhile, even if it is a little unusual.


5 comments:

  1. Great old pics! There was a little of everything in there. I even caught your hot mom in several of them.

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  2. Thanks. My mom'll be glad to know someone called her "hot".

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  3. Enjoyed the story and Love the old pictures!

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    Replies
    1. Enjoyed the story and Love the old pictures also.

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