Monday Escape: A glamourous cockpit

1960 Thunderbird

This is the dashboard for the 1960 T-bird whose toothy smile I shared with you recently. Stunning, isn’t it? My car’s dashboard—while I really, really like my car—does not hold a candle to this gleaming chrome and enamel. As you have likely gathered, I am a big believer in beauty every day, because beauty feeds, nurtures, and soothes our harried souls and spirits. I could go on and on about why, but doubt it’s necessary (also, I just don’t have time, alas). To deprive men of beauty is to deprive them of order, of motivation, of contact with their very soul. So far as I’m concerned, that philosophy goes for automobiles, whose steering wheels many spend huge portions of their life behind merely commuting to work and back every year, too!

Passenger View

The passenger’s view, because the passenger might as well enjoy the ride, too!

Have a fine Monday, and don’t forget to absorb beauty where you’re able to find—or create it. You won’t even need to thank yourself later!

Monday Escape: All-Original 1932 Packard Eight 900-Series Roadster

Unrestored, all-original 1932 Packard 900-Series

Here we have another stunner spotted at a Packard show. She’s all-original, even the paint—impressive for an automobile that’s nearing her 100th birthday. The ’32 Packard 900-Series is a very rare automobile; despite its flashy design (note the “shovelnose” grille) and its accounting for nearly half of Packard’s sales that year, the nearly-astronomical average price of $1,800 combined with the high cost of manufacturing the beautiful body resulted in the design’s being dropped by ’33.

1932 Packard 900 Series Roadster Coupe

This “Shovelnose Grille” makes the 900 immediately identifiable.

Packard sold just over 6,700 of these in its attempt to survive the Great Depression, which killed many great nameplates (including fellow “royal” luxury automobile marques Pierce-Arrow and Peerless). I’m not sure how many remain, though one did sell for over $100,000 in 2013. This particular Packard Eight 900-Series is a gem indeed—not only is she glamourous from nose to tail, the car has only logged 64,000 miles since her first owner in Connecticut to her fourth and present owner (so far as I know). Of the mere twenty-two coupe roadsters in the world’s Packard Club, this is the only one ‘living’ in Ohio.

It’s safe to say the man or woman who bought this 900 would go on to buy another Packard—while Packard led all luxury manufacturers with 33.6% of all car sales, Packard could really boast when it came to its returning customers; ninety percent of Packard buyers came back for more. As the old Packard slogan went: Ask the man who owns one.

Unrestored, all-original 1932 Packard 900-Series

Perhaps the first owner of this car listened to Jack Benny’s radio program, which had its debut in 1932—or perhaps, stopping along some quiet country road, the owners heard from a restaurant waitress or farmstand owner that the Lindbergh’s baby had been kidnapped, mourning for the American hero and his family even as they prayed Charles, Jr. would be safely recovered (alas, it was not to be). Continue reading

Friday Fairlane Taillight Indecision

Rocket, B&W

Rocket, B&W

Just a quick post today, since there’s much going on today (as always this time of year, with the harvest coming in). I’m sharing with you an example of something that happens to me often—I finish a photo two different ways, often quite different, and can’t decide which I like better!  Continue reading

Monday Escape: A Smile Makes Everything Better.

Now That's a Smile. Pinning to this page is okay. Photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved.

 

This 1960 Thunderbird is one I spent some time with upon seeing her. Of course, one of the downsides of shooting at car shows is the…well, background. This often requires creative framing, because Photoshop can’t fix everything—in this case, a garish food vendor behind the ‘bird and quite a few ugly modern cars surrounding her, ultimately preventing me from getting an acceptable (to me) shot of the entire car (alas!). Continue reading

Monday Escape: Something Cool On A Steamy Day

Pinning to this page is okay. "Blue Monday" copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images. All rights reserved.

Happy Monday! A week spent off just dealing with administrative things was quite well-spent (granted, I’m an organization geek), but returning to my routine is quite soothing.

In addition to my cleaning things up on the hard drive and so forth, we also drove up to Detroit to visit my family, including my grandfather, who had major surgery recently, so of course I wished to check up on him. As everyone knows, the inability to be there for family is the worst part of living far away. He seems to be doing quite well, though, and we had a good time visiting, especially hearing my grandparents’ stories about their trips to Europe years ago. The travel bug really does run in my family!

Pinning to this page. "Blue Monday" copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved.

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Monday Escape: Give me some fin

1958 De Soto Firedome

One of the most famed and truly iconic aspects of American cars from the 1950s is the tail fin, a design aspect attributed to the designers’ having returned from war with new, aircraft- and rocket-inspired visions in their minds as well as the nation’s optimism and our preparing to reach the moon (and beyond, it was hoped at the time).

1958 De Soto Firedome
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