I’ve just checked. It is still around, that thing that catalyzed so much of the work and time I’ve invested in cars I’ve owned and cars I’ve worked with. I happened on it by chance and by the end of that first day I had received an education in using it. On a Saturday morning in early summer 1982, I drove a green 1969 Pontiac Parisienne to a good friend’s house to see what we were up to that day. He had a project going, a task fueled by his father’s expertise in restoring and rehabilitating old cars.
I found him compounding (using rubbing compound on) the maroon paint of his two-door Dodge Aspen, a new acquisition – his first car. The idea was to remove paint that had dulled and oxidized and then add a layer of glazing resin to seal and maintain the maroon paint in pristine condition. As many things were in those days, this was a Tom Sawyer experience – a project he was engaged in was something I wanted to help with and he had the grace to allow me to do so. In two hours, our combined elbow grease brought out evenly the car’s true maroon colour in the paint. Then we added the glazing resin, something called TR-3 Resin Glaze; we rubbed it into the paint. We let it powder up and dry. And, then we used terry-towel rags to remove swirls of resin glaze residue.
What happened was remarkable. Our elbow grease, our use of rubbing compound and resin glaze according to instruction produced transformation – a previously dull, tired looking Dodge Aspen now looked new, even better than new. We’d seen this once before and talked about it. An older gentleman in the house next door, a man confined to a wheelchair had brought about similar transformation to his late sixties Dodge Dart. His candy apple red Dodge Dart was emaculate, the result of patient application of intelligence, initiative and diligence toward visual result.
In terms of photographs, not many vehicles these days sport hood ornaments. Hood ornamentation tends to be associated with higher-end cars … perhaps they always have been. Hood ornaments accentuate the forward most part of the vehicle and perhaps in their being sculpted remind owner and driver of their vehicle being art, something crafted by others. Hood ornaments seem to have started out primarily as skilfully fashioned radiator caps; others serve to mark the hood’s center allowing drivers to position the vehicle on the road in relation to designated space between lines. Hood ornaments from several vehicles at the LeMay Car Museum feature as subject for this post’s photos.
Listening to a genius playlist starting from Over the Rhine’s Sleep Baby Jane; it moves on to Patty Griffin’s Mil Besos and then to Dar Williams’ Fishing in the Morning. In terms of audiobooks, I’m continuing to walk and listen to Lady Chatterley’s Lover; what struck me this morning is commonality of era. After all that the first world war was, the world my grandfather and grandmother would have shared as a young married couple was this same period as that of Constance and Clifford Chatterley, except that my granddad’s wounding at Vimy Ridge led him to become a military instructor for the remainder of the war and then back to Canada to marry the woman who would become my grandmother. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover was a book most likely banned in their time because it dealt with physical sensuality and challenged mainstream morality; I wonder about their take on the book … was it a book not to be read if you were a person of integrity?
Quote to Inspire – “There is nothing worse than a brilliant image of a fuzzy concept.” – Ansel Adams
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