A couple of weeks ago, I went to my first Hot Rod Night at Top Notch, a local, classic drive-in burger joint in Austin. I met my photographer friend Mike and his wife Tonya. He remarked that this month’s event was larger than usual, perhaps because it was over the 4th of July weekend.
Mike’s been shooting a lot of classic cars and motorcycles and he’s been posting them regularly to his blog. In fact, here’s what he shot that day. He commented that he didn’t think I had an interest in cars, a likely conclusion given that this was my first ever visit. I gave a fairly nondescript answer, saying that I did have an interest and that I was always looking for new things to shoot. In reality, what I have is an interest in design. Design of buildings, products, websites, magazines and of course cars.
Most of the cars are from a time when American hardware ruled. Before the gas crisis, the downsizing and the rise of econo import cars. I’m sure there’s a certain romantic notion, a throwback to what is remembered as a simpler time. There’s a tendency, I hear, that we remember things from the past more fondly. These were from the era of gasoline chugging muscle cars, pre-air bag, pre-anti lock brakes pre anything electronic.
I admit that, while I view these cars with interest, from a point of view of design, I’m not nostalgic. I love my cars modern and high-tech. In fact, even today’s cars aren’t advanced enough for me. My dream? I want to step inside and order my car to take me somewhere. Voice recognition will perfectly understand, crowd sourced route guidance systems will determine the optimal path and, of course, the car will drive itself autonomously to its destination.
Yeah, Mike was probably right. I’m not a car enthusiast. I’m a design enthusiast. I look at these metal beasts with the same curiosity of log cabins on display at a history museum. But, I do have an interest for history. And these lovingly restored cars look great at a timeless drive-in establishment like Top Notch.
Here’s the rest of what I shot that day. If you squint hard enough, you might not even think it’s 2016.
Please support this blog by clicking on my Amazon Link before buying anything.