Val and Norman, Thank you both for your generousity. I look forward to returning with a tripod and flash. Come back again to see a few pictures.
Boredom and a sunny day conspired to get me out of the house in search of old cars. I suspected there would be a few automotive derelicts along a certain picturesque area where, if no cars, at least a lovely drive.
Imagine my surprise when I doubled back to take a closer look at a colorful truck sitting on a lot filled with fenders and doors of aged cars.. I was determined to snap a picture or two from behind the fence.
Much to my delight, the shop was open and Norman, the proprietor met me at the front with a friendly, "Can I help you." I explained my hobby and he was more than gracious. The car that captured my original interest was a 1951 Nash behind a secure fence. Norman told me it wasn't his but that the owner, Val was next door.
I was excited because I wanted to get a few pictures of the Nash and saw more than a few other cars of interest. I opened the door Norman indicated expecting to see the business advertised by the signage, but instead I was immediately face to face with a lovely, though dusty, Kaiser which Val was restoring. Val, tall, agile and greying, was even more friendly than Norman. After he understood my mission, and I recoved from my awe, he was more than a little willing to show me around, show me pictures of previous cars he had restored and talk about each one as though it were a child he nurtured and sent out into the world.
Interior of the Kaiser...does that steering wheel say Chevy?
The Kaiser is one of the larger sedans of the day with a wheel base almost as large as a Lincoln. The spacious interior made me nostalgic for more comfortable rides when cars resembled living room sofas. Val unwrapped a new find, a new/yet old marquee for the car. Just for fun, he put it in place for me to see. It is a real beauty with colors and design we just don't see today. Below, before and after.
With a mischievous smile, Val brandished keys to a locked room filled with amazing cars. Do you know what the white car is? Val and Norman do. Now I do too. The primered car to the back I believe is a Cadillac. I have to check with Val to confirm the identity of cars on this page.
So many wonderful cars in Val's locked room of vintage iron.
Back on the lot, Val showed me Oldsmobiles, Buicks and the usual Chevy models and an odd Cadilac or three. All just waiting for his time, energy and creativity. He tends to restore to the right appearance, but incorporate modern engines, safety and comfort.
A personal myth I enjoy is that people who love old cars and spend their time and money to rebuild them are all like Val and Norman. Val educated me to the contrary. He told me people often locate his storage yard and enter, ignoring the huge angry dog that barks and growls to steal from him. Parts go missing all the time and it saddens him to know there are people who show so little respect for the car restoration community. They are simply thieves and I have no idea how they could possibly justify their larceny. I will be very careful in the future not to disclose the locations of my finds when they clearly belong to someone.
Come back often as I add more of Norman and Val's collections. Norman has a hangar filled with cars he intends to restore and invited me to visit some day. Soon, I hope.