single frame: Porsche in partial focus


Porsche in partial focus
Canon AE-1 Program, 50mm f/1.8 Canon FD
Agfa Vista 200 at EI 100

I’m a reverse snob. There, I admitted it.

My favorite car at the show I recently attended was an old Pontiac Firebird with rust in the corners and Bondo in the fenders. The fellow who brought it spoke with me briefly. He was an everyday fellow of average means who, despite being embarrassed with its condition, was obviously happy to own it.

Also present at the show: young men in expensive clothes and precise haircuts basking in the wealth that allowed them to bring exotic cars. They hung out in a small pack, an exclusive club.

My longtime friend Steve had a Porsche for a few years. He invited me into the shotgun seat a time or two and those rides were just lovely. But there’s a humility about Steve, a lack of signaling status or virtue through his car. He is just a man who had always wanted a Porsche and had, in middle age, earned the means to buy one.

Bah, my blue-collar roots are showing.

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19 responses to “single frame: Porsche in partial focus”

  1. summeriscomingmodel Avatar
  2. J P Cavanaugh Avatar

    I knew one of those guys too. He didn’t disavow that the car was a status symbol even at about 25 years old, but he loved it for what it was.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Loving it for what it is – that I can get behind!

  3. Dan James Avatar

    I’m similar in that I live near a town where the standard mode of transport for a mum seems to be a giant bloated SUV of some kind, usually a Range Rover, Discovery, or Audi, VW or Porsche equivalent. I ask myself why go people NEED such large expensive fuel guzzling vehicles? I love seeing an old Land Rover or Land Cruiser covered in mud, a proper 4×4 that’s seen genuine off road action and was obviously bought for its true purpose.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Come visit and you’ll see that the United States is the land of the bloated SUV. So much so, that Ford recently announced that they will no longer sell regular cars (save the Mustang) in the US. Chevrolet is likely to make the same move.

      However, there is a good argument to be made that the American automobile is returning to original form. Here’s a great article about it.

      1. Dan James Avatar

        Yeh but everything’d bigger in the US – the cars, the roads, the meals…You have rather more space than we do!

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Well, true dat. We’ve got miles and miles of miles and miles here.

          1. Dan James Avatar

            My brother went across the US maybe three years ago. He was incredulous at how many old cars were just abandoned on front drives. Over here you can’t do it for long, the authorities would be on to you for causing a public eyesore!

            1. Jim Grey Avatar

              Local laws govern junk cars and the laws vary from place to place. In very rural places there are generally no junk car laws and you can have as many as you want. In Indianapolis, where I lived until recently, I could call the city about a junk car and they’d simply come tow it away. My hometown of South Bend surprisingly has lax junk car laws. My mom’s neighbor there had a junk car in his driveway for two years and the city would do nothing.

  4. Dan James Avatar

    Jim if you’re ever curious about the equivalent kind of old classics to the Firebird we see across the pond, this guy’s Flickr is fun to browse…

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      What a fun photo stream! Until US/EU cars started to be built on the same platforms, and even with the same bodies, in the 1980s, EU cars all looked so strange to us here.

      My family got a Renault in 1984, the Alliance, which was I believe the 9 in EU. Its crisp styling made it look not too odd to the American eye, but was it ever a revelation inside. Comfortable (if cramped in the back seat) and well equipped. American small cars were always awful inside back then.

      1. Dan James Avatar

        Renault and to an even greater extent Citroen always seem to have made more interesting and quirky cars than the US/UK/German/Japanese brands. My dad had a Citroen BX in the mid 80s which had very sophisticated suspension as was super comfortable!

  5. DougD Avatar

    Yup, 50 years ago Porsche was the domain of college professors, engineers, and other driving enthusiasts. Now it’s the children of the ultra rich.

    There is hope, last week I saw a late model Porsche being driven by a clean cut young guy, driving spiritedly but not like a jerk, obviously enjoying the car. I wanted to follow him and tell him he was doing it exactly right..

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      At the end of the day, anybody who truly enjoys the car they own is okay by me!

  6. jon campo Avatar
    jon campo

    I’m with you Jim. I enjoy my old Ford SVT, but I enjoy my bike more.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Bike bicycle or bike motorcycle? What kind?

      1. jon campo Avatar
        jon campo

        I have a Raleigh sojourn. (bicycle) My other hobby is cycling. A lot. By the way, I’ll bet the guys with the fancy haircuts from the car show have cycles in their garage that run North of $10K.

  7. TBM3FAN Avatar

    You have no idea how lucky you are to be living where you are. Here, oh so close to Silicon Valley, you see this ^&%$ all the time from San Francisco to San Jose.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      No doubt. It’s a lot more middle class and blue collar out here in the Midwest.

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