1949 Buick Super

1949 Buick Super
Pentax ME SE
35-70mm f/4 SMC Pentax-A
Fujifilm Fujicolor 200

I normally save all of the old parked cars that I find for my annual Carspotting roundup in December. (See all of my Carspotting posts here.) But I was excited enough to find this one that I’m making an exception. I’m just partial to 1940s Buicks!

There were three different generations of Buick in the 1940s. The first generation lasted two short years: 1940 and 1941. The next started in 1942, skipped 1943-45 because of the war, resumed in 1946, and wrapped in 1948. This car is of the generation that began in 1949, but ushered in the 1950s, concluding in 1953.

This is clearly an unrestored original. Just look at how the paint has faded and worn with time! I wonder what the insignia on the door used to be.

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Old Cars, Photographs

single frame: 1949 Buick Super

An old car, parked.

Chrome teeth

Chrome teeth
Olympus XA
Arista Premium 400

I’m dipping deep into the archive for this photo. I made it at the 2013 Mecum classic-car auction in Indianapolis. This is part of the grille on a 1966 or 1967 Dodge Charger.

I haven’t been to a car show in a good long time and I’m itching to go to at least one this year. I really love photographing old cars!

I made this with my tiny Olympus XA, a camera I haven’t used since December of 2020. It’s overdue for some exercise! Just look at the sharpness and detail that lens is capable of delivering.

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Old Cars, Photographs

single frame: Chrome teeth

A muscle car’s grille.

Old Cars, Stories Told

1972 Chevrolet K/5 Blazer CST: Don’t mess with Grandma!

(First published 8 August 2016.) You didn’t mess with my grandma. She was barely 5 feet tall, but she swore like a sailor and drank like a fish. And she always drove 4-wheel-drive trucks. One of them was an orange 1972 Chevrolet K/5 Blazer CST very much like this one.

1972 Chevrolet Blazer d

Grandma was so short she had to grab the steering wheel and pull herself up into the cab. That had to really work her biceps! I’ll bet it gave her a mean right cross. But had she ever needed to defend herself, she would have instead reached for the .22 pistol she always kept in her purse.

1972 Chevrolet Blazer b

My favorite place to ride was the front passenger seat, and I called shotgun as often as I could. Even though SUVs weren’t common in the 1970s like they are today  — we didn’t even have the term “SUV” then — riding around in that seat didn’t exactly give me the rooftop view of traffic that you might think. Grandma lived in rural southwest Michigan, where serious winter snow and unplowed side roads meant almost everyone owned four-wheel-drive trucks. I was used to looking at tailgates ahead as we rolled down the road.

1972 Chevrolet Blazer f

Grandma preferred the lightly traveled gravel back roads to the highways, though, and so I got to take in a lot of Michigan’s beauty while riding with her. Even when I had to ride in the high and upright back seat, I had a good view. That seat also sat a good distance back from the front seats, giving unbelievable legroom. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but now I think GM should have moved that seat a foot or so forward to give more aft cargo space. It was pretty tight back there.

1972 Chevrolet Blazer c

Grandma and Grandpa had been a one-truck family (a 1972 Dodge 100 Power Wagon) until the grandkids started coming to visit for extended stays every summer. Riding four abreast in Grandpa’s truck worked while we were all very little, but as we grew the cab became too cramped and so Grandma bought the Blazer. We ran around all over southwest Michigan together running errands and visiting various taverns for lunch or dinner and, for Grandma and Grandpa, always a beer. I knew then that back home in Indiana I wasn’t allowed in taverns. Maybe Michigan’s laws were different. Or maybe it helped a lot that Grandma and Grandpa seemed to know every law-enforcement officer in six or seven counties. Perhaps Grandma’s smile, nod, and words of greeting to any deputy who stopped in were enough to secure us. We were certainly less uptight about such things forty years ago.

1972 Chevrolet Blazer a

After Grandpa finally retired, they sold both trucks and bought a top-trim 1978 Bronco in gold with a white top. The CST package meant Grandma’s Blazer was top-trim too. This is what passed for luxury in an SUV in 1972. Today, these big body-on-frame SUVs are all but gone out here in rust country.

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Old Cars, Photographs

10 headlights

1935 Chrysler Airflow f
1935 Chrysler Airflow. Canon PowerShot S95.
69 Chevelle SS 396
1969 Chevelle. Kodak EasyShare Z730.
63 Dodge Polara 500
1963 Dodge Polara. Kodak EasyShare Z730.
56 Lincoln Premiere
1956 Lincoln Premeire. Canon PowerShot S80.
Stacked headlights
1976 Chevrolet El Camino. Nikon N90s, 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor, Fujifilm Industrial 100.
We can drive it home on one headlight
2006 Ford Focus. Pentax K10D, 28mm f/2.8 SMC Pentax-M.
'61 Plymouth headlights
1961 Plymouth. Pentax ME, 50mm f/1.4 SMC Pentax-M, Kodak Tri-X.
Ford headlight
1939 Ford. Pentax ME, 50mm f/1.4 SMC Pentax, Kodak T-Max 400.
Dual headlights
1958 Plymouth. Olympus XA, Arista Premium 400.
67 Ford LTD
1967 Ford LTD. Argus a-four, Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros.

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