Category: Old Cars

  • Car parts on Kodak T-Max 400

    I love both of Kodak’s ISO 400 black-and-white films, Tri-X and T-Max, but for different reasons: Tri-X when I want that grainy look, and T-Max when I don’t. I didn’t when I photographed the cars at May’s Mecum auction. As happy as I was to shoot Plus-X at the auction (see photos here), I was a…

  • 1950 Hudson Commodore

    My favorite car at this year’s Mecum auction was a pale yellow 1950 Hudson Commodore convertible. I photographed it extensively on Kodak Plus-X Pan film with my Nikon F2AS and my 50mm f/2 AI Nikkor lens. Traditional cars of that time placed the body and passenger compartment atop a frame, and to enter them you had…

  • Old cars on Kodak Plus-X Pan

    Long ago, Kodak’s three main black-and-white films were Verichrome Pan, Plus-X Pan, and Tri-X Pan. Only Tri-X Pan is still made, albeit improved over its original 1940 formulation. Kodak discontinued Verichrome Pan in the 1990s, and Plus-X Pan in 2011. The thing I liked best about Plus-X was its rich, deep blacks. I didn’t shoot…

  • Up close and personal with vintage automobiles

    My favorite thing to do at the Mecum Spring Classic vintage-car auction is move in close to the cars’ details with my camera. At the Mecum, you can get close enough to the cars to touch them! (But please don’t; they don’t belong to you.) If I were to see these cars in museums, they’d…

  • If it weren’t for all the disposable income car collectors have, I’d never see old cars like these

    The Mecum Spring Classic vintage car auction comes to the Indiana State Fairgrounds for six days every May, and I always take a day off work to go see the cars. This year, my day was a little disappointing. That’s not to say it was a bad day, just that it wasn’t the pure bliss I’ve experienced in…

  • Captured: Me, Van, July, 1982

    Here I am, a month away from turning 15, leaning on Dads’s big old Chevy van (read its story here) which is parked in my parents’ driveway. Oh man, does this photo stir up a lot inside me. First, I’m about the same age here as my youngest son, about whom I wrote on Wednesday. Second,…

  • Why do so many modern sedans look alike?

    A version of this post appeared at Curbside Classic a couple weeks ago. I contribute there from time to time. Its primary mission is to document the old cars still rolling on the road, but we consider all things automotive. Check it out here. Are the world’s automakers all smoking from the same pipe? Recently Chrysler…

  • Carspotting 2013

    For years now, I’ve photographed old cars when I’ve encountered them. For the past couple years, I’ve shared the ones I’ve found with you here (see my 2011 and 2012 lists). But now I look for old cars still serving as transportation, because I write about them for Curbside Classic, a blog about these cars and…

  • Chronicling old cars

    Since being asked to contribute to Curbside Classic early this year I’ve kept up a one-post-a-week pace over there, chronicling the old cars I see still in use. The site’s mission is basically to do just that: seek out and tell the stories of the old cars that are still on the road. It’s been…

  • Captured: Fury

    Here’s another photo I took with my Olympus XA on Arista Premium 400 at the Mecum auction last month. This is my favorite shot on the roll, of the long flank of a 1958 Plymouth Fury. The giant West Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds is filled with skylights that bathe the cars in plenty…

  • Captured: 64 Chevy tail

    Even though I thought my dad’s ’66 Ford was cool when I was a youngster, even then I had to admit that Chevrolet styling was superior across the board. The triple tail lights on Impalas were always inspired designs. I especially liked the kidney-shaped lights set into the bumper on the ’68s, but my next…

  • People watching at the Mecum Spring Classic

    Late in the afternoon it began to rain, hard. I was spent after eight hours on my feet photographing the cars at the 2013 Mecum Spring Classic, but I didn’t want to walk a quarter of a mile in a downpour to get to my car. So I made one more pass through the giant…