What a gorgeous day! After a chilly start, there were blue skies and skittering white clouds, and temperatures topping out in the high 70s. A friend and I rode our bikes up to Year One in Braselton for the Year One/Chip Foose Braselton Bash, a car show to benefit the Progeria Research Foundation.
We parked in the special motorcycle parking area, amid lots of Harleys and custom jobs, and just a few sport bikes. Most of the show cars were old Chevrolets and Fords. But there were also kit-car Porsche 356s and a kit Shelby. I understand wanting to build a kit — the paint jobs and interior workmanship were great — but it was odd to see them identified as if they were the real thing (“1967 Shelby.” No, it isn’t.). Only when you looked closely could you see the manufacturer plates revealing their true ancestry.
Having survived a partial restoration of a Porsche 356C, I’d say the appeal is to resurrect the car of your dreams, to own the dream car you couldn’t have when you were 13, to make it your own by bringing it back to life. I loved taking the Porsche’s engine apart, cleaning all the little nuts and bolts and admiring the imagination behind their engineering, replacing the worn parts with perfect new matches, as if performing metallic organ transplants.
My favorite at the show, though, was an old red Econoline van. The red paint was clean, but had lost its shine. At first I thought “so what?” But then I walked around the back and saw the interior. Wow! All paneled and carpeted. Yes, I know lots of guys did that. But not like this. Oak paneling with inset cabinets, complete with porcelain pulls (ah, talked the wife into playing along, eh?), framed prints on the wall, upholstered engine cover. All with a railroad theme. It was a dandy.
So (to me), the sort of work we saw today is (at its best), a form of time travel. And that sense was underscored by the ’50s and ’60s music they played over the PA at the show. It worries me that all those ancient lyrics are stored in my brain, rather than more useful material. Hard to resist the urge to sing along with those familiar tunes — every little hook and woo-woo. Holy cow, I feel suddenly old.