Thursday, September 12, 2013

Is It a Car? Is it a Plane? It's an Aero RC!

Photo by James Emler
I am the last person on earth who would get excited about an automobile. On a recent trip down to Victoria I found the traffic overwhelming and soul-destroying, and it was not even rush hour. I re-affirmed my belief that cars are the bane of humanity. Yet, this strange conveyance, parked in Brentwood Bay, captured my eye. (The photos have been put into B&W, as the polished aluminum surface reflected the clear blue sky so well it could have been a mirror.)
Photo by James Emler
A handmade car! Not only that, a steam-punk handmade car! (James had pointed out a Bentley on the way down, and said it was completely hand built. Not that anyone could tell just from looking at it - it was as seamless and sleek as a Lexus.) The front grill looks like a Rolls Royce, with a few extra lights.
Photo by James Emler
The vehicle was a magnet for attention. Everyone who passed by had to stop, gawk, and take a picture with their phone. Look at the riveted leather spare tire cover! (And those are racing tires, BTW.)
Photo by James Emler
The incredible dashboard is actually from an airplane. It can measure altitude as well as miles-per-hour. And check out the waxed linen knotwork covering the steering wheel. (There! Can't get away from textiles after all!)
Photo by James Emler
There are several handcrafted, buckled leather toolkits attached to the outside of the vehicle. There are even leather straps latching the hood.
Photo by James Emler
Now, I am sure a Bentley parked in the same spot wouldn't have attracted so much wonderment and fascination from passersby. Not just sparking our basic human curiosity, I believe this car excited the imagination and spoke to a deeper need for the unique and original mark of the artist in the world around us. This vehicle is obviously created by a person, not a machine. It rolled out of passion, not off an assembly line. My guess is that the owner is an aficionado of early automobiles and airplanes, a lover of the age when we imagined the shape of things to come. This car is a work of art, a glorious manifestation of one person's dreams. To encounter such a rarity, on the street, far from any formal institution, is a magical thing.

2 comments:

  1. Magical, indeed. Thanks for this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous9:39 AM

    Wow! As my dear old Mom would have said, "There's a lot of work in that!" Thanks for posting James' beautiful photos.

    ReplyDelete

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