Old cars, trucks, farm tractors on the edge of a field or caught by a web of wood lot trees.
The family wagon or pick up truck parked up back on the edge of a pasture. That sits, waits and nothing happens. Except rust and neglect as Mother Nature takes over. Young saplings growing up around and through the vehicle permanently putting in park mode. Maybe rodents using it for a winter Maine home. Hopefully the windows put up to keep bigger wildlife out of the snowy hideaway shelter on wheels.
People in Maine are not hoarders just because they don’t remove old vehicles from their land.
The longer you have a automobile, farm tractor or pick up truck, the greater the attachment. The intention to someday fix up what ails the old vehicle. It’s in the back of your mind. Or to cannibalize it for parts for a new version of transportation put on the road to replace the old faithful. The rusting iron gets visits with a tool box for the sampling of parts. For lots of reasons, it is hard to let go of the vehicles we depend on that get replaced but never forgotten.
Like a family pet, the abandoned old car, pick up truck, farm tractor is a big part of the family.
Have blogged before about Sally, the 1998 red Jeep Grand Cherokee bought new and stored, waiting for repairs. She got an eye poked out by a Maine black bear meeting.
In the rear woodlot of a Maine farmstead, you also find antique iron farm machinery. Plows, harrows, discs, diggers, hay equipment, crop sprayers, One or two row horse drawn or early farm tractor attachments hidden from view. These farm implements are a possible lawn ornament when pull out and cleaned up with elbow grease. To help remember how hard our farming and lumbering relatives worked with what they had at the time.
The wagon wheels with metal rings and various states of decaying wooden spokes. The better examples of early Maine farm machinery ideal to relocate to local agricultural museums. For the show and tell exhibits of what it was like farming the fields, harvesting the timber out in the woods.
All used back before six and eight row this or that for farming. Or for timbering with automated wood harvesting operations using expensive hydraulic pumps, whirling saw blades and riding on huge tires or rubber tank like tracks. All “won’t she go I guess maybe chummy” revved up with high powered diesel engines. To pull them back and forth and round and round fields and woodlots for food and timber production.
Whole or portions of old relic cars, trucks, who knows what else hiding in the Maine woods. Parked in what used to be a field that neglected long enough becomes a woodlot.
Perfectly preserved and surrounded by bushes, trees and often near rock piles. With farming a new crop of rocks or Earth apples always swimming to the surface. Frost is the propellant to create the rocks that can mess up a planter or harvester. Sometimes the abandoned vehicle or piece of lumbering or farming equipment not considered such an eye sore. Serving instead to remind the next generation what an earlier family members used to til the soil for planting seed, cultivating and harvesting the bounty. More abandoned cars, trucks images.
Graveyards for junk cars are interesting to tour too.
On the way in to unload metal to recycle you see the rows and rows. Stacked on top of wherever the pay loader placed them and not so perfectly in line like highly trained soldiers.
More variety in a junk salvage yard too then a family’s own personal stash out on the edge of the back forty acres.
You can’t help the nostalgic feeling the old assortment of automobiles causes inside.
You want to help repair it, get it running again. You also find yourself considering just what that late
1940’s Chevy, Ford or in this case Pontiac looked like brand new. When wearing original colors you peek-a-boo detect from a damaged fender section of sheet metal that flaked.
What shade was she painted as the family sedan, say a form of jade green blue? Before the weather elements and time changed all that. This Pontiac when it had no missing trim or pitted chrome. That rolled off the assembly line in the Motor City of Detroit back in the 1940’s.
Before Interstates and Internet when it looked a lot different all spiffed up and polished. Sparkling in the sunlight with no miles showing. Tires with air. Glass not broken or missing. The high beam a button you pushed with your foot to light the way at night. Everything working as it was supposed to with all the parts present and accounted for back in the day. And the VIN and all her parts wearing matching numbers show she is true blue original. No one monkeyed with her and the classic ride for the time set to factory specs.
Sometimes out in the woods of Maine spying with your little eye an old pick up you remember passing on the highways of your small Maine town.
You might even be related to the man who sat behind the wheel. Who everyone knew should not really be driving. We all make compensations to our driving habits to move over and make plenty of room. To make sure those with poor eye sight and delayed reaction times get from A to B safely.
Car crushers a few years picked up the pace of racking and stacking ’em.
Back when metal prices peaked and reducing the yesteryear vehicle assortment populating the Earth. The oldie goldies in the original paint fading and rusting slowly while sinking into the salvage yard ground are less in number.
Many plucked, squashed, wrapped with a hair net like spider man tough web material. Put around them to keep the debris generated from the making them pancake thin for easier hauling to the smelters from blowing around on the highway.
It is a privilege to see the ones parked out of sight behind tall fences to be legal and play by the junkyard rules.
Take a stroll if you have permission. My cousin owns a junkyard. I get to tour to gawk at the old Gremlins, Pintos, Vegas. The decade by ten year span somewhat organized so they can find the parts to sell. Popular and not so mainstream vehicles on display and used for part removals. To keep another sedan, wagon, convertible, pickup or bigger truck the same vintage on the road again. Thanks to recycled salvage parts that are cheaper or because nothing new exists for replacement parts of the old rat rod.
It is very common to find old abandoned vehicles here and there on a homestead property with any amount of land surrounding it. There is a story connected to all of them. The cause of death for each and every one is known. The list of ailments for the RIP vehicles lost though as the original owner passes on and the information is erased. Unless a grandson or collector cuts the trees holding it prisoner. To winch it out and drag it nice and easy up the back of a tilted ramp truck bed with the steel wind up cable.
The old Thunderbird, Lincoln, Hudson, Packard, Cadillac, Mustang, Camero, Firebird, GTO, International Scout, Willys Jeep, Mack, Diamond Reo, White or whatever iron horse flavor pushed and dragged.
To get it out of the resting grave and without sirens off to be nursed to health. Back into a lighted shop vehicle hospital heated with a wood stove. NASCAR and lady car mechanic posters on the walls. The radio coming on as soon as you flip the light switch. The latest find taken to sick bay and jacked up, pieced apart like a surgeon reaching for tools. Barking “put a half inch wrench”, “9/16th socket in my hand”. Hollering bring me that rubber mallet while resting on a creeper underneath the tired iron beast.
The saved parts that can be removed, sandblasted and primer-ed flat black or gray for reuse.
New ones ordered for what is toast and peeled away to take back to the recycling center section of the junkyard. Seats ripped apart for new foam and re-upholstery.
The cracked or missing replacement glass hunted down online. The bumpers and both ends of lightingassemblies sent away to re-chromed. Maybe disc brakes and radial tires added for better handling than the vehicle has ever had. Something with blue tooth, a USB port to beef up the AM only radio in the center of the dash.
Everything coming together in one slow, costly operation pumping life back into the veins of the old vehicle you dragged home like a lost animal needing shelter.
No hurry, take your time with this parade piece. Plenty of months and years pass away to get ready for whatever color is applied for a base. With clear coat sprayed on meticulously over that layer. If you did the down the the frame restoration it creates the tough decision. To match the original or something pulled out of the air instead for a costume Mopar like shocking shade color. To top off the hundreds hours and thousands of dollars pour into the bring-it-back-to-life process. It is a labor of love to restore an old car or truck and make them purr again. Down to the frame then powder coat replace everything restorations can suck up ridiculous amounts of dead presidents.
Had an auto-body dent puller and collision master tell me to buy it all done.
It is way way cheaper to purchase a vintage car or truck from a widow who just wants that bay of the garage back. The car or truck bought for far less than what was actually invested. In whatever hides under the stall tarp. Or has hibernated for years that’s a barn find originally titled to a serviceman that never made it back stateside.
Friends lend a hand and share the same strong fix for this old car fever.
The work shop with the remains of the car on jack stands receives late night discussions and lending a hand advice. Her original power plant hoisted up and out with swinging block and tackle chain. To be restored at an engine shop then carefully placed back on the motor mounts. Punched and blueprint ported eight cylinder with a wild cam or mild approach to the six cylinder power plant.
She is going to be parked at car shine and shows mostly. Maybe taken to a high school prom or delivering the bride and groom from the church to the reception. So not many miles are going to be added for wear and tear. To whatever size in cubic inches that turns the rear wheel drive ride.
The two or four barrel or heck three deuces on the top of the engine ratcheted down. Put back to as good as new performance standards before lowering the hood. Back to the future time warp time to duplicate what it was like sitting on the auto dealer’s show room floor. Re-tuned rotors and distributor cap and spark plugs with new wires. With a slurp injection of fuel additives in the tank. So it will run with unleaded gas unlike what it used to drink back in the day. When running over a hose caused the “ding ding” before you pump your own smelly gas for the lowest price petrol.
The life vital signs improving slow but sure as the vehicle restoration proceeds for what can take beyond your time on the planet.
Many old cars bought in boxes, with rolling frames and no motor, no transmission. The collector ran out of time. Unlike the appointment the Scarecrow received for straw re-stuffing. The classic vehicles or plain Jane models that take us back to war time, when rock and roll was born. The rare cars and trucks with limited production usually small in numbers ordered, built and delivered due to high sticker price tags. Higher costing than the average car owner could stomach. The ones that sold like hot cakes means lots of spare parts for rebuilding them are out there.
Maybe that was part of the appeal of Christine.
The Stephen King movie about the 1957 Plymouth Fury, that chewed up twenty cars to fill all the wide 35 mm scenes. That red and white two door is shown rolling off the assembly chain with a gun powder attitude. And like some old people that get grouchy or senile or just plain ornery as they grow old with joint pain. Maybe that was Christine’s problem or possibly just built bad to the bone. To kick and bite like an abused horse with its ears back. Or one of a kind sassy lassie that just never learned manners, grace, charm. From the care and attention it deserved but never received. Maybe cars and trucks are only turn out as good as the maintenance love and attention they receive like raising kids.
Take a walk in the woods up back a Maine farm.
Parked just inside the tree line that keeps pushing out into the bush hogged or planted farm field. Be prepared for treasures lurking in among the brush, the trees and forest vegetation. Around the rock piles as you stroll for exercise or while toting a gun in search of white tail deer or game birds. You see if you look closely. Abandoned cars, trucks, junk vehicles of all types that are usually viewed as treasure not trash in Maine.
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