Cruising takes on a different meaning…

A little reprieve from cruise photos… sort of. Yesterday it was cruising of a different kind as hubby, son and grandson drove our two vintage vehicles to a large car show. ‘Old Car Sunday in the Park‘ is a Father’s Day tradition in our area and is “one of the largest shows of vintage, antique & collector vehicles on display in Western Canada.” Last year more than 1,340 vehicles participated. This year there were only 534 due to the threat of bad weather (which never materialized), but it was as much fun as ever! The organizers’ motto is, “If you love it, bring it!”  and it’s evident that a lot of people love their old cars, whether rusted or restored, classic or custom.

Our Vintage Vehicles

Our guys don’t claim to be ‘collectors’ — both the 1930 Ford Model A and the 1946 Willys CJ2A Jeep were acquired quite unexpectedly, thanks to the kindness and generosity of family and friends. But they both bring much delight to our men who appreciate their enduring heritage and enjoy tinkering with them.

What’s the appeal of old things? Why do we like old vehicles, vintage clothing, and the ancient history found in books, antiques and museums? I think it has a lot to do with the nostalgia created by these reminders of the lifestyle from a bygone era. We like to believe it was a simpler time, a time when quality and old-fashioned principles were held in higher esteem, and when a hard day’s work created calluses rather than stress. I doubt our forefathers would agree with that analysis, but what else is it? Why do Currier & Ives Christmas card collections remain so popular through the decades? Why do historical and Amish fiction continue to dominate book sales? Why do groups hold such successful car shows every year? I don’t have an answer. Do you?

What’s your opinion? Do you like owning any special reminders of the past?  What do they mean to you?

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10 thoughts on “Cruising takes on a different meaning…

  1. elderfox says:

    I don’t think our forefathers & mothers were “collectors” as such but furnished their lives with what was achievable & accessible for their life styles, and what we have come to cherish, as you wrote “…when quality and principles were held in higher esteem”. Today we seem to have a disposable lifestyle.

    • Carol says:

      That “disposable lifestyle” is an apt description of what I often criticize as too much built-in obsolescence. There’s a little too much of that now, isn’t there?

  2. Jenn Hubbard says:

    I think we admire skilled craftsmanship, which is what it takes to build a car or a house, make a quilt or a pie from scratch. It’s easier to buy these things, and mass production has made the quality more uniform, but there’s a feeling of self-reliance and individual capability that we’ve lost. So we value the hand-crafted, especially when it’s more durable.

    Many older cars were mass-produced, of course, but their construction was simple enough that the home mechanic could fix them without having a computer in the way.

    I think there is some nostalgia, too–but it’s good to appreciate older things, rather than always being in constant quest of the new.

    • Carol says:

      When we got our first vehicle with air conditioning and DH looked under the hood, he commented that it was just a mess of wires “connecting one potential trouble spot to another.” What’s under the Model A’s hood is so uncomplicated in comparison and he quite likes that. I like the parts of life that are less complex, too.

  3. Shari Green says:

    Memories and nostalgia…oh, I get nostalgic just thinking about nostalgia, lol. I’m such a sap. But the memories are meaningful and cherished — a certain antique sewing machine is treasured for that reason. ;)

    I think, like Jenn, I also value and appreciate the craftsmanship that so often seems a thing of the past — like shaker furniture, handmade quilts, etc. Perhaps those times really were simpler…would we still put in the countless hours to make such fine things if our days didn’t seem so full and cluttered?

    Looking forward to another ride in the Model A (and boy, do I remember fondly those times I was lucky enough to drive the Jeep!). :)

    • Carol says:

      Good craftsmanship takes time, and maybe it’s true that today’s lifestyle is too full to allow us that time. I don’t think I’d want to return to the physically harder days of our ancestors but an article I read recently by Skye Jethani (Leadership Journal, April 2014) says, “Our culture is more work-centered than any other on the planet and, very possibly, more work-centered than any other in history.” For me there’s a vague appeal to the more localized lifestyle that we would have without modern transportation and communication.

  4. I spend way too much time reflecting on the past. Mostly I have photos and then there’s music. I’m listening to Frank Mills because his music reminds me of my parents. Good on the boys for taking Bob to a special event.

    • Carol says:

      I just edited my previous reply to add info from something I’ve recently read, and music is mentioned in it, too. While a particular genre of music or a special song may remind us of memorable times, the very act of music can be an analogy of life:

      “Music,” said composer Claude Debussy, “is the silence between the notes. It is the orderly rhythm of sound and silence that creates melodies and the soul-stirring music we value. Without silence there can be no music, only noise. Similarly, redeeming work requires an orderly rhythm of work and rest. Without regular periods of rest, our work loses its meaning and value and deteriorates into chaotic toil…What our culture has lost is a rhythm of work and rest in a frantic pursuit of achievement. As a result we are making a lot of noise, but very little music.”

      That certainly speaks to the way we live in this generation!

  5. Laura Best says:

    The past.–I guess you could say I’m kind of hooked on it. ;) I rarely begin a story with a contemporary setting. I can’t seem to stop myself. Strangely, the past I write about doesn’t feel as though it was that long ago. Just goes to show how we can fool ourselves into thinking that time isn’t flying by and we’re not aging along the way.

    Beautiful vintage cars!

  6. Carol says:

    Thanks, Laura. Maybe it has nothing to do with aging, and more to do with the appeal of an earlier time. I’d hate to give up some of my present-day conveniences, but other than that, I could enjoy living in my mother’s era.

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