Wednesday, February 17, 2010

1954 Chevrolet truck, loads of vintage patina

Patina is beautiful. Junkyard savants know that patina doesn’t come easy. It is an acquired change produced by age, wear or exposure to the elements. It’s a different breed of owner who drives a vehicle wearing patina. I met one such owner who made no excuses and had no plans of changing his truck’s historic look.

This 1954 Chevrolet 3100 wheeled to the curb at a busy Birmingham, Alabama intersection. I spotted the peerlessly patinaed truck and made a bee-line for my camera. I had to be quick if I was going to head off the driver for some details. 

I caught the fleet-footed, silver-haired gentleman as he made his way back to his truck after wrapping up his business matters. "It's a 1954," he said. He batted away a few other questions, "No, you can't have my name. I live on the west side of town." I pressed on. This five-window truck has the historic look of millions of miles and a million stories.

He did not seem flattered with the fuss I made over his old truck. “I’ve owned the truck for 20 years,” he said as I took a photo and followed him across the street. I asked him if I could take more photos. "Sure, as long as I'm not in them." He paused long enough for me to snap one more photo before he climbed aboard. I couldn’t resist taking another from the tailgate view as he slammed the door shut. Parting words from the eccentric driver. "Everybody wants to buy it, but all they want to give is $300." He fired up the truck, shifted the manual transmission into gear and drove away.

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