Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Deep Patina - 1939 Mercury Eight Convertible


This Mercury has been sitting outside the body shop down the road from my house since late last summer. I kept thinking the owner would move it indoors before the snow started.

I drove past it many times, thinking I should stop and photograph it, but the car is parked on the North side of the building, and this time of year it was constantly in shadow.

Finally, the snows came. I was on my way over to Doc’s and drove by the Mercury.


I had mixed feelings about the Mercury not having been taken in. I felt badly for the car. But I knew it was time to make some pictures.

As I began looking at the car through the lens, my emotions continued to struggle. The car is in desperate shape, as you can see. The floorboards are practically gone. There’s nothing left of the seats save the springs. The once-painted dashboard deeply pitted with rust. I wondered if there was even enough left of this car to save.


Yet the aqua-colored glass that remains in the driver’s half of the windshield and the fragments of flamingo-colored plastic that cling to the steering wheel’s rim seemed jaunty and nautical. Looking across the interior with its art deco clock and out onto the long, tapering hood, the Mercury seemed almost like a boat, and I imagined a beautiful young girl behind the wheel with her Veronica Lake hair tossing in the wind, and a bright red smile on her lips.


This is a rare car - 1939 or 1940 - either the first or second year of Edsel Ford’s new Mercury brand, and carries one of the earliest mass-produced V8 engines – the famous Ford Flathead. Cars like this one begat the earliest Hot Rods, and people just can’t seem to get enough of old Mercurys, which explains why this shell of a car has not been sent to the crusher.

Wonder where it will be when summer comes around next time.

All contents copyright Jeffery Blackwell 2010

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Club Artistes Auto

Club Artistes Auto logo

My Canadian friend Paul Chenard made an exciting announcement recently, which I thought would be of interest to readers of Rubber@Road. Anyone who appreciates art and cars - particularly sports cars and racing cars - is probably familiar with Paul's work, which receives international acclaim.

With Paul's permission, I am reprinting his blog announcing the formation of an international group of automotive artists - the Club Artistes Auto. I am sure you will enjoy Paul's blog "AUTOMOBILIART",   and the work of these other automotive artists!

From Paul Chenard -

My good friend Belgian artist and friend Nicolas Cancelier thought that we should start an international group of automotive artists who like to chat, exchange ideas, exhibit their art together, and share a meal after events.

Porche 908 - copyright Nicolas Cancelier

© Copyright Nicolas Cancelier

I thought it was a wonderful idea, thus Club Artist Auto (CAA) was formed. Both artists Anna-Louise Felstead of the UK and Rick Rucker of the USA joined us in founding the group.

Porsche 956 by Anna-Louise Felstead

© Copyright Anna-Louise Felstead

Along the way, other artists who are enthusiastic about our new group have supported us. Dutch artist Ronald Hulleman kindly translated our brochure to Dutch. American artist Greg Spradlin of jumped in to provide CAA a website and email link.

Morgan Three-wheeler copyright Rick Rucker

© Copyright Rick Rucker

The goal of the members of this group is to be there and to be part of it, and all these artists exemplify perfectly what this group is about.

Maserati 250F copyright Ronald Hulleman

 © Copyright Ronald Hulleman

The potential for CAA members is huge; this is the only truly international group of automotive artists!

Shelby Mustang copyright Greg Spradlin

© Copyright Greg Spradlin

We are all volunteers, so portfolio revues can’t happen right away. But as we get rolling, I know we will a major force in the market, the go-to group for quality automotive art.

DB4GT Zagato copyright Paul Chenard

© Copyright Paul Chenard