(first posted 10/5/2011)
Walking past the train station the other day, I found this lovely Ford Thunderbird parked at the commuter parking lot. It immediately got my attention, because it seemed to be in such a lovely cared for but decadent condition, halfway between being a daily driver classic and a rolling resto project. How in the wide wide world could this car land in this particular spot?
Sweden is full of Americana. American cars are abundant, especially on the country side. Sweden has a long tradition of importing cars from the states, from the fifties and up. Cars that have been cared for decades are now exported back to their country of origin and sold for big money. But of course, people with that kind of inclination seldom stay without a project, and other cars are imported back to Sweden in return.
And so I guess it is with this car. It has obviously been living in a very hot part of town. I’m not familiar with those kind of rust patterns, they look positively sun burned more than anything else.
O’Brien Ford, Monroe. Land of Lincoln. AAA Michigan. Does that make sense to anybody?
What boggled my mind was the way it was rust proofed and painted. Instead of doing the whole car, it has been fixed in patches. The paint has cracked and flaked, the rust has simply been brushed off, with a brush by the look of it, and the metal then spray painted in different colors. Somebody wants this car in this particular way. Somebody wants to live their life in a patinated way.
I will call this town Hick Town, Sweden. It is an economic backwater pocketed into the most fertile land in Sweden. Just miles away, the scene looks differently, with larger towns and a life that seems so far away from this little parking lot. Taking the train home from Big Town, I was just so flabbergasted by the look of this car.
The baseball cap on the gear selector simply says “Thunderbird”.