Monday, July 30, 2012

Farm Fresh '53.

Chevy by William 74
Chevy, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
I saw this Chevy coupe at the nostalgia drag races, competing in one of the stock classes. As I was shooting it the driver said "So, do you have a filter that makes it look better?". I told him that I called cars like this "farm fresh", and he told me it was exactly that. His father (also racing that weekend) found it in a barn the week before, and they'd been pulling all nighters to get it the old girl up and running again.

Still packing the original straight six, the old Chevy ran faultlessly-if a bit slowly-all weekend.

Friday, July 27, 2012

West-Wind Motel

West-Wind Motel by William 74
West-Wind Motel, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Old school neon sign in West Chicago, Illinois. It still looks pretty good, and the glass is all intact, but I don't think it's lit up anymore (at least, I haven't seen it turned on in recent memory).

Too bad-it looks pretty good lit up. You can see it for a few seconds in the film "The Blues Brothers"-the West Wind is the motel Twiggy* is waiting at, near the end of the film.

*the chic lady in the Jaguar convertible that the boys meet at the gas station.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cheer Up

Cheer Up by William 74
Cheer Up, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Made by the Orange Smile Syrup Company of St. Louis, Cheer Up was one of the innumerable locally bottled soft drinks that were around in the 1930's. I would wager that this sign is from about then, maybe immediately post war. I found it on the wall of an old building on the west side of Aurora, Illinois that I believe was a corner grocery at one time.

As always, it pays to get out of the car and wander around.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Spirit of '65

Spirit of '65 by William 74
Spirit of '65, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Spent the weekend channeling my inner Bob McClurg*. This '55 Chevy gasser was shot at Byron Dragway in rural Byron, Illinois, during a nostalgia drag race weekend. All old cars, nothing newer than 1965, no modern engines or billet wheels, no modern graphics, just classics and raw horsepower.

*famous drag racing photographer of the sixties and seventies.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Midway Eat

Midway Eat by William 74
Midway Eat, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Neon Friday!

I've been traveling past this sign for years and years now, but this is the first time I've managed to stop and shoot it. The Midway Restaurant in Random Lake, Wisconsin ("Random Lake? Somewhere over there" as I like to joke every time we go). It's a nice little diner, and does a good trade because of Road America race track, in nearby Elkhart Lake.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ran When Parked

Ran When Parked by William 74
Ran When Parked, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
"Ran when parked" is one of those classic things you read in old car want ads, usually for some old crock that's been sitting under a tarp in someone's back yard for 27 years. It almost always means "won't run now", along with "brakes seized solid" and "squirrels have been storing acorns in the exhaust system".

Anyway, I thought of that phrase when I found this old Schwinn parked in front of one of the warehouses at the former Green River ordnance factory. It looked in pretty good shape, but it had certainly been sitting a while. The headlight was rusty, the chrome peeling, the tires flat.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Aurora Cycle

Aurora Cycle by William 74
Aurora Cycle, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Through the Viewfinder Tuesday! I've shown you this sign before, but I felt it was worth giving it the old Duaflex Dust 'n' Crud Treatment.

This is one of a few ghost signs in the city of Aurora, and it proves my point that it's always worth it to get out of your car and walk around a bit.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Bike by William 74
Bike, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
A rare Simplex Compact Sportsman motorcycle, in what I like to call "Farm Fresh" shape. Strapped down in the back of a cool custom fifties pickup truck.

Corner Station

Saturday, July 7, 2012

One Hour Cleaners

Vintage neon sign in Villa Park, Illinois. A classic fifties Googie style, complete with arrow pointing the way. Sadly, a lot of broken glass on this one.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Ford by William 74
Ford, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
The Return Of TtV Tuesday! This is a 1950 Ford coupe, the famous "shoebox". The '49 got this nickname almost as soon as it hit showrooms, because it was FoMoCo's first properly modern-styled car. The '48, a fine looking car in it's own right, was basically a pre-war model with some styling upgrades. The new car, along with the new '49 Mercury, had smooth, all-enveloping bodywork. More importantly, the Shoebox was still a simple design, and practically begged to be chopped, channeled, lowered, hopped up, and metal-flaked. Truly a classic design.

Naturally, I've shown you the very front of a standard Shoebox!


Parkwood by William 74
Parkwood, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Another one from the "Great Chrome Badges Of The World" collection. This old Chevy Parkwood was well seasoned, but had great chrome, pinstripes, a set of Astros, and a big block under the hood.