Monday, April 30, 2012

The Boss

The Boss by William 74
The Boss, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
A genuine former Trans-Am Ford Mustang Boss 302. And yes, that does seem a bit long winded, so we'll just call it "The Boss".

The Trans-Am was derived from the SCCA's sedan championships, and generally followed the FIA's Group 2 Touring regulations. Divided into over- and under-2 liter categories, the Trans-Am featured a broad array of European and American sports cars, and resulted in some of the automotive world's iconic cars.

Looming large among these is the Boss, Ford's factory racer for the '69 season. Over-2's were limited to 5.0 liters displacement, which rounded out neatly to 302 cubic inches. This resulted in a lightweight, high revving, powerful engine, and one of the more sought after Mustang variants (along with the Camaro Z-28 and the Challenger T/A).

This is an original Trans-Am car from the late 60's, run by the Bud Moore team. It's parked on the grid at Road America about a year ago. I like how the driver has his arm hanging out the window as he's sitting waiting for the start. Just chillin', no big deal!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Workin' At The Car Wash Blues

Elgin Car Wash-Elgin, IL by William 74
Elgin Car Wash-Elgin, IL, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
A non-neon Neon Friday entry. This classic old sign is in Elgin, Illinois. It looks a little beat up but it works pretty well.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Collinis At Home!

Lincoln Highway by William 74
Lincoln Highway, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Please drop in for cocktails! You'll find us someplace along the Lincoln Highway!

One of the original 1929 concrete markers that were strategically placed along the Lincoln Highway. This is one of four that stand along a one-mile stretch of the old road in Illinois.

The quote is from the old Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz film The Long, Long Trailer. The picture was iPhoned to look old and nostalgic.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What'll Ya Have?

IMG_0330 by William 74
IMG_0330, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Vintage Pabst Blue Ribbon beer sign. It's hung on the side of a former liquor store or bar (I think it was a restaurant, as it has a drive up window too) in Rochelle, Illinois. It's an antique store now, but this old sign is hanging in there.

Shot with Hipstamatic, with a side trip through the Lo-Mob app for extra texture.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Guest House

The Guest House  by William 74
The Guest House , a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Classic fifties motel on the north side of Chicago. The various signs here used to rotate, and must have looked amazing at night. I wonder if it stopped in this position-it's perfectly done to face the street-or if, when it broke, they moved everything around.

The Guest House It's double sided too-the back says "MOTEL" and seems to have had a marquee on it as well.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Corner Station

Corner Station by William 74
Corner Station, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

A 1950-ish hot rod Chevrolet pickup truck. It's signwritten for a fake garage (note the "KL5" phone number: it translates to "555"). It's parked in front of an old filling station that now sells vintage gas pumps and other petroliana. The owner parks it out front to draw attention to his business-and it works pretty well.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Liquor Store

Liquor Store-Aurora, IL by William 74
Liquor Store-Aurora, IL, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

This old liquor store neon sign probably said something else before the Budweiser plastic was installed. I don't know if it's original to this place or not-I think it's a bar now, not a liquor store.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Old Second National Bank

Old Second Nat'l Bank by William 74
Old Second Nat'l Bank, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Excellent stained glass clock, outside the Old Second National Bank building in Aurora, Illinois. It works, and is illuminated too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Country School

The Country School by William 74
The Country School, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Former neon sign in Rochelle, Illinois. Judging from the condition it lost it's glass a long time ago-I can't tell if it was just a neon version of this sign or if the design was different. Still, a classic.

Chicken's pretty good too.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Biscayne by William 74
Biscayne, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Introduced in 1958, the Biscayne was an entry level version of Chevrolet's full-sized line of cars, coming in under the more upscale Bel-Air. As such, the Biscayne had fewer chrome gewgaws outside, and fewer optional convenience items and vinyl trim on the inside.

This didn't mean that it was a less desirable car, though. The Biscayne's simpler trim changed the look of the car, and better yet you could get it with any engine option-from a straight six grocery getter to the 348 V-8 mill with a four-speed, creating a nice drag car in the process.

This Biscayne is a '58, and had been hot rodded a bit at some point.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Tree by William 74
Tree, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Hang around with a certain sort of photog long enough, and you hear about something called a Diana. The Diana camera is a cheap, plastic camera, with a plastic meniscus lens, a leaf shutter, and zone focusing via little icons on the lens barrel. They were originally made in Hong Kong in the sixties, and were usually imported as giveaways for raffles and opening bank accounts, that sort of thing. The are really distinct looking, black plastic with a turquoise top and a shiny lens barrel with DIANA writ large across the front.

Dianas take medium format 120 film, and their lenses have a peculiar, lo-fi effect that's usually called "dreamy" but is sometimes just called "fuzzy" or "not really sharp at all". Between the artifacts and stuff like vignettes and light leaks, Diana cameras have a unique fingerprint.

Anyway, the Diana camera became beloved for it's uniquely flawed prints, and eventually went back into production, in various formats and with different lenses available, just like a real camera. You can even get Diana lenses with adapters for your fancypants DSLR. Which is exactly what I did here, since I haven't got a darkroom and am tired of sending 120 film away and waiting two weeks.

TL;DR, I took this picture of a tree with a cheap plastic lens.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Egyptian

The Egyptian by William 74
The Egyptian, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

The historic Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb, Illinois. Opened in 1929 at the height of the public's fascination with Egyptian culture and at the beginning of the Depression, it's one of six similar theaters from this time period that are believed to still exist. Originally hosting silent films and vaudeville, the Egyptian eventually moved over to films full time, and remained a popular venue until the late sixties.

By the early 70's the theater was in some disrepair, with plaster flaking off the walls and fading paint on it's exterior terra cotta. The owner handed the building over to the city of DeKalb, and in 1978 a group of citizens banded together to save and restore the building. The theater's placement on the National Register of Historic Places helped this cause, and the Egyptian stands today as an excellent example of this style of movie house.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Grumpy's Toy

Grumpy's Toy by William 74
Grumpy's Toy, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

With a no-nonsense attitude, Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins was well known as a Mopar engine builder before starting his own Chevrolet team in the sixties. Running in the popular Super Stock classes, his "Grumpy's Toy" racers were always well presented and quick.

This is a well-done replica of "Grumpy's Toy IV", a Chevrolet Camaro.