Monday, June 6, 2016

Project 66: Series Number 1


Homage to a 1935 Ford

Project 66, Series #1
Tim Mulcahy Photography
June 6, 2016

On a recent quest to capture images reflecting the theme “decrepit, run-down, antiquated” I had a photographic encounter with a rusted-out, old hulk of a car. I immediately bonded with the vehicle, attracted to its once noble character reflected as it was in elegant lines, curves, and rich textures – all now enhanced by history-revealing dents and dings. I surmise that in its lifetime it had been loved, abandoned, gutted, vandalized, salvaged or otherwise neglected for over 80 years, yet it retained much of its original dignity to my eyes.

At the time of our first acquaintance I did not recognize its model year or even its manufacturer. Virtually all recognizable identifiers had been sold to collectors, stolen by vandals or erased by time. After lots of research I’m pretty sure it is a 1935 Ford V-8 sedan. During my automotive genealogical exploration I uncovered Ford’s original 1935 sales brochure extolling the qualities and virtues of this then modern marvel, each of which, according to Ford, contributed ‘its rightful share to the car’s pleasing personality.’

I accepted the brochure's dual invitations to “let no angle escape your appraising eye” and to “critically examine this car’s exterior.” I’ve paired quotes from the original brochure with six corresponding images from my photographic appraisal of the car’s current exterior. Despite the disconnects between its original and current states - or perhaps because of them - the “personality” of this once-upon-a-time technological marvel shines through, galvanizing in my mind its deserved status as a respected elder of its kind – and a survivor.


All italicized text is from the 1935 Ford V-8 Sedan Sales Brochure, Ford Motor Company, 1935

“Cars have personalities – just as people do. Every line and outward detail of the 1935 Ford has been made to contribute its rightful share to the car’s pleasing personality. This well-groomed appearance is the result of designing every unit to fit the large ensemble. Horns, for instance, have just the right new curve and flare to accompany the bullet head-lamps and the broad, heavy fenders. Hood louvres are new, with vertical flute curves to reflect highlights. The handsome bumper guards are custom-designed. The radiator decoration is a precision-made ornament in keeping with the swank of the whole front-end.”

"Bullet-type headlamps with rustless steel rims sparkle brightly just above smart new horns."

"The highly crowned fenders combine handsomely with the large 6.0 x 16 tires with wide treads."

"All the spokes of the famous Ford wheel are welded into a single piece of steel embracing the rims and the hub.  Such a wheel is practically good forever."

"Instruments include a large speedometer - an electric oil gauge - engine temperature indicator - ammeter, and fuel gauge.  A roomy compartment for gloves or maps is in the dash.  This is the ingenious revolving ash tray in the dash.  The ash tray may be removed to accommodate a beautiful radio dial."

"The gas tank filler cap which is cleverly recessed in the left rear lamp bracket is more readily accessible than ever.  The tail lights have reflex glass."

"The sloping rear end gracefully disposes of carefully handled highlight body moldings."

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Project 66 - A Photographic Celebration of My 66th Year

May 4th marked my 65th birthday and the first day of my 66th year on this incredible blue marble we call planet Earth.

To mark my 66th year I have decided to undertake a year long photography project I have dubbed "Project 66". Starting on June 6th (6/6; ie. "66") and then on the 6th day of each of the next 10 months I will post on my Tim Mulcahy Photography Facebook page a photo essay consisting of exactly 6 images. The total series will therefore consist of 11 series of 6 images each (total 66). The final series will be posted on April 6, 2017, just under one month shy of my 66th birthday.

Project 66 will be a creative challenge for me and hopefully an appealing visual experience for all supporters of Tim Mulcahy Photography. I have lots of ideas and look forward to sharing 11 original creative series with you.

So help me embrace my 66th year by following "Project 66".