“LET NO ANGLE ESCAPE YOUR APPRAISING EYE”
Homage to a 1935 Ford
Project 66, Series #1
Tim Mulcahy Photography
June 6, 2016On 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.
“CRITICALLY EXAMINE THIS CAR’S EXTERIOR”
All italicized text is from the 1935 Ford V-8 Sedan Sales Brochure, Ford Motor Company, 1935
"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."