There is something about abandon cars that creates a visceral response in a car guy/gal’s heart. For me it started as a little kid. As some of my readers know I grew up with an Auto Body professional, my Dad. Cars were always being worked on at home and at my Dad’s various shops. It was at those shops that I studied (really I did) the auto body repair books he used for finding and ordering parts, to memorize the front and rear of every car from the 50’s and 60’s and early 70’s. I could tell you coming or going the make model and year of every car I spotted.
Even before that I recall being captivated by the 1930’s pickup that we drove around my grandfather’s farm. It was not much more than two seats on a frame with a rusted front end, lift up sides hood covering the engine, no headlights or bumper. We called it the ‘Doodle Bug’ – don’t know why. Of course that 30’s pickup was well cared for, therefore not technically abandoned, so my first abandon car was 4 door Plymouth Fury 1958, yeah the Christine car. It sat across the road from our house in a patch of tall grass, like an island in the field that my grandfather would mow with the Doodle Bug. I recall asking if we could move the car to our driveway, but by Dad said “It needs a carburetor.” Not to be deterred, I talked my younger brother into helping me to make a carburetor. Our plan was to take a tin can and pieces of metal from an old fashion ice-cube maker (for the choke plate) and get it running. I don’t know what happened to that car (except that tin can just didn’t work) wish it was around now.
So that’s when it started. Now every time I see a abandon car, I feel the urge to bring it home and make it run. Actually, it’s more than that, I instantly can picture what it use to look like new and see the potential of what it could be again.
There’s the impetus for the this series. I’ve spent the last few years spotting and photographing these special vehicles during my wife and my many road trips, even touring around Europe.
This first is from our trip to Italy. You don’t see too many abandon cars sitting round Europe, there are some. For instance just outside of Florence, Italy we stopped at a petrol station and saw this abandon van.
Van outside of Florence, Italy.
This van about to reclaimed by Mother Earth! Best guess is that it’s VW made van. The only markings is the Autotre on the front fender, which is a use car dealership/ franchise I kept want to take a look at the engine and wonder if it would start. I then took a look around back and realized it was being used for storage of CO2 tanks.
Thanks for reading.