I get asked frequently about drawing kids, and people, and dogs, and I tell people that while I can draw those things, I have no real interest in them anymore, and today I was reminded of what it is about vehicles that gives me the true desire to render them:
I was working on polishing up a sketch of a '66 T-Bird before church began this morning and a group of men sat down with me at a table and looked at what I was working on (and some of the others I'd previously completed), and the three of them began to reminisce. I love hearing their stories. Cars and trucks and tractors aren't just objects we own, like an iPod or a book, they're full of memories. Yeah, an iPod might give you memories, but can an iPod remind you of your first date, the first time you snuck out of the house, the first time you drove, the first speeding ticket, the first dent (), or when your parents saw that dent ( )?
Vehicles carry memories, and that is what I love so much about them. Vehicles have personalities because of those memories, which is why I do believe in naming what you drive.
The Trojan Rabbit (Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail) was a clacking-axled '88 Subaru station wagon that belonged to my parents. It wasn't the first I drove, but it was the first I named, and the first I became the sole driver of. The radio didn't work, but the portable boom box did. I can remember the dog, Tia Maria, chasing rabbits when we regularly drove her out to the field in this old car. But it died of carburetor failure (the car, not the dog) of some sort, poor thing. It never did have a gender...
And I bought Sandrock, my '94 Ranger. That truck would go anywhere I drove him. I had this truck for five and a half years, 120k miles. I have a lot of memories associated with this truck. Midnight beach runs (I lived in San Diego at the time), trips to Palm Springs, San Francisco, Phoenix, Vegas. The major break downs in Ocotillo Wells and north of San Diego (that one was the middle of the night). But I had bigger plans and wanted a full-size pickup, so I sold him, but only to someone I trusted with him.
Lucy was my '06 Ram 1500. I put 3k miles on her in the first week. I bought her with 46 miles on her odometer. I fought with that name for a week, not wanting to call a full-size pickup Lucy, of all names, but the name stuck. She was mine for 8 months and 25k miles until one day I walked out the door of work, and she was gone. Yes, I cried.
MaryAnn was my stubborn ol' Fullsize Bronco, 1982 Eddie Bauer edition. After multiple break-ins and break-downs (sad memories, yes, but I did love hearing the Edelbrock carb, headers, and intake at work, and the oversized exhaust), I sold my baby to a man who had the ability to fulfill the dreams I had for the old girl. She was my primary transportation (at 6mpg!) until I found...
Delilah. I have yet to figure out if she's a blessing or a curse. A blessing because she's taken me farther in life than I ever dreamed. Because of stumbling into that truck, I fell in love with diesels, joined a couple of diesel clubs, and met people I wouldn't've met, people I wouldn't trade the world for. Because of this diesel, I've been published on the cover of the Turbo Diesel Register three times, and the fourth and final is coming up next month. And it's because of this diesel that I really fell in love with rendering vehicles. And she's a curse due to her rather frequent break-downs...
Vehicles have so many memories, and I wasn't intending for this to get so long, but once I started, I couldn't stop...the memories started to flow. I hope reading this brings you memories of your vehicles, past and present, and the dreams of the ones you want in the future. And I hope that my renderings spark memories as well. That's what they're there for, after all