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Rusty Old Cars and Trucks

Chris enjoys photographing the places he visits. He shares these photos as travel articles and also mixes them with creative writing.

I put this car first because if I started with one of the others, you might leave.

I put this car first because if I started with one of the others, you might leave.

Classic, Vintage, Old or Junk?

I took these photos of old cars and trucks in April, 2011 near my home in Northern Michigan. I was taken by the contrasting colors of paint, primer and rust against the background of nature. I have included the make, model and year of the ones I could determine. If you see one you recognize and have some information regarding that vehicle, leave it in the comments below.

Chris

Doesn't this look as though someone gingerly laid it on its roof and tip-toed away?

Doesn't this look as though someone gingerly laid it on its roof and tip-toed away?

I wanted to write a short, fictitious, but believable account here, describing how this classic Chevy came to rest on its roof. Every angle I tried promised crushed metal or broken glass, none of which can be seen to any serious extent on the car. So, I'm open to suggestions. How did this old car wind up on its roof, windows and body largely intact? The windshield, which is broken on the driver's side, is actually, amazingly in good condition. I would think that decades on its roof would have crushed the roof and slowly reduced the windshield to shards and splinters of glittering litter. And the tree grasping the bumper is indicative to me of nature lying in wait, always ready to take back what was taken from her.

How long do you think this one has been quietly sitting on its roof in the woods?

How long do you think this one has been quietly sitting on its roof in the woods?

"wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'"  I've got a feeling it'll still be here tomorrow.....

"wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'" I've got a feeling it'll still be here tomorrow.....

1950 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe

1950 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe  This one gives me a bit of an eerie feeling.

1950 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe This one gives me a bit of an eerie feeling.

1954 Dodge Job Rated T Truck - V8 -with the original hemi engine

This work horse housed the first hemi engine.

This work horse housed the first hemi engine.

Dodge 1 1/2 ton "job rated" truck early fifties (1954?)

These early 50s trucks, referred to as "Job Rated" by Dodge, were rated for particular classes of work so that a purchaser would have a better idea which model might best fit his purposes. They also came with a big plus; the original hemi engine. This one comes with hemi not included.

Shark Attack

This old beast reminds me of a shark with gill slits opening and closing behind the eye.

This old beast reminds me of a shark with gill slits opening and closing behind the eye.

Although "Pontiac" is clearly painted on back of the cab, I don't believe this was a Pontiac pickup.  I believe Pontiac did make a pickup in the 1920s though.

Although "Pontiac" is clearly painted on back of the cab, I don't believe this was a Pontiac pickup. I believe Pontiac did make a pickup in the 1920s though.

PBD.......Push Button Dodge

A push button automatic Dodge Dart (Pioneer).  I owned one of these treasures.

A push button automatic Dodge Dart (Pioneer). I owned one of these treasures.

1960 Dodge Pioneer

1960 Dodge Pioneer Push button automatic gears; such an efficient use of space.  I wonder if any new automobiles have this system?

1960 Dodge Pioneer Push button automatic gears; such an efficient use of space. I wonder if any new automobiles have this system?

1950 Chevrolet Deluxe Powerglide

1950 Chevrolet Deluxe Powerglide This is my favorite photograph of the cars.  I like how it stretches away and how the sun glints off the chrome.

1950 Chevrolet Deluxe Powerglide This is my favorite photograph of the cars. I like how it stretches away and how the sun glints off the chrome.

Studebaker pickup truck

Was this a purple pickup with green primer or a green pickup with purple primer?

Was this a purple pickup with green primer or a green pickup with purple primer?

1951 Chrysler Windsor

1951 Chrysler Windsor These colors caught and held my attention as I explored among the carcasses of junk cars. This old Chrysler is my favorite car in this open air museum of man's most beneficial and controversial invention.

1951 Chrysler Windsor These colors caught and held my attention as I explored among the carcasses of junk cars. This old Chrysler is my favorite car in this open air museum of man's most beneficial and controversial invention.

Traffic Jam in the Junk Yard

Do you get the impression here that the cars were pulled in over a period of years, one by one, as they broke down for the last time?

Do you get the impression here that the cars were pulled in over a period of years, one by one, as they broke down for the last time?

Sudden Impact

what was the "brush" that created this work of art?  a rock in the hand of a vandal?  The accident that sidelined this old car sometime in the 1950s?  or maybe a bullet from the rifle of a deer hunter in the surrounding forest?

what was the "brush" that created this work of art? a rock in the hand of a vandal? The accident that sidelined this old car sometime in the 1950s? or maybe a bullet from the rifle of a deer hunter in the surrounding forest?

Old cars, old turcks, actually anything forgotten but not gone, appeal to me as a novice photographer. Old barns are favorites of mine; not the beautiful restored ones, but those that were once the heartbeat of a farming family's existence. Often these buildings are filled with the decaying remnants of happy, fruitful days.

Comments

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on January 31, 2017:

Robert, thanks for stopping by and checking out the cars and trucks. the old man who owns the property is nearing his nineties. He might be willing to let the vehicles go, but he is very protective of the property as well as being eccentric. I believe the bodies of some of the vehicles would be salvageable. I agree, it is a shame. But it was a blast to be able to record it in photos.

Robert Sacchi on January 31, 2017:

It is ashamed to see these vehicle just rusting away. I'm surprised collectors haven't bought them.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on February 25, 2015:

Peg, Thanks for visiting and commenting. Yes, that last photo is one of my favorites. I'm thinking about doing some flash fiction with a couple of these photos. That may be one.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on February 25, 2015:

Don, excellent idea. I'm on it.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on February 25, 2015:

Mary, thanks for reading and commenting. Ah, yes, the shattered windshield photo. I must have taken a few dozen shots of broken glass that day.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on February 25, 2015:

chef-de-jour, nice to see you here today. Thanks for the comment and for reading and for the share.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on February 25, 2015:

Loved this walk into the past and seeing the ghosts of former mega metal vehicles. Your photos were fantastic. That Chevy Styleline in the weeds was really a bit mystical.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on February 25, 2015:

For a fictional story of how the car ended up on its roof. How about a Halloween prank? Some kids get annoyed at the owner for some reason and decide to pull a prank, steal the car and bring it into the woods and turn it over.

Mary Craig from New York on February 25, 2015:

Chris this was interesting on so many levels. First off, we've been "into" antique cars for years (owning two - one which I want to sell) anyway, second, your narrative was fun and interesting to read, and third you are one hell of a novice photographer. The last picture is truly artistic!!

Voted up, useful, awesome, and beautiful.

Andrew Spacey from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK on February 25, 2015:

Superb photos Cam, and the writing ain't bad either. A great subject to focus in on. These scenes remind me of a movie set, I can see the actors getting in and out, driving here and there, having conversations similar to the one in that short story Kansas by Stephen Dobyns.

Votes and a share.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on January 14, 2015:

Hi Jaye, It was so much fun taking these photos. I was riding my bicycle on this country road near my home and saw a few old cars in the trees. I found the old gentleman who owned the place and asked if I could photograph the cars. He was kind enough to let me go onto his property. There were so many cars and trucks, it was amazing. That was in 2011 I believe. I'd love to go back and do it all over again with my new camera and with my much improved photography skills. But I'm happy with the article as it is. I'm glad you were able to read it and enjoy seeing the old cars and trucks. Thanks for all your kind words about the article.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on January 14, 2015:

Hi, Chris...me again. I just looked at the comments and realized this hub's been "recycled." I am so glad it was since I obviously missed it the first time around.

Jaye

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on January 14, 2015:

Chris - If you're a novice photographer, imagine how good you'll be once you're a master? This is a marvelous photo essay, and I enjoyed it tremendously. You have the eye of both a photographer and a writer (storyteller, especially), so the captions and text made your photos--which would have been enjoyable alone--all the more interesting.

My favorite of all the pictures is the purple-green truck set amidst all the greenery. It is so pleasing to look at that I can imagine it enlarged and framed on the wall of a study or den.

The push-button model reminded me of the cherry-red Studebaker with push-button automatic gears my mom bought when I was still too young to drive (but that was more than half a century ago). I was fascinated by that car.

Voted Up/Awesome/Beautiful/Interesting (and there should be a button for "Reflective")

Jaye

mohammed on June 04, 2014:

Wow lovely article and very beautiful pictures though cars are old and damaged but the photos are just wonderful.

http://scrapcarontario.com/

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on January 28, 2013:

Rolly, thank you for stopping in and for those comments. These photos are very special to me. The location is just a few miles from my home and it is magical to walk among these old cars and truck.

Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on January 28, 2013:

Hi Cam... enjoyed the journey through the years and a few of these models I have own... great pictures and love what you have written.

Hugs from Canada

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 11, 2012:

Thanks for finding this hub. Old things like this are my favorite photography subjects.

Laura Brown from Barrie, Ontario, Canada on December 11, 2012:

Good to find another rural explorer. I post my photos to Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thatgrrl/

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 02, 2012:

rustorationguy, thanks for visiting my hub and taking time to comment. This is my favorite of all my hubs I suppose because of the memories of taking the photos over several visits to the place. Thank you for the compliments.

rustorationguy on November 02, 2012:

Awesome photos! I'm a huge fan of "nature bound" old cars. Not only for the forgotten stories , but the artistry of the surroundings. Truly a work of automotive art.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on October 22, 2012:

Michelle, thank you so much for getting that information for the article. I will post the info with the appropriate vehicles right away. This will make the article much more interesting to more people. Yes, great memories.

michelle on October 22, 2012:

Hey Chris - here are some car ID's for you... we'd only gotten 11 of them, but not of all of the above pics.

The "Ghost Car" is a 1950 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe - one of my favorites from the lot... :)

The Dodge job rated truck is a 1954 Dodge Job Rated T Truck - V8 - it had the original hemi engine

The "Push-Button Dodge" is a 1960 Dodge Pioneer

Your favorite picture of the cars - the way it stretches and the glint of the chrome pic is a 1950 Chevrolet Deluxe Powerglide

And the car you say is your favorite - the weird greenish and reddish one after the Studebaker is a 1951 Chrysler Windosr - that is my other favorite car from there.

Great pics, great memories. Glad there is an audience who appreciates them!!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on September 08, 2012:

Thank you Mckbirdbks, when I saw your poem, I thought you might enjoy this. Nice to have you following as well.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on September 08, 2012:

Thanks for the invitation to visit this stellar hub. Great photos. Your narrative draws your readers in.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on August 29, 2012:

Far too often I start editing after I hit Post Comment. Thank goodness they give us time to try again.

Power Ball Pythons from Mobile, AL on August 29, 2012:

No problem. I really need to read my comments more before I post them. I realized I had left out three words. My comments are a reflection of how I am as a writer.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on August 29, 2012:

Laura Verderber, I had the same feeling when I first found these cars. I suppose there is still that concern about pollution, but I couldn't help appreciating how they appeared in that setting. That was the experience that led me to doing more photography the old and abandoned of any kind. Thanks for stopping by my hub.

Power Ball Pythons from Mobile, AL on August 29, 2012:

There's a gorge where I've abandoned cars. It never even occurred to me as a subject for photographical material. I just felt at the pollution when I came across them in the woods. Thanks for reminding me that a photographer can find a subject in anything and find a way to make it beautiful and interesting.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 26, 2012:

MilesArmbruster, I wouldn't know where to begin as far as restoration goes, but I love taking their portraits.

MilesArmbruster from Somewhere on the journey on June 26, 2012:

Yes! Get me a flatbed and my weekends would be full of fun!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 26, 2012:

Thanks MJ Miller. I agree completely

MJ Miller from East Tennessee on May 26, 2012:

Great pictures and great old cars! Oh how I would love to get my hands on some of those and bring them back from the dead. It pains me to see such great old iron just wasting away like that. Wonderful hub.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 25, 2012:

Thank you Hyphenbird. It was lots of fun cataloguing these automobiles. My hub only represents a part of all the cars/trucks parked there. Thanks for your interest.

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on May 25, 2012:

You did a great job photographing the old jalopies. They are sad and beautiful at the same time. Now thanks to you and your camera, they will forever remembered.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 24, 2012:

Kosmo, thanks for taking a look at my hub and for taking the time to comment. I agree, when it comes to photographing old things, self portraits are out. Motor City seems to have dropped of its share of rust buckets around my area and I have enjoyed taking advantage of this through photography. I am in the process of pulling together some photos of other old things and will post that soon I hope. Have a great MD weekdend.

Kelley Marks from Sacramento, California on May 24, 2012:

Photographing anything old is definitely a passion of mine (except I don't particularly like to photograph myself). Anyway, Michigan must be a place with lots of abandoned autos. There don't seem to be near as many around Sacramento, for instance. Hey, I remember those old push-button cars. What an invention! Later!

cam8510 on May 24, 2012:

Thank you thoughtfulgirl2 and MsDora. This has been lots of fun for me and quite an honor too. Thanks for visiting my hub and feel free to check out my profile as well. I just rewrote it last night.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 24, 2012:

Beautiful hub and excellent photography. Congratulations on your HubNugget nomination.

Claudia Smaletz from East Coast on May 24, 2012:

Hi there,

Isn't it funny how cars have such character and "faces", especially the old ones. The photos you captured were very evocative of how sooner or later we all get old and the earth claims us for her own.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 23, 2012:

Elayne, I love the photo of the car in Hawaii. That's my kind of car. Thank you so much for reading my hub and commenting and for sending the picture.

Elayne from Rocky Mountains on May 22, 2012:

Loved your article and especially the pictures. Some are really spooky. My dad loves cars and it kind of rubbed off on me! I took a picture of a car that was here in Hawaii that was abandoned. Here it is if you are interested:

http://s1.hubimg.com/u/2029542.jpg

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 21, 2012:

Marcy Goodisch, than you so much for that. You can't imagine the fun I had taking the photos. I was crawling in and out of them and looking under hoods. Finding the right angles and sunlight was great practice for this novice photographer. I hope to post more of my photos later. I have gone to old, decrepit houses and barns to find surreal conditions awaiting me. Thanks again for visiting and for the up and up.

Chris

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on May 21, 2012:

What a great photo essay! You have created a visual story for us of the journey cars and trucks have made through several generations. So well done! Up and up!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 21, 2012:

ripplemaker, I'm with you...not a car expert. When I first drove by this boneyard hidden in the woods, I thought, "why doesn't somebody clean this up?" But then I got the idea of photographing the cars and trucks. I am a novice photographer and two extensive trips to take photos, taught me a lot about photography. Thanks for visiting my hub and for commenting.

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on May 21, 2012:

I think being a non car expert, I would have to say it would be 'junk' sorry!!! LOL BUT BUT BUT capturing it in camera and placing captions on it tells a story and so I ended up being captivated by it. Amazing how words and photos can do that. Amazing. Thanks for this!

Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! Cars gone wild can be seen right here https://hubpages.com/community/An-Invitation-To-A-... Vote vote vote!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 19, 2012:

Jeff Smith, the location is very secluded and I keep it quiet to protect the landowner's privacy. Thanks for the comment, and I do believe there could be some collectors with interest. The steel on these cars is amazingly intact.

Jeff smith on May 19, 2012:

Cool stuff. Bet there some collectors out ther who would love to know of this place

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 18, 2012:

mts1098, Thank you for stopping by my hub.

mts1098 on May 18, 2012:

I would love to see these cars in their original state...gheers and congrats on the nomination...

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 18, 2012:

Ladyjane1, thanks. The watercolor is beautiful. I am on my mobile now. I will check it on my tv later. I love old autos, especially unrestored. Thanks for visiting and commenting

ladyjane1 from Texas on May 17, 2012:

Very interesting hub and great pictures. It reminded me of a painting that my sister painted a while back and its one of my favorites. I included a link so you could see the painting. Great job here, I enjoyed your art and your hub,. Cheers.

https://ladyjane1.hubpages.com/hub/A-Woman-of-Many...