Thursday, 10 February 2011

Film is Forever

Issue 1 in your newsagents long ago!
Way back in May 1979, I bought issue 1 of Street Machine magazine. I was only 14, but it changed my life. The cover car, Henry Hirise was a ‘62 Ford Consul with a supercharged 427 Chevy V8. I didn’t know what any of that meant, but I soon learned. I read the magazine from cover to cover. No more Hillman Avengers with spotlights and rally stickers for me, this was something new. This is how they do it in America! Drag racing, cruising, hot rods, flame paint jobs, tyres with raised white letters. Cooool! Inside that first issue was the introduction to the their project Rover. A low rider built from a Rover P5 coupe. I just loved Steve Kirk's concept sketches. I started drawing cars that day and haven’t stopped since. Five years later in 1984, Street Machine covered the build of Colin Burnham’s legendary Cal Look Beetle. A car so simple, so beautiful, so inspiring, I had a virtual copy built some five years later. (Oh, and because of that car I met the girl I later married.) I told you it changed my life...

 
One of Steve Kirk's fabulous concept drawings
Back to the late 70‘s, I used to cycle over to Blackbushe Airport when they had drag race meetings. It was only 5 miles from home but nearly an hour by bike. And it was there on a beautiful overcast summer day in 1979 or 1980 that I saw the Street Machine project Rover in the metal.Wow, what a car! I took a picture with my trusty Kodak Instamatic 28, and here it is, in all its poorly framed and now digitally colour-corrected glory...

My pitifully framed Instamatic snap from '79 or '80
What I can’t understand is why I used the Instamatic at all. I had better cameras by then. I’ve a box of Kodachrome slides dated April 1980 taken at Blackbushe with my Chinon CS and a 200mm lens. Maybe I couldn’t afford any film that day and I found a 126 cartridge for the Instamatic. Maybe I was sick of dragging that heavy SLR kit around when I was on the bike. Who knows the mind of a 14 year old boy? Whatever, amazingly I still have the 3½“ x 3½“  print and several more from that outing. I wonder how many cameraphone snaps by today’s 14 year olds will still be around in 30+ years. But I know that film is forever!

2 comments:

richard smith said...

with you brother
i bought this mag (i was only 12 though ha ha )
made a lasting effect on me as all of my school work from that moment on had flames and side pipes etc
i wrote to them and had an artical in the mail bag (called wellington boot ) red morris minor on cover
richard

richard smith said...

with you brother
i bought this mag (i was only 12 though ha ha )
made a lasting effect on me as all of my school work from that moment on had flames and side pipes etc
i wrote to them and had an artical in the mail bag (called wellington boot ) red morris minor on cover
richard