Never mind what I said in my last post. I'll keep posting despite my computer difficulties, although the posts may be pretty bland until I get my computer problems resolved.
Lydia and I were driving along Colorado Boulevard the other day, headed toward the feed store, when we came upon a venerable old denizen of the highway, a Chevy from the early '50s. I'm no expert of this vintage, but I think it was a '54 210. Here's a picture of a '55 210, from the good folks at Wikipedia.
Coincidentally, the car we saw had the same colors, and in general looked quite similar.
We traveled together for several miles, and I got a close look at the car, front, back and passenger side. I love to see old cars in service, and I have great respect for the people who restore and maintain them. But this car commanded especial attention from me because, while it didn't look like it had just been stolen from an automotive museum, neither did it look like a junker or a work in progress.
It in fact looked like a car that had been driven regularly since it was new, maintained well inside and out, and updated as comfort and safety standards had advanced over time. It had modern radial tires on slightly-wider-than-stock wheels, and I could see through the window that it had some sort of modern stereo setup, two improvements I would certainly make on a car of that vintage before I drove it daily. Moreover, the way the car rode strongly suggested that the suspension components had been somewhat modernized as well.
Now, I am quite sure that the owner had to have done some restoration work; that era's paint simply was not good enough to last in such condition for 56 years no matter how good the upkeep. What impressed me was how tastefully and accurately he had done the work.
I'm just old enough to remember what cars like this looked like when they were commonly seen on the road. I remember the particular shine of that era's paint, and the gleam of its chrome, and this guy had nailed them both; he had avoided the trap of finishing both to modern standards. As a result, what with the modern running gear, the car truly gave the impression of a car that had been simply taken care of that lovingly all along. I just couldn't stop looking at it; I was grateful that Lydia was driving!
Then I realized why I found the car so compelling: because the owner had successfully created for his car the same narrative that I am working towards for the Farm House. I can't tell you how much that inspired me. With all the problems I've been having and the pressure I'm feeling to work quickly, the temptation is strong just to slap some paint up on what's there and have done with it. Seeing that car in all its tasteful glory both firmed my resolve to do a job I can be proud of and reminded me that I shouldn't strive for perfection.