When I entered high school, my friends and I quickly located some nearby walking trails. These trails were great get-away areas when skipping out on class, smoking, or taking leisurely walks with a girlfriend. Now, I’m not sure which of these three scenarios originally landed me in front of this once-beautiful ’51 Ford coupe, but this morning… about 20 years after I originally discovered the vehicle in the woods… I decided to go back to school to see if it was still there. Spoiler Alert: It was.
(Okay before you watch the short clip below – I’d like to apologize in advance for not turning my phone the proper direction for video. I do know how to do it, and I just had a lapse in judgement. This video was intended to be super quick snapchat video to send to a high school friend… The only way it could have been a worse video is if I was breathing heavily and running from the actual Blair Witch. Again – apologies. I shouldn’t have even put it on YouTube or posted it here.)
20 years ago, this sled was in pretty rough shape, and strangely it doesn’t appear much worse today. The entire center of the roof has vanished into the rotting interior, along with most of the lower half of the body. The flathead V8 is still hiding between the front fenders, though the heads and carb have gone missing. When I was in high school, I remember locating the heads in the nearby brush, and placing them inside the car. It’s possible that they are still there buried in several feet of pine needles. I didn’t disrupt the spiders much to find out.
…And then I noticed the red wheels. WAIT A SEC. This thing was a friction hotrod! It’s a known fact that only badasses and hotrodders would roll a baby blue ’51 Ford coupe with red wheels and wide whites. This thing must have been dope as hell back in its day! From this angle shown below, the car actually looks deceivingly savable. Unfortunately, it is complete crap. I’m more ambitious than anyone I’ve ever met with old rusty metal, and there is no remote chance in hell of saving this thing. Sure maybe a few pieces here or there, but not the body itself. It’s barely holding together for these photos. It’s also in a location where it couldn’t be removed without a fleet of hellcat powered Unimogs.
Below is my favorite photo from today. I don’t know what it is about moldy dashboards and cracked steering wheels that light my loins ablaze, but they get me every… damn… time. Just imagine the year is 1951 and you’re driving this car home brand new from the dealership, staring into the face of that all-inclusive speedometer. Your hair is slicked back, and the summer heat has you cranking the vent windows out. V8 under that baby blue hood. 3 on the tree shifting through the column. 100% Detroit steel. THAT is living right there.
Eventually I had to say goodbye to the old sled. I’ll visit again. Maybe not this year, and possibly not even next year. But I’ll be back to check on her. Sleep tight.