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, Iâ€™m not sure which of these three scenarios originally landed me in front of this once-beautiful â€™51 Ford coupe, but this morningâ€¦ about 20 years after I originally discovered the vehicle in the woodsâ€¦ I decided to go back to school to see if it was still there. Spoiler Alert: It was.
20 years ago, this sled was in pretty rough shape, and strangely it doesnâ€™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. Itâ€™s possible that they are still there buried in several feet of pine needles. I didnâ€™t disrupt the spiders much to find out.
â€¦And then I noticed the red wheels. WAIT A SEC. This thing was a frickin hotrod! Itâ€™s a known fact that only badasses and hotrodders would roll a baby blue â€™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. Iâ€™m more ambitious than anyone Iâ€™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. Itâ€™s barely holding together for these photos. Itâ€™s also in a location where it couldnâ€™t be removed without a fleet of hellcat powered Unimogs.
Below is my favorite photo from today. I donâ€™t know what it is about moldy dashboards and cracked steering wheels that light my loins ablaze, but they get me everyâ€¦ damnâ€¦ time. Just imagine the year is 1951 and youâ€™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. Iâ€™ll visit again. Maybe not this year, and possibly not even next year. But Iâ€™ll be back to check on her. Sleep tight.