THE CLASSICS: A car can be a temple of desire and worship. The car is a reflection of our self-imposed expression. Since the 1960s, society has gradually forced car manufacturers to acquiesce restrictions concerning safety, pollution, and gas consumption, leaving the car designers a certain inertia for individual styling and character. Ironically, the car design has done a complete circle, becoming more of a utilitarian vehicle designed by computer analysis, committee decisions, financial restrictions, and environmental regulations. Initially, the Model T focused on the technical challenges, pushing all thoughts about its appearance to the background as form followed function. On top of everything else, restricted speeds and congested roadways have exasperated the pure enjoyment of driving. The sense of freedom; the car's original premise, barely exists. If is of little wonder that there has been a demand for the 'retro' look and why car enthusiasts and collectors look back fondly at the halcyon days of the automobile.
Selected articles/interviews are from Clive Branson's book, The Classics: Today's Passion for Yesterday's Classic Cars. The book examines the passion owners have for their restored, collectable and classic cars ranging from custom and hot rods to American Vintage and Chrome (1900s-1950s); American Muscle and Sports (1950s-1970s); and British and European Classics. Today, there is such a resurgence for classic cars, muscle cars, customized cars and hot rods. Each summer hosts a plethora of Cruise Nights and Auto Shows and each summer they are growing exponentially as owners and enthusiasts embrace what makes a car unique - its individuality. The articles are based on interviews from the owner's perspective about their car and their prognosis as to the future of the classic car.
Clive Branson is a photography graduate from Parsons School of Design in New York City and has since divided his career as an advertising creative director/copywriter and as a freelance writer/photographer. He is the author of Focus On Close-Up and Macro Photography and numerous articles for magazines and newspapers throughout North America and Britain. Clive lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario.