I got a call from my nephew about his buddy’s car crop and took an immediate interest in them.


These are the days when old cars and trucks are being bundled up faster than your Internet, TV and phone services because the world no longer loves rusty old vehicles in a natural state of repose on a rural property.



In fact the local county ordinances frown upon car crops these days in that cold-blooded bureaucratic fashion where the nice civil service people want to mind the old car owner’s business in a big way. There are no conventional taxable ways for the counties to make a buck off the old rust buckets, so they hit the owners with a green tree-hugger fine and make them get rid of them.




The other part of the equation is that the scrap value of the old vehicles has gone through the roof, so they get that one last sad ride to the crusher.


Either way it is the end of the line for the old cars and trucks in many places these days. They are no longer allowed to simply give themselves back to the earth during their battle with rust and time- a war they are destined to lose big time.




We at MSCC seize any opportunity to get shots of bush cars and field cars whenever Lady Luck presents us with an opportunity to get near the old iron. The call from my nephew was about four old vehicles that had sat on a farm property for decades and were destined to be crushed by the new property owner.


The current property owner was not around when we visited his place last Sunday, so we refrained from walking onto his property to shoot the three cars and one old farm truck in the pasture. This area is about half an hour west of the city and the people are generally friendly enough if they are around, but it is not advisable to test their hospitality if they are not around.




Discretion is an asset because you do not want to overstep their policy regarding trespassing and whether it is a shooting offense or simply a dog-chewing-on-you offense. Sure these are the extremes of property owner reaction, but we were not anxious to reach the outer boundaries of trespasser tolerance that day, so we took a few pictures from the road.


A week later we made our way back to the farm with the perfect blend of cloudy wet conditions and a heightened green belt of spring foliage around the vehicles. The only fly in the ointment was the fact that the three cars (1952 Mercury, 1958 Chevy, 1958 Ford station wagon) were gone from the property.




The three old cars had likely sat on that property since the last days of Richard Nixon’s presidency and now they were gone in a heartbeat-one measly week after we first laid eyes on them.




That’s how  we learned a lesson in this madness: we did indeed have permission to be on the property from the guy and we should have taken our window of opportunity a week ago. Instead we feared buckshot and Fido but, in fairness, we once trespassed as 7-year-olds and got shot at by a farmer.That earlier lesson in childhood really took with us.


The only happy portion of the story was that we got some great shots of the old Chevy farm truck on the property, presumably because they still had to clear a path to get it out of the retirement spot. The old truck will keep us from weeping openly about missing our chance to photograph the other three rare old rusty relics.




Yes indeed, sometimes you do have to cowboy up and follow your instincts because, sooner or later, every old rust bucket that is here today will inevitably be gone tomorrow.


Jim Sutherland

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