Car Photo of the Day: Aging Gracefully

This photo either requires cropping or some judicious use of photoshop to clean up a cluttered and distracting background, but here I present it in raw form. Taken on the 2007 NW Classic Rally this is a view of a 1960 Aston Martin DB4, piloted by Duane Crandall and navigated by Bill Vilardi. Duane’s Aston is a true “driver” that has a well-worn patina that looks as comfortable on the car. Akin to a well-worn pair of jeans or a beloved baseball mitt, this level of wear is in many ways something that makes the car even more beautiful to those of us who really love cars. Museum-quality shiny brightwork has its place… namely a museum, and seeing impossibly perfect cars on the road is always a bit jarring, akin to seeing a middle-aged person wearing clothes better suited to a teenager.

I always perform a good spring cleaning of the Jaguar after I’ve completed all the winter projects that accrued over the driving season (this winter includes a rebuild of the tachometer, fixing the passenger side window, updating the dashboard lighting, and a close inspection and perhaps rebuild of the rear brakes) but a cleaning really can’t ever restore away true patina. My car has road rash, oil leaks, and wear here and there. Duane’s car pictured here is the same; with signs of loving use, but it will never be mistaken for a showroom-fresh car, which is what it is not. This car is approaching fifty years of age.