Car Photo of the Day: Still Life with M-16

As many of you know, I’m not a big fan of car shows. It all boils down to the fact that to me the natural habitat of an automobile is on the road. Static displays detract from the object’s purpose. Overlay the static display with judging, and all sorts of unrelated to cars – but ingrained in human behavior shenanigans ensue.

One such set of shenanigans are cutesy decorations. Those bizarro “leaning kid” dolls lie atop this pile, followed closely by Elvis mannequins, and drive-in trays with plastic burgers on them. Restoration photo books are one thing, as they are at least directly related to what you are looking at, as are period-correct materials about the history of the machine. Lying somewhere between these two extremes is captured above. This display is in a weird grey area between “period correct accessories” and “too cute” (if you could call it that!) I saw this vehicle at the only car show I regularly attend, which is the one put on every June by my little home town of Arlington, WA. I feel like it is important to “show the colors” so to speak and bring my car if I can. Militaria is always sort of an oddball category anyway, and the guys that collect these machines are a tad wacky. The car show organizers never have a judging category for them, so they end up pooled with other oddball (meaning not STOCK OR HOT-ROD DOMESTIC VEHICLES FROM 1925 THROUGH 1975… they always manage to squeeze 20 judging categories out of THAT group!) machines … such as imports, and race cars, and other miscellanea lumped into a giant pot called “Specialty Cars.” Of course guys with 69 Camaros and C2 Corvettes also throw themselves into “Specialty Cars” because they feel like they have a better chance of winning there… go figure. See what I mean about shenanigans?

Anyway the poor Jeep and armored car guys don’t have a hope in hell of winning anything so they usually just congregate in small, camouflaged groups and look a little PTSD’ed. This particular year though this one guy made a run at success with a full-blown Vietnam Era accessory display. If he’d pulled off a hovering Huey squadron he may have won Best of Show, but I think he struck out with just a toy M-16.

3 thoughts on “Car Photo of the Day: Still Life with M-16”

  1. You’re onto something there Dan. Nostalgia plays a huge role in the collector car hobby… something I’ve forgotten.

    I guess my view is skewed as “my” collector car was built when I was a year and half old! If I were to indulge my nostalgia in an automotive fashion I’d be driving a Mk1 VW Golf, aka Rabbit. Or maybe a 1st generation Toyota Supra (driven by one of my college roommates and the car I learned stick-shift on at age 18.)

    You know I see old Rabbits around, but very few Gen 1 Supras.

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