Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Detroit Iron in Edwards, Mississippi
Some of you readers may remember that in January of 2010, I posted photographs of a yard in Raymond filled with Volkswagen Beetles. Well here is the place where old American cars come to rest. It is in Edwards on the frontage road north of I-20 (also labeled Old Hwy 80 on Google maps). You can see the yard from the interstate, but it's worth a diversion to see the treasures closer-up.
I do not know who owns the yard, but he (or she) has a regular flux of vehicles in varying stages of disrepair. The ones in theses photographs are at the edge of the property next to the frontage road. They have have not moved in a long time and may be too far gone to restore (except possibly for someone who really really likes to restore cars).
One forgets how huge these 1950s and 1960s cars were. The sheet metal goes on and on, and they were heavy! The two cars above are the third generation Chevrolet Bel Air from 1957-1958. I remember when I first saw them and thought the four lights on each side were so distinctive.
Next we come to the Edsels, one of the more infamous marketing failures of the American car industry. But now they are collector's items and command serious money if in good condition. I remember a family friend owned an Edsel. He always had trendy new things. His car had the bizarre push-button Teletouch transmission shifting system, with the buttons in the center of the steering wheel hub. The buttons were projecting chrome squares - not much concern for safety in those days. According to Wikipedia®, the Teletouch pushbutton selector proved troublesome because the steering wheel hub, where the pushbuttons were located, was the traditional location of the horn button. Edsel had an electro-hydraulic inhibitor switch mechanism to prevent panic or erroneous gear-switching, but it was still a goofy design.
Most people remember the weird styling, especially the trademark horsecollar or toilet seat grille, which was unique in that era. Some people said it looked like a vagina. Nevertheless, the car still did not sell well.
All photographs taken with an Olympus E-330 camera. The two black and white frames were created in-camera with the monochrome option.