Chromefest: Patinated trucks out-restored by visitors' fashion sense
The Chromefest at at The Entrance, New South Wales, gets bigger every year. Last week the weather was hot—but not too hot—and I can’t complain even though brilliant sunshine is not the photographer’s best friend.
Photographing just the hotrods can become boring and same-y but, for me, its the people that provide more interest. The 1950s and 1960s fashions were everywhere and dressing up for the occasion seems to be really gaining momentum. Since The Entrance is only 25 minutes from home by car, I paid two visits on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.
As always I used my technique of asking with a smile whether I could take a photograph and I didn’t get a single refusal. Such nice people and everyone seemed to be having a great time. It’s a fun way to spend a weekend.
Of course, it’s impossible to pay a visit to Chromefest or similar events without getting a lensful of the customised transport on show. But things are changing. Not so long ago any qualifying rusty-barn or paddock find would have been restored to better than new condition. Now the emphasis is on preservation rather than regeneration. At the world’s most prestigious concours event at Pebble Beach, Florida, there are now classes in preservation. All those owners who have spent millions over-restoring old wrecks are now crying into their beer. The days of over-restoring are over; it is now “sympathetic light restoration” or “leave it as found”.
It’s also now all about patina. In some of these photographs you will see the emphasis now being placed on the sympathetic touch. One owner, Craig (photographed in front of his pride and joy below), explained that his truck had spent 60 years in a paddock way out in the outback. In the very dry air the rust had developed as a beautiful patina across the whole body. The truck cab had been dropped on to a more modern chassis and running gear and, hey presto, a running and very usable patinated truck
My take on hot rods and rock and roll captured with my two favourite cameras, the Leica X1 and X-Vario. Find more of my writings and photographs at The Rolling Road.