I’ve been procrastinating about writing this particular blog piece for a while now. I think it may have something to do with what I’ll call the “Glory Days” principle.
That’s reference to a Bruce Springsteen song that was popular about 30 years ago when I was finishing high school. It’s all about a guy whose best years are behind him. He peaked in high school, and 30 years later has morphed into somewhat of a barfly itching to tell whoever will listen how great an athlete he’d been in high school.
I don’t want to write an entry expounding how much better things were 30 years ago, because in truth all cycles of life have their peaks and valleys. I simply want to explain what spurred me to dig out some old photos of my first car. Modifying that car was a defining part of my youth. I’m probably recalling that car in my mind’s eye through rose-coloured glasses to some degree, but that’s my prerogative.
This past year we took the plunge to hire an outside party to finish a couple of rooms in the basement. I’d started drywalling about 2 years ago, but progress had all but shuddered to a halt. When we bought our house we’d loosely laid out a plan to finish renovations in 10 years. Upon the eleventh anniversary of our residency here, a re-evaluation became necessary. After re-directing a few hard-earned paycheques towards our handyman contractor we now have a functional space in the basement for our home office.
That lead me to the next (former) disaster area; the storage room under the deck. In all honesty I hadn’t planned much for the space besides cleaning it up enough to be able to take a step inside the room, outside the area of the door swing. But once I got going I got a bit more creative and had the brainwave to display a few VW Beetle engine lids I’ve had hidden in the rafters of the garage since we moved here.
One thing lead to another, and incrementally I found myself using up leftover building supplies that had been in my way for ages as interior finishes in the storage room. I paneled one wall in plywood sheets for instance. That became the display area for the deck lids. I actually got the idea from a display at the Vancouver Art Gallery. We went to see Douglas Coupland’s work (everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything), and one room was completely paneled in raw plywood.
Once I had the deck lids mounted I realized that I had the perfect canvas for license plate display. License plates were always offered for sale at the automotive swap meets I attended years ago and I accumulated quite a few of them. Strangely enough, the ones I most wanted to display weren’t the collectible ones. During some random search through my stashes of building supplies and car parts I came across the license plate from my first car. These days you have to give them back to the insurance company for recycling if you sell the car, so I had forgotten I’d kept my first pair. Upon further investigation I found another plate I’d mounted on the front of that Beetle for a trip to Seattle in 1989 for the Bug-In. It’s a 1962 BC plate since my Bug was a ’62 model.
Now I have my own “Glory Days” display in what my wife has labeled the “Man Cave”. I thought a Man Cave was supposed to have a gigantic flat screen TV in it and maybe a Harley, but that’s a discussion for another time.
|This is what my first car looked like shortly after I bought it in 1984.|
|This is the result of about 1-1/2 years of modifications.|
|This was the pinnacle event I drove it to; the 1985 Seattle Bug-In at SIR.|
|Another event that weekend was the VW Vintage Meet at a naval station close to Seattle.|
|Again at the Vintage Meet.|
|Again the Vintage Meet. Note the BC 1962 license plate.|
|This was a car show in 1985 at the Abbotsford fairgrounds.|