Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Art of the Chop—1970 Thunderbird

What if Ford had further developed earlier Thunderbird design cues such as slim rear quarter windows and rear fender skirts on their almost-a-fastback 1970 model? I pushed the front wheels forward several inches for a shorter overhang and more classic steering wheel-to-axle proportion. As extreme as this looks, it's just about the same as the classic Continental Mark II of '56-'57. 

Photos of older cars are harder to find than press photos of new cars, so I'll take what I get as long as the resolution is adequate. This car had seen better days in the original, so while I fixed a few flaws in recreating it, I kept the look of a slightly used car. I'm including the original photo below to show that in addition to the changes to the car, I "touched up" the background as well. There was something about the car that screamed for graffiti, which I found on a photo of the new Kia Optima. I also deleted the apartment building in the rear and added a canopy of trees for that "tree grows in Brooklyn" look which I find so appealing.

Original image of a fading glory, a white 1970 Thunderbird standard coupe, which I found through Google Images. Even in less than mint condition, vintage Thunderbirds have a glamour about them that doesn't fade no matter how much the paint does. 

19 comments:

  1. WOW! The minute you add fender skirts the Pontiac (Knudsen) influence on the design really comes through. Holy Bonneville, Batman! Shortening the front overhang really improves on the original. I just question whether the fender extension aft of the front tires is necessary. Room certainly wasn't needed under the hood. The grafitti background shouts that the mod, hip 70's have arrived. Flawless effort. If this is you with 9 fingers, 10 will really make you a force to be reckoned with. Thanks for another 70 Thunderbird chop :)

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  2. GOOD MORNING CASEY, THE SKY IS CLOUDING UP AND A LITTTLE THUNDER TO THE EAST. THE GRASS DOES NEEDS SOME RAIN.IT USUALLY RAINS AT LEAST ONCE A DAY HERE IN FLORIDA IN THE SUMMER.
    NEAT CARS. BUT I LIKE ALL YOUR CARS. I WONDER WHERE THE GIRLS ARE TODAY.MAYBE SLEEPING IN FOR THEIR BEAUTY REST. I DON'T NEED BEAUTY REST, MY WRINKLES ARE WELL SET.J/K
    HAVE FUN TODAY AND MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY.
    GRANNY. HI GUYS...............

    GRANNY

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  3. Good morning, or afternoon! I just walked around outside for 15 minutes and shot 89 photos, lol. I got a couple of good butterfly pics and morning glories. will post 'em later.

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  4. Good morning all, late sleep and slow start today, but I like it.

    Oh, Casey, I took your suggestion about my little Thru the Knothole photos and framed the three Paris scenes in a vertical frame. I like the look. They will go up on the wall today. Also I took Granny's idea on the sepia TTKH rain shot, and framed it as a table stand alone.

    Found some frames on sale yesterday and guessed about the size. Turned out one was a little small for the painting I had done on a board canvas, so I cut the painting to fit the frame. Wow, gave it a whole new look that I really liked. It goes up today as well.

    Casey, did you happen to get by to see Marius blog on Liberty Square? I've studied the Hungarian Revolution statue a couple of times and all of a sudden Pow! the lines and diverse architecture in the background really hit me. It is awesome.

    Have a good day everyone, I'm going to get back to work on my 'special blog project' today. I think I am about half way complete.

    Looking forward to your 'butterfly kisses' later today.

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  5. I"m glad the framing idea worked out for you! I've also cropped existing art in a different way, and ended up liking them more. "No Fear" in making art is one of the secrets!

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  6. Casey you might get a "Kick" out of the Route 66 venture if you haven't seen it yet. http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/video-essay-micro-cars-travel-historic-route-66-21497733#video=21519838

    From the new fearless artichoke annie aka RR

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  7. OH ANNIE YOU JUST TICKLE MY BIG TOE WHEN YOU COME UP WITH NEW IDEA. CASEY IS A GOOD TEACHER EVEN IF HE DOESN'T KNOW IT. TAKE A PICTURE OF YOUR PICTURE AFTER YOU PUT IT UP ON YOUR WALL SO WE CAN SEE IT.MARE IS OUT OF TOWN FOR A FEW DAYS.
    GRANNY

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  8. Remember Kodachrome, Casey? You will LOVE this article and video. I just stumbled upon this reading the local news.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/ad32e87d-29d3-5427-84b9-34e73b6900e6.html

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/article_ad32e87d-29d3-5427-84b9-34e73b6900e6.html?mode=video

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  9. I love the background, maybe Graffiti was inspired by the film, American Graffiti which pays homage to cars in the 50's.

    A very young actor with little talents became a legend a few years later, his name is Harrison Ford.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFgTMYEaWlc

    I remember seeing this in theaters, and I was only 2 years old!!!!!

    Keep up the awesome and inspiring work, my friend.

    Woody

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  10. I can't imagine remembering anything from when I was 2 years old. Well maybe just something about my brother handing me pieces of my mother's Miessen china to smash. That was fun...for a minute. Ouch.

    Anyway, do you remember the blond in the T-bird from American Graffiti? It was the Thigh Master (Mistress) herself, Suzanne Summers.

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  11. believe it or not, I've never seen American Graffiti! Not in the theaters and not on video or TV, just one of those things.

    I remember a few things from when I was 2 and 3. my mother taught me to read music starting at 2, and while I don't remember the lessons, I remember sitting on her lap while she played the piano and I remember seeing the colors of the sounds. I didn't speak until I was 3 though, so she must have had the patience of a saint. By the time I went to kindergarten I could play minor Bach pieces. Didn't really help with getting along with other kids though, lol.

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  12. Good wee hours everyone! It's 2:11 a.m. and I'm normally up at this hour. Haven't been able to fall asleep at night for over 20 years. I've grown to kind of like it!

    I watched part of American Graffiti on TV just yesterday! Saw Harrison in a cowboy hat, singing in a voice you'd never imagine could come out of that pretty mouth! LOL What a hoot! Wolfman Jack was playing on the radio and I do remember his show very well! I was born in 1952. But I have an older brother and sister who got into popular music when I was maybe 3, so I had a head start.

    Mom taught me to read at 18 months so when I was 2 or 3 I started reading the newspaper every day. One of my sweet maiden great-aunts always said it ..."was the strangest sight I ever did see!" LOL I wish I could have played piano then though!! Wonderful, Casey! Do you still play?

    Katie

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  13. I don't sleep well either.... Yes, I still play piano but very rarely. I actually have a degree in music composition too, but I've always worked in art.

    Gonna try to lie down now and see if i can rest.

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  14. Casey,

    This Thunderbird is really slick! Love it. A friend in Columbia, SC, had a 71 four-door that was his mother's. The leather that Ford used in those days was just unbelievable in both touch and smell. I think they must ahve used the same supplier for years, because the leather in the 71 seemed to me to be exactly the same as that in my neighbor's 53 Lincoln convertible. It was black in the Thunderbird and dark green in the Lincoln, but it smelled and felt the same and seemed to be of much higher quality than many that I've experienced recently. Lower quality today than in 1953 (or even 1971)? Say not so!!!

    Paul, New Yorkk City

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  15. I wouldn't doubt that leather is tanned and treated differently these days. Part of it is probably new regulations for 'safety' and fire proof-ness, and some is probably the vastly larger supplies needed so the quality is bound to suffer. My Infiniti's black leather is now 11 years old and looks brand new —there is hardly a crease or crack in it, but it has always felt a bit more like vinyl to me. The Mercedes I had before it had buttery soft leather, but it wasn't very durable, so I guess there is a tradeoff too.

    I really admire those '52-'53 Lincolns, the 'Mexican Road Race" Lincolns! They were really well-built, well-styled, and could hold their own against any car on the road. They weren't going after the Cadillac market so much in that period, having retreated a bit to the Oldsmobile 98/Buick Roadmaster level, but it was those car's great reputation that allowed LIncoln to then move upscale with its '56 and newer models. Nowadays they're so rare though!

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  16. Casey,

    I never thought of the quantity of leather needed these days. Everybody and their brother has to have leather seats, even on things like a Kia Forte! Of course, it does make it easier to get in and out for some of us, but overall I prefer cloth. Nobody uses cloth in creative ways these days -- I'm sure you remember when luxury cars had several different patterns of cloth available for various models -- Imperial even had all the fabric names starting with the letter I! I think Ilford was my favorite. The state of esthetics in car interiors these days is at an all-time low. Black, grey, tan. That's about as far as it goes. I think BMW still has red available on the 3 series and the Kia Soul has some interesting houndstooth but that's about it.

    Paul, New York City

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  17. I never knew about Imperial cloth names! That's a great bit of trivia to know, thanks! I totally agree about cloth interiors also. I have Cadillac brochures from the sixties and early seventies and as you said, there were multiple cloth options available, it wasn't the default choice. They had great brocades, sporty houndstooths, striped patterns, and they would often be trimmed with leather bolsters. Maybe this will be a 'retro' trend that eventually makes a comeback! I know a lot of people that are turning against the use of leather in clothes, shoes etc, and they won't buy cars with it either. Maybe the trend to leather will wane soon for PETA-like reasons too.

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