From Pumpkins to Tangerines – Colourful Orange Vehicles

Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow.
– Wassily Kandinsky –

Orange – it can be the color of a carrot, orange peel, pumpkin or persimmon, to name just a few shades. It was never my favourite colour until I walked into a car dealership and saw a Tangerine PT Cruiser. It was love at first sight.

The colour continues to appeal to me, as you can see from this set of photos I have taken at various car shows and auctions.
Irricana Pioneer Truck Museum Ron Carey Collection

A 1926 Mack, Riggers Truck – Ron Carey Collection, Irricana Pioneer Truck Museum, Alberta, Canada. These trucks were used primarily for bridge and subway construction.

Tangalo Pearl Orange

A 1932 Ford 5 window custom 2 door coupe in Tangalo Pearl Orange.

orange with suicide doors

A 1933 Dodge truck with suicide doors.

Two views of a 1935 or 1936 Plymouth.
orange, chrome wings on sides of the grill

A 1948 or 1949 International truck, chrome “wings” on the sides of the grill.

orange

A 1950 Ford Thames E83W. This was built by Ford of Britain at the Ford Dagenham assembly plant (home of Fordson tractors).

2001 or 2002 Prowlers, one original, one modified, in Prowler Orange Metallic.

Tangerine Pearl Coat paint

Last, but not least, my 2003 PT Dream Cruiser Series 2, in Tangerine Pearl Coat paint. Production was limited to 7,500 units for North American markets including 750 for Canada and 2,000 units for international markets.

Old Car Nostalgia

Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.
– Doug Larson –

7-fargo2

The Car Guy has a 1950 Fargo half ton. It has been in his family since the early ’60’s. It isn’t all that comfortable to ride in, and it no longer does any particular job around here since a newer truck was purchased. But I expect the Fargo will stay in the family for many more years because it is a link to a place and time that is now only a memory.

The Car Guy has been thinking about adding a Hot Rod to his fleet, so this summer we attended a few car shows. What we discovered was – we have very different opinions as to what would be the perfect Hot Rod.

I took pictures of some of my favourites and when I looked at them after the show I realized that they all had two googly eyes (headlights) – old Fords, I think.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
– Henry Ford –

People can have the Model T in any color – so long as it’s black.
– Henry Ford –

I see no advantage in these new clocks. They run no faster than the ones made 100 years ago.
– Henry Ford –

It has been a month and a half since the last car show. Much has changed since then. The Harley has been written off, six inches of snow covers the ground, and the stores are already playing Christmas Music. Time to hunker down and think fondly of better days – both in the past and to come.

If you could go back to the “Good Old Days”, when would that be?

Free Spirit – Pink Freud the Antique Auto

As I watched Layton pack his little bags into Pink Freud, a 1938 Ford, I thought, “He’s a Free Spirit, an Adventurer – Indiana Jones in a Hot Rod.”

I’ll skip over the fact that he had arrived at our house with a pack of luncheon meat and cheese in his Computer Bag, but had forgot to bring a coat of any kind. From our house, he was leaving on a week’s road trip in a car with no side windows, no heat and a broken windshield wiper. (Alberta to British Columbia in early September – rain or snow are both possible this time of year.)  Pink Freud’s battery was dead,  but once boosted the engine roared to life. With a cheerful wave, Layton and Freud were gone.

I Was a Little Mixed Up – a Key Fiasco

I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a ‘learning experience.’ Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I’ve done as a ‘learning experience.’ It makes me feel less stupid.
– P.J. O’Rourke –

Now and then I have momentary lapses in my attention to important details.  Whether I feel stupid about these, or not, depends on timing.

Tangerine PT Cruiser Limited Edition

For example, recently I put a key in the ignition of My Car, and it fit in just fine, but it wouldn’t turn.  Curious. I wiggled the key a few times, turned the steering wheel a bit, got out and glared at the hood of the car, and then tried the key again. It still wouldn’t turn. So I phoned The Car Guy and asked him (because he had driven my car last) why the key wouldn’t work.

He couldn’t think of any reason why, and suggested I drive His Truck instead.

maroon and silver
This is where the key belonged.

So I took the key out of My Car and went back to the key rack to get His Truck key. That is when I realized that My Car key was still on the key rack, and the key I was trying to start the car with was His Truck key.

Now, if I had NOT made that phone call to The Car Guy, I could have called this key fiasco a learning experience. But in my haste to ask The Car Guy to solve my problem, I had painted myself into the proverbial corner. I was going to have to confess to him that I was, in fact, guilty of doing something that was a bit stupid.

There was no glossing over the fact that I had mixed up similar and mostly congruent, but not identical keys. One key fob has a Ram head on it, the other doesn’t…

In the big scheme of things, however, this was a very minor oversight. I have committed many other such ones in my life. But to my credit, so far I have never tried to  wash the dirty clothes in the dishwasher, cook pancakes on the scanner, or tried to make a phone call with the TV remote. Things could be a lot worse…

Here Today Gone Tomorrow Problems at Home – Computer, Health and Cars

Several days ago I sent you off to look at Cancer stories. I’m not ready to tell our Cancer story just yet, but I think it is fair to tell you that The Car Guy and I have had enough of those “I Never Saw That Coming” experiences to know that life can change in a blink of an eye.

This past week, The Car Guy experienced three “I Wasn’t Expecting That” events in three consecutive days. His identity, his body, his house and his vehicle all came under attack. It was a veritable Blitzkrieg!

The Car Guy had been complaining for a few weeks that his computer had slowed down quite a bit. I gave it a spring cleaning, and was satisfied that it was working better, but suggested that if he wanted something that ran like a Ferrari, then he should go shopping. His computer was like a 5 year old Dodge with half a million miles on it taking four Sumo wrestlers out for a drive. On Sunday he complained that his Google searches were responding funny. It was then that I realized that his computer had been hijacked. It had malware that caused Google to redirect to sites other than the intended one. Apparently it can also do other more sinister things that compromise a persons identity.  Several hours later I finally found the tool to remove it – the  Kapersky Labs TDSSKiller. The Malware that was on his computer is particularly sneaky. It can hide itself. Normal Security scans don’t find it. Since this is the first virus type thing we have ever had, I don’t know what part of our defenses it breached.

The very next day, The Car Guy experienced a pulmonary blockage that sent him to the hospital for the morning. Quite scary. But he was eventually sent home with antibiotics and anti-inflamatories, and is expected to make a full recovery.

As if the week hadn’t been stressful enough, the next day The Car Guy discovered that someone had entered his car, opened the centre console, and stolen the registration, insurance, garage door opener, a Starbucks gift card, and a few dollars in change. Whether this happened while the car was in town, or whether it was in our own rural driveway is unknown.  The thieves didn’t take the cell phone, perhaps not recognizing that a 6 year old cell phone is actually a cell phone… And they didn’t take the set of keys, which would have given them access to all the junk mail in the mail box out by the highway.

So, the rest of this week has been spent tweaking things so that the thieves are back on the outside again. It isn’t a bad exercise to do now and then, is it? And in the big scheme of things, the only thing that really matters is that The Car Guy is going to be just fine. Which we won’t be able to say about the thieves if The Car Guy catches them trying to steal his car or the tools from his garage…

Tractors – Big Deere, Little Deere

toy tractorWe have a few John Deeres in the family. The most hours are put on the one that keeps the lawn under control.  The second busiest tractor is probably the pedal car that the grandchildren drive when they come for a visit.

My husband usually mows the lawn. But now and then I take a turn. It is a simple job, that gives me a lot of time to think. What I have been thinking about this spring is our former neighbour up the road. She had a lawn tractor too, but it wasn’t a John Deere. Green was not her colour.

Her lawn tractor didn’t have a bagger on it, so she would hand rake the rows of grass that were left on her lawn. Then she would put the cuttings in a bucket and haul them into the woods, where she would scatter them.  When she got tired, she would turn the bucket over and sit on it for a while. She probably had about an acre of grass.

A few years ago, we had a lot of rain. Her grass got very long, and her tractor couldn’t cut it. My husband took our John Deere to her place, and mowed her lawn a few times. She was impressed with the fact that there was nothing left to rake. “It’s a mulching mower,” my husband said.

So she sent her son off to the local implement dealer to get her a new tractor. He had a rear bagger delivered to her. She used it once, then complained bitterly about how difficult it was to empty the bagger in the woods where she liked to scatter her grass. The mower went back, and a mulching mower took its place. She was back in business.

Except for the ditch. She was not comfortable with the new tractor on the steep sides of the ditch, so my husband mowed her ditch that summer. But the next summer, she trusted her tractor, and she was doing all her own mowing again. That summer she was 85 years old. The following spring, she passed away.

I’m near the end of todays mowing. The only part left is the ditch. I think about how much I don’t like mowing the ditch. It is deep and steep. I picture my neighbour as she navigated the ditch on her tractor. She inspires me to… go sit on an upended bucket for a while and think about whether I really want a cleanly mowed ditch.