Mined from the notebooks, Thursday morning, September 14, 2017. Posted Friday night, September 15.
On the way into the diner parking lot, I was followed in by an orange car. Not gold. Not bronze. Not copper. Not red orange or yellow orange. Orange, like an orange. Obviously not the original paint job. Probably not the original color. I don't think cars came in that color in 1940.
I waited at the front door to talk to the owners, a man and a woman well into their sixties. "What year?" I called out cheerfully as they began to make their way across the lot. The woman told me. She was all smiles. The man looked irritated. Not at me. He was frowning when he got out of the car. He didn't cheer up when I asked him the car's make.
"It's a Ford," the woman said brightly, just ahead of his saying it. He added, without the enthusiasm or affection or pride I'd have expected from the owner of an antique, especially one that had obviously been recently restored. "With a Chevy engine."
"Did you restore it yourself?" I asked in a tone I intended to convey that I was sure he had---or they had. No reason not to think it might not have been a husband and wife project, assuming they were husband and wife.---and that I was eager to hear all about it.
"No," he said. "Came that way." His mood didn't lighten nor did his frown relax. The woman looked at him expectantly, but her smile seemed to have grown a bit uncertain. His baby, then, and so his to talk about. But he wasn't inclined.
"I did a few things." He didn't say what those things were and I decided it was probably futile to ask. I held the door for them. Then stood there, admiring the car, wondering if he'd mind if I went over and took a walk around, maybe took a picture. I guessed I'd better not.
Inside, they were already seated. When the hostess led me past their table to a booth by the window that didn't face out on the lot, I didn't bother to try to catch their eye so I could say what I wanted to say, something along the lines of "She's a beaut!" and maybe get him talking. He clearly didn't want to, odd that that is.
I mean, isn't that one of the reasons you'd own a vintage car, particularly one that vivid a color? So you could talk about it endlessly with curious strangers?
1940 Ford Sales Brochure which is for sale at Amazon.