The truck as performance art

It’s been a few weeks since I got my first look at what I’ve started thinking of as “the Eldon truck.” It’s sitting outside the garage of a local mechanic who one day hopes to find the time to bring it back to life. In a bizarre example of cosmic coincidence, it’s the same year (’79) and model (Series III) as my Land Rover. While I’ve yet to get my hands on my truck, I have been allowed to poke around inside the Eldon truck.

The the owner of the truck (now deceased) reportedly bought it new in 1979 and wasn’t bashful about “enhancing” it over the years, the flyswatter and fan being to of my favorite mods.

As a general rule I tend to be clutter-averse. I like things tidy. But sitting in the driver’s seat of this old truck, it’s hard not to get a sense of performance art. There’s a Rube Goldberg Machine quality to all his little tweaks.

In the photo above, note the Mystery Knob. I don’t think this was merely decorative. It had some purpose but the old man took that with him when he went.

My truck will arrive in pristine condition. Seems unlikely I’ll live long enough to give it the character of this beauty. I’ll do my best.


As automobiles got smarter and smarter, dashboards got more complex. My MINI dash can show stuff I still haven’t discovered, six years in. Better to have that kind of data than not (I guess), but I rarely look at most of it. Really old cars didn’t tell you much. So you had to be looking under the hood (And everywhere else, I suppose) with some regularity. But I found this simplicity refreshing. Hard to see in this photos because the museum was pretty stingy with the lighting.

Originally, the word dashboard applied to a barrier of wood or leather fixed at the front of a horse-drawn carriage or sleigh to protect the driver from mud or other debris “dashed up” (thrown up) by the horses’ hooves. (Wikipedia)

1947 Hudson Pickup

1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II

1932 DeSoto CSC Roadster


Auto World Museum

I’ve been driving past the Auto World Museum (Fulton, MO) for years. Just wasn’t interested in old cars. Spent a couple of hours there yesterday with my friend Henry and it was pretty amazing. Way more interesting than the automotive museum I visited in San Diego earlier this year. I’m still trying to ID some of the cars (more photos) but will take notes on my next visit.

Fez pics from Gnomedex 2008

The Order of the Fez was in full blossom in 2008 so my pal Jamie Nelson and I agreed to bring the sacred headgear to the Gnomedex geekfest that year. One of the attendees was a professional photographer and we have him to thank for these fine image.