The first car I ever drove was a white 1962 Rambler American. It was never “my” car (it was Dad’s), but I was given free rein to decorate it, complete with red bandana pillows and trim and a matching Snoopy toy in the back shelf. I have many fond memories of cruising the main drags of northeast Minneapolis with my friends, filling up with gas at 24.9 cents per gallon when the tank was low on our way to catch the show at the 65 Hi Drive Inn Theater. Fond memories--but not a photo to my name.
Don’t let your vehicular memories pass you by before trading in for next year’s model. We love our cars, trucks, SUVs and cycles. Consider some of the following ideas to showcase your love and memories of your favorite mode of transportation.
The Art of Vehicular Maintenance
Growing up, my dad felt he was responsible for making sure we all knew how to change the oil, change our tires and check our spark plugs for the correct gap. Toward this end, there always seemed to be a junk car or two in the driveway for practice, purchased from the automotive classifieds titled “cars for parts.”
Many of us have someone in the house that enjoys the role of “grease monkey.” Maybe they like to rebuild antique autos, do their own repair work, or perhaps earn their living repairing autos for others. Capture these moments of vehicular maintenance by taking photos that show the process, or simply show your loved one totally absorbed in an activity they enjoy.
Other ideas include—
- Save sales receipts from purchases as memorabilia.
- Take photos of various auto parts spread out on the work floor.
- Use small auto parts that are cleaned and polished as the contents for a shaker box.
- Capture close-up photographs of the tools of the trade.
Classic Car Hobbyist
My youngest brother’s dream would be to have a garage filled with a variety of transport choices, several of them classics. Judging by the number of classic car shows, trade fairs and swaps, he’s not alone. If classic cars are part of your life, you have many great photo and scrapbooking opportunities, such as:
- Car shows
- Car club get-togethers
- Road trips
- Conventions and swaps
Even if you aren’t a hobbyist yourself, spending time at one of these events makes for a great family outing and associated photo ops.
A License to Drive
There are other aspects of vehicle ownership worth saving in a layout. My older son became a licensed driver about two years ago. I threatened to bring the camera to the Division of Motor Vehicles site when he tested, and his response? “You mean there are kids who let their moms do this?” If you have a more cooperative son or daughter, this rite of passage can be documented with photos as well as the score sheets from their road test.
Since my son wouldn’t let me photograph him getting his license, I’ve opted to make layouts about him putting the big stereo in the beater he used to drive, and another about him setting off in his nice new Saturn. A word to the wise: If you buy a car, even used, bring your camera. When the owner takes possession of his or her new car, it is a photo opportunity bar none.
Maybe you are finally getting a new car, truck or SUV of your own. Consider documenting your search for the perfect car with some of these ideas.
- Save the brochures from the various models you considered.
- Keep the peel-off spec sheet from the window of your chosen ride.
- Save ads from dealerships that lured you to shop.
- Take photos of yourself with your salesman.
The layout shared here shows our latest vehicle purchase, with the various steps along the way to new car ownership. I found an ad with the Toyota slogan and replicated the logo and slogan for my title. Since the Toyota slogan has changed since then, using it is another way to preserve those little everyday details of an era.
The Call of the Open Road
Maybe you like the call of the open road, or the feel of the wind in your hair. Don’t forget to include your bicycles, off-road ATVs and of course, Harleys, in your scrapbooks. Those who enjoy any of these modes of transport will tell you they aren’t simply vehicles, but a state of mind. Translate some of the ideas shown here to share your state of mind with future generations!
If you’re a cross-country traveler in your camper or trailer, be sure to include your home away from home in your scrapbook. Just as you might document the shopping process for a new car, include scrapbook pages about why you purchased and how you chose your RV.
Whatever your chosen method of transportation, you’ll be happy to have documented those memories. Photos, prices, brands, slogans and logos are more than just your personal memories; they can also become a treasured time-capsule.
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