When Edsel B. Ford II came upon the 1956 Lincoln Continental MK II last year, he admired the long lines and elegant custom styling of the automobile but didn’t immediately recognize it. Imagine his surprise when saw the original owner’s manual inscribed with his mother’s, Anne, name. Edsel was 8 years old when his father, Henry Ford II, ordered the car for his wife, who drove it for two years before selling it to her personal assistant for use as a daily driver.
The car, now impeccably restored, will be among the many pre- and postwar custom-bodied Lincolns featured at the 63rd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 18 at Pebble Beach Resorts. It also stars on this year’s commemorative Pebble Beach Concours poster, printed from an original painting created by Ken Eberts, founder and president of the Automotive Fine Arts Society. Also depicted on the Concours poster is the 1939 Lincoln Zephyr created for Edsel’s grandfather, Edsel Bryant Ford, who served as president of Ford Motor Company from 1919 through 1943, bringing both style and finesse to the Lincoln marque.
The 1956 Lincoln currently belongs to Rick Schmidt, whose father Jim discovered the dilapidated vehicle in a classified ad. Had they not already owned a 1956 metallic mint green MK II that had belonged to Benson Ford, and a 1956 sapphire blue metallic MK II that had belonged to William Clay Ford Sr.–brothers of Henry Ford II–the Schmidts would not have taken on the project.
Purchased through Ford’s central office, with the names of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford II on the original factory production order, the car cost $10,000, the price of a house in 1956. The only MK II ordered with a Hartz cloth roof, the interior of the car is upholstered in elegant gray wool broadcloth with red piping and contrasting black leather on the door panels and dash. The car also is unique in that it was finished without a hood ornament at Anne’s request.
Eberts’ final poster artwork will be featured at the Automotive Fine Arts Society exhibit at Pebble Beach that is sponsored by the Lincoln Motor Company and held in tandem with the 63rd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, August 18.
Deli Eliot and co-Hotdogger Cookout Kelly are driving cross-country with the world famous Oscar Mayer Wienermobile! They are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Wienermobile vehicle’s Hotdogger tradition and just arrived in Denver and will be in the area spreading miles of smiles at local Wal-Mart supercenters April 11th – 13th. Visitors to the Wienermobile will be able to take pictures, play games, and receive collectible Wiener Whistles at events in the area.
Thursday April 11
10:00-1:00, 6675 Business Center Drive, Highlands Ranch
2:00-5:00, 5650 S. Chambers Road, Aurora
Friday April 12
11:00-1:00, 9400 E. Hampden Ave., Denver
2:00-5:00, 2100 Legacy Circle, Elizabeth
Saturday April 13
11:00-4:00, 440 Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood
While I am no longer a MINI owner, the classic Mini remains close to my heart and I hope to one day actual own one—it’s on my bucket list.
Last month a centenary exhibition was opened in the new Visitor Centre at the MINI Plant Oxford by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Harald Krueger, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, to mark this milestone. One hundred years ago to the day, the first ‘Bullnose’ Morris Oxford was built by William Morris just a few hundred meters from where the modern MINI plant stands.
With a weekly production of just 20 vehicles in 1913, the business grew rapidly and over the century 11.65 million cars were produced, bearing 13 different British brands and one Japanese. Almost 500, 000 people have worked at the plant in the past 100 years and in the early 1960s numbers peaked at 28,000. Today, Plant Oxford employs 3,700 associates who manufacture up to 900 MINIs every day.
Over the years an array of famous cars were produced including the Morris Minor, the Mini, Top Gear’s fabled Morris Marina, the Princess, the Austin Maestro and today’s MINI Cooper. At various stages in its history, the plant also built Tiger Moth aircraft, ambulances, parachutes and iron lungs. Today, Plant Oxford is the heart of MINI production with the manufacture of the MINI Hatch, Convertible, Clubman, Clubvan, Roadster and Coupé.
The Oxford plant has a long history of export success and generated many billions of pounds in exports revenues for the UK with Morris products accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the nation’s total exports by the mid 1930s. Plant Oxford’s export record is equally impressive today with no less than 1.7 million MINIs having been exported to over 100 countries since 2001 and the plans for the future are for further expansion.
Don’t be frustrated by the lack of space and crowded working conditions that you may found at many car collections, museums or shows. Use that situation to your advantage by finding small details and capture them in sharp focus.
Get close to the car—but no so close that you incur the wrath of the car’s owner. In fact, talk to the owner first and talk about his car telling them why you want to photograph it. Then begin by working in close and gradually back off (or zoom out) until extraneous non-car details or people start appearing in the frame, then crop them out–in camera—which is what I prefer to do.
Wide-angle lenses or wide angle zooms let you fill up the frame with part or even the entire car while making sure distractions are eliminated, but make sure your zoom lens allows close focusing. I once purchased a 28-85mm zoom lens specifically for photographing cars only to discover it didn’t focus close enough to do me any good. An expensive mistake.
The photograph at right was made at a indoor car show using a Canon EOS 5D with Carl Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 lens. Exposure was 1/2000 sec at f/1.4—wide open to minimize depth-of-field— with the camera set at ISO 1600.
To make interesting photographs at a car show, you need to start with the right attitude. A passion for your subject is always a plus and enables you to look beyond the surface of a car to see its essence, its soul