Sunday, October 14, 2007

An Attraction to the Old and Broken

Some people like new things, the flashy and shiny and fresh-out-of-the-box, things that work like they're supposed to, with warranties in case they don't and repair shops and experts that stand by the ready if the gadget doesn't gadge or the do-dad doesn't do. But I'm one of those whose attention is drawn to the car back in the tree row, the one with its tires flat and its hood missing, with torn seats and rusted floorboards. My ownership of cars includes a list of these sad-sacks, a 1959 Chevy with a bad fuel pump, a 1957 Chevy pickup piled with trash when I found it, a 1980 BMW that sat on the back lot of the Big Lot in Fargo until my son and I came along to fund its revival. Motorcycles too, like the Honda SL 100 that appeared to me at a garage sale; all it needed was the engine unstuck and worked over, same for the Yamaha Jazz that the kids enjoyed, and the Honda XL 350 I salvaged from the ravages of flood waters. Then there was the trio of Honda 350's I bought at a garage sale for 25 bucks, one of which actually ran some time later. I've had my fling at restoring dead vehicles to life.

So it's no surprise that down at the local flea market, a 1957 Mobylette keeps attracting my attention. It's not the zippy sort of scooter you see so often these days, requiring, as you see in the photo, a readiness to actually pedal the machine to life. The French have a different take on things, and it could look good, as you can see here. But I do hear it calling my name; after all, it's a long ways from home and could use a friend.

6 comments:

P. Block said...

Looks like a great project. It always feels good when one can bring something to life that someone else thought was trash. I often do the same with electronics. Unfortunately I am not quite that good with engines. Have fun with the project.

P

JN said...

Ah, I'm attracted, but I'm not in the Mobylette's orbit yet. My memories of how my old BSA used to make my teeth gnash are still strong! Besides, I'm not sure I need another project! It would be fun, though, and small, but that may just be its tractor beam working on me.

Deana said...

I'm still trying to figure out where I fit in to your "attraction to the old and broken." I wonder.

JN said...

That's not the ONLY kind of attraction that I'm prone to, as I've mentioned before. You fit into more the category of the candy corn, I think, maybe. Hmm?

Deana said...

Sweet and bad for you?

JN said...

I'm not gonna win on this one . . . Let's just say you're half right.