It seems that automotive nostalgia is at an all-time high. Prices on classic cars, even those from the 1990s, are skyrocketing. And all the while, good examples are becoming harder to come by.
It seems like everyone is missing something about cars from the ’90s, ’80s, or beyond. Be it the driving experience, the easy-to-work-in engine bays, the sounds, the smells – whatever it is, things will never again be like they were. It’s important to preserve our past and it’s great to see so many people dedicated to remembering and restoring these cars from yesteryear.
The same is true in photography, and the resurgence of film is something I’ve enjoyed as the medium is again becoming more affordable and accessible. When preparing to shoot the Old School Reunion outside Seattle, Washington recently, I figured this would be the perfect time to dust off the analog camera.
The film for the day was a bit of a weird one: Mitsubishi MX-III 100. This roll was part of a 10-pack, a gift from my friend Casey Miller, and this would be the first of the 10 I used. As it expired in 2005 I didn’t really know what to expect, but I shot it more like ISO80, hoping for a little bump in exposure. There are 36 exposures in a roll, so all you get from here out are those 36 shots…
Ultimately I was really happy with the grainy, slightly off-color results. I think the imperfections of film help give a show like the Old School Reunion in Bonney Lake a bit of period-correct credibility from a coverage standpoint.
As I mentioned in my main coverage, the show started out when the Volkswagen club’s event and an old Datsun show combined forces to create one big celebration of automotive nostalgia.
Because of this show’s roots you really get a lot of everything, and there were plenty of interesting cars to poke around. There are awards and some booths, but overall the atmosphere is very laid back, which is nice.
Some of these events tend to have a self-centered sort of air about them, but not here. It isn’t about their people’s own builds, rather, everyone is just here to have a good time, to catch up with friends, and to see what everyone else has been doing in the garage.A Few Favorites
After my first story from the event was posted, I received a few messages and a comment or two about how I used a shot of Ken Todd’s wicked RX-3 as an opening image, but didn’t include any others in the article. Well, hopefully this makes up for that until I have time to catch up with Ken to properly feature his car.
Yes, it’s turbo rotary-powered. And yes, it sees plenty of time at the track.
Another really, really interesting car was this third-gen Civic hatch with wild bodywork and a J-series V6 shoved into the middle of it. I missed the owner on this occasion but, trust me, I have as many questions about this thing as you do…
As I continued on, I spotted another favorite: an ’87 Toyota Soarer, in from Japan thanks to The Import Guys. If the GZ20 was offered here in the late ’80s, I don’t think we’d be as excited about this car, but the right-hand drive appeal (and tax) is very real here in the Pacific Northwest.
The funky bodywork really drew me in, too, and I kept coming back to this twin-turbo, JZ-powered Toyota that’s been receiving hand-me-down parts from the owner’s A70 Supra as he continues to upgrade that car.
After the show, Sara and I went out to shoot a few features on some particularly cool cars we came across, and those will be along as soon as we have a chance to catch our breath — so probably four or five months from now. I was up at sunrise the same day to shoot a certain sharknose which couldn’t make it to the show, and I’m really looking forward to sharing the story behind this car as well.
It always seems there are too many good cars and not enough time to get to them all. What a time to be alive.