In most photographs and paintings, abandoned cars—which could, in the right hands, be revived—have instead become the Hallmark couture of the automotive world: worn, forlorn '57 Chevies, '56 Corvettes and '40 Fords gasping for air and fuel. They are every restorer/hot rodder's dream, and rightfully so. Classic cars do still molder away forgotten in tumbledown, padlocked sheds and garages across the country, waiting to found by the man who sees in them the Duesenberg, the Lamborghini prototype that went missing in '79, or the unmolested Ford roadster pickup that is of the rarest year ('32 ).
These do not appear to be the cars of Scott McKiernan, the Zuma photo wire-service founder whose show is "Stripped AAA: Abandoned Automobiles of America." Not for him the rare exotics. These are the Plymouth Dusters, Dodge Aspens and '70s Crown Vics that we actually remember driving—and they are too trashed to ever travel again, albeit photogenically so.
Perhaps it's because we all love cars, or maybe it's just McKiernan's photographer's skill at lighting, setup and timing that makes these wrecked, rusted hulks seem ready to drive right out of his prints, which sell just north of $700. Whatever the reason, you're ready to buy them back.
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"Stripped AAA: Abandoned Automobiles of America," photography by Scott McKiernan, presented by the BIG Gallery at Ocean Avenue Brewery, 237 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach, (949) 481-3747. Opening reception Thurs., Feb. 2, 7 p.m. Call for gallery hours. Through March 31.