By John Gunnell
You cannot take a nice photo of a car that has its hood up. It’s impossible. Today most cars are probably designed by a computer and they look it. Years ago, cars were designed by teams of artists and engineers who poured their hearts into every curve and feature line. We have never seen a design sketch or a clay model done with the hood raised. In fact, we remember a Pontiac concept car that had no hood—only a little door through which you could check the oil.
When we go to a show like the Oldsmobile Club of America (www.oldsmobileclub.org) National Meet in Brookfield, Wis., last week, we want to take some nice photos. That should have been easy because there were 480 nice Oldsmobiles there. The only problem was about 479 of them had their hoods raised! That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much.
So, we walked the entire show field (it was gigantic) looking for any cars that didn’t have their engine compartment showing. There weren’t too many. The hoods have to be raised for judging and we understand that. There is nothing like a nicely detailed engine. But you have to realize that showing off the engine takes away from the aesthetic appeal of the car’s overall design—just the kind of thing we want to show in a magazine.
It’s also our personal opinion that people attending the show-including potential new club members—would rather see a car’s design beauty than its clean spark plugs and original hose clamps. We do have a little technique for getting hood-down shots at shows in Wisconsin. We just wait. As everyone knows, the weather in the Badger State changes drastically several times a day. So, if you wait long enough it will start sprinkling and everyone will run out and put their hood down. Then, five minutes later it will be sunny again and you can shoot the car with its hood lowered!