With all the talk of Christmas, and the holiday weekend, precious little is said about the machines we leave behind. What about the cars that languish in our service department, partially eviscerated, sick, or wounded? What about the ones that are cured, waiting for their owners to return? What about the others, the ones who slumber in storage, waiting for spring?
I thought we might take a moment to reflect on those machines in this time of commercial frenzy
Some say every car contains within it the seeds of its own destruction. That was certainly true in the case of this 2002 BMW, which went home yesterday, leaving these gnawed and eaten bits behind.
Then there's the Lexus, yearning for service, sitting hood agape.
In the next bay a Porsche hangs on the lift, bereft of engine and interior, as we search out and fix the devastation wrought by rampaging rodent invaders.
A Jaguar XKE hangs next to it, with the body stripped for paint repair and the engine removed for overhaul. It will be transformed for spring, but that's still some months away . . . .
In the Land Rover shop an engine sits dismantled as Paul assembles a chassis for one of out winter Defender restorations. This one will head for Nantucket, and a life on the beach.
A Rolls Royce convertible sits quietly, waiting for its seats to return from the upholstery shop. As the TV ads used to say, "A car without seats is like a day without sunshine," and I believe that is still true.
Over in the engine shop a Jaguar motor awaits repair. Meanwhile, it sits safe, among more of its kind, Jags and Rovers and a couple Rolls Royces.
A few cars sit outside excited, waiting for owners to drive them home:
This Rover's owner is headed here on the train, at this very moment. By the time you read this, they'll be headed for home.
This one's going west, to the Hudson River country of New York. The journey will be easier, with the new stereo we fitted.
There are many more the pictures don't show . . . The Willys waiting on its door latches, and the Three Black Bentleys. They come from different cities but they've become fast friends and can often be seen pushing lesser cars out of the way when the gas guy comes round.
There's the Lincoln, and the Cadillac, and the Triumph out front. There's the Harley, and the Jeep, and the ancient Ferrari. The six Rolls-Royce sedans and the Mercedes 600. The old 6.3 and the nice 3.5. All waiting.
While you are out celebrating, raise a glass to the cars left behind. Be considerate when you return, and remember machines may have feelings too.