I had started and discarded twenty sketches or more by the time that I finally finished one. It happened a couple of weeks ago. Until then, none were perfect and that’s where I had gotten discouraged, wadded each up and thrown it away. In the interest of simply filling the page, I saw the final attempt to completion. Although straight lines are beyond me, a sloppier version — as it turns out — is still within my reach. There’s a reason why I have wasted so much paper drawing a 1969 Dodge Charger. The car and I have a history.
When I was thirteen years old, I had a disagreement with the neighbor’s Doberman about whether I could walk to the school bus stop or not. I prevailed after sustaining a bite to the bridge of my nose. A few stitches, a medical bill and a small insurance settlement later, my parents told me to spend an extra $700 however I chose. I chose a ’69 Charger (sorry college fund). Part of the money went to renting the trailer to haul it home. My dad and I spent a lot of the next three years underneath the hood. I drew that old beauty countless times, once even getting my vision of it into print.
As a result, I have kept that issue of Popular Hot Rodding magazine. Now I can use it to measure my fifty-year-old ability. My control has suffered but what’s important, I think, is that I still have a good idea of where the lines are supposed to go (my perspective in 1984 was crazy; of course, I was only a kid). So all is not lost. Maybe it took looking thirty-seven years into my past to see it.