Showing posts from January, 2014

Rusty Gold.

There are certain vehicles that lend themselves to rust really well.  I am not talking rot, let's make that clear, but rather that sun induced surface rust that you get on the upward facing surfaces of vehicles that reside in dry, sunny places such as Southern California, or the Mediterranean.

Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe, aka the American Pickers would undoubtedly refer to this as being 'patina', and covert items that have clearly been used and show the signs of wear associated with a lifetime of service, out in the elements.  Many would argue that this level of deterioration detracts from the aesthetic of the car, van or truck, but I am of the opinion that it demonstrated a level of authenticity that should be preserved, rather than restored.  Don't get me wrong, I love shiny paintwork, but sometimes general wear and tear and that sun scorched look that you know has come about over several years worth of sunshine can tell so many stories about that car.  To me it shouts…

VW Transporter, Keep it Stock.

This post is all about the VW Van.  Few vehicles have had such appeal, for so long, what makes the VW van even more incredible is that it is a commercial vehicle, originating from post war Germany and designed with work in mind.  There are not many everyday cars that have the type of allure that the Transporter has experienced for well over 60 years.

For me there are several reasons why the VW van is far more than just a van.  To begin with it has a face and heaps of personality, each generation has maintained the lines and aesthetics that set it aside from other commercial vehicles.  Also, the VW van has always had associations with California, and as being a little more left field.  They are of course mass produced, but despite this they somehow manage to maintain a degree of individuality and style. Volkswagen have in the past always styled their cars in a way that gives them lots of appeal, in an understated way.  This charm, coupled with an overall design that is pretty much timel…

Off The Wall

While the Vans brand has become almost ubiquitous in recent years, I still find the designs very appealing, particularly the Era and Skate Hi ranges.  I know that nostalgia has a huge part to play in this, as these were the shoe of choice when I was a grom, but there is something about these shoes that I really do like, and probably always will.

A lot of the attraction is born out of them being from a different period in time, that they are designed with the surf/skate lifestyle in mind, and they say Southern California so subtly and yet so clearly at the same time.  The design has stayed true for several decades, and are one of the few shoes that a forty something can wear, and not look like he is having some sort of mid life crisis!

For a while I have to admit that I was troubled about them being worn by everyone and anyone, but now I am just happy that I can still get hold of the shoes that were so coveted when I was growing up.

Pretty Face.

There are many reasons why I love the Golf, it is beautifully designed, features simple lines and has a pretty face and an overall body shape that is timeless. It is difficult to believe that the design is now 40+ years old.  I also like the fact that it was affordable and not pitched as a premium car, but a car that was intended for anyone and everyone.  The Mark one evolved almost naturally into the Mark 2, which while be a more rounded version, maintained a lot of the charm of it predecessor.  Sadly, from then on the design lost something significant in terms of style.  I really like the Mark 3, it remained distinctly Golf and was a sturdy, fairly spacious car, but the subsequent designs lacked that special something there after.  The 4 and 5 have not aged well, for both generations now look dated, have not aged well and lack the classic appeal that previous models had.  In fact the most recent evolution of the Golf is pretty much faceless, such is the dilution of the original desi…

Have You Seen Him...

I have always been very close to skating.  In fact I began riding skateboards long before I got my first surfboard.  In the same way that I appreciate the look and style that is associated with surfing, I also love the aesthetics of skating.  The graphics and logos were wholly different to those of surfing, but they really appealed to me, particularly those that were born out of the mid 1980's.

Arguably the most influential skate company of that era was Powell Peralta, they developed such a strong identity which over the years has been much emulated.  I believe that Powell Peralta was the first skate company to produce films featuring their team riders.  This was obviously a very cleaver means of promoting not only the Bones Brigade themselves, but also the signature decks, clothing, wheels and other Powell Peralta/Bones products.  The first of these films that I saw was The Search for Animal Chin, and featured the legendary Chin ramp. The skating was incredible and created a lasti…

North Shore line up

The photograph above dove tails nicely with the previous post, for it features a pretty impressive line up of surfers. Taken during the '85'86 winter season on the North Shore, just a couple of years after The Performers, the boards and the clothes are very much of that era. It was all about bright and loud graphics and bold colours.   I am able to identify pretty much all of the guys in the shot, many of which by the sponsors logos!  Sadly though, there are faces there that are no longer with us; including Mark Foo and Buttons there right in the fore ground, who died late last year.

The Performers and Kongs Island - the catalyst

The first time I recall feeling genuine stoke about surfing was when I saw the Quiksilver/Jack McCoy Film; The Performers, including the legendary 'Kongs Island'.  I had been skating for a while, and had recently got in to surfing, but this film was the catalyst that made everything come together and make sense, and has remained so ever since!  I cannot quite put my finger on why this was such a source of inspiration, but I think it is a number of factors are responsible for it being so utterly influential in my surfing life.

Of course, the surfing is outstanding, filmed on the North Shore during the '83/84 Winter season, the year that saw a boycott by the ASP, so no professional contests were held.  This is apparent in the film, for it is all free surfing and pretty amazing it is too.  From start to finish it is full on power surfing featuring the afore mentioned trio, along with Richard Cram, Wes Lane the late Marvin Foster to name but a few.  A lot of the allure comes fr…

The Hot Generation

It has to be said that I do like a hot hatch, especially the original generation of Golfs, Sciroccos and the 205.  Sadly, these days most of them are either long gone, or worse still have fallen into the hands of those who have seen fit to destroy them in the name of 'modifications'.  When I see the latter I feel genuine sadness, for they have been truly ruined, and you just know that they will suffer a fast demise ending at the scrap heap, losing their dignity not to mention classic good looks along the way.

You can almost see the sorrow in their faces about having their features altered in a way that turns a fantastic design in to something that is wholly ugly.  Volkswagen and alike spent millions in developing these clean, classic designs that have stood the test of time, so why these people want to destroy this I do not know.

I am such a purist that I cannot stand seeing the slightest modification, whether that be the wrong wheels, the addition of body kits and spoilers that…

Lovely German rear views.

I am a huge fan of cars of the German variety, old ones that is. I dare say that one day in the future I will grow fond of the modern models, but I think that this will be some time off.  For decades, they produced cars with the aesthetics that I really appreciate. Bold lines, chunky styling and an overall look from a different ear, a look which is distinctly German, much more so than the more generic design aspects of the cars of today, which tend to blend in with too many other cars.  I will cover many more of my favorites, but here are a few to open with.


This blog is dedicated to things that roll on wheels and slide on waves.  More specifically, it is a celebration of many of the things that I have a real passion for, namely old cars and vans (both the shoes and the vehicles), as well as the more stylish, inspirational and down right classic elements of surfing and skateboarding.  Much of what I write about will be based upon my own experiences, many of which took place during what I would define as being the golden era, for me at least.  Namely the time when I first entered into the incredible, exciting and down right magical world of surfing and skating.  I am talking about the fantastic 1980's!

That said, it is not limited in any way, shape or form. If it rolls on wheels, can be defined as a board-riding, or if I just happen to like it, it is almost certainly going to be included.  

This is Carving Nostalgia, I hope you enjoy the ride!

It is a non-commercial, purely for the fun of it project and I don’t lay claim to any of the p…