A Great Car, A Great Couple

Last night, #Bryan Weiss and I ventured into the throngs at the Canadian Auto Show at Toronto's Metro Convention Centre.  Lots of nice cars of course, but this post is about a couple and the car that they showed.  It's a stunningly beautiful 1939 Lincoln Zephyr.Bryan and I were doing what we usually do, quietly and respectfully making images of cars that appealed to us.  As in past years, we seem to enjoy the exotics and the classics most of all and on entering the Cruise Nationals area, I came upon this wonderful Lincoln Zephyr, restored by Mr. Dave Jolly. I had made a number of images and had been bracketing exposures because this was my first time shooting Olympus' OM-D E-M1 as part of a forthcoming review.  The thought had occurred to me to also do some HDR because let's face it, the lighting at Auto Shows is usually horrible, very contrasty, with harsh shadows and because I recently purchased V5 of Photomatix Pro.  Photomatix has not been my favourite HDR tool.  I tend more to Nik's HDR Efex Pro 2 or the 32 bit HDR option in Photoshop.  Some initial tests with some shots from Camp 30 impressed me greatly.  Be sure that Photomatix is still capable of that overblown, over saturated, over ghosted, overdone HDR it is so well-known for.  Fortunately, there are other and better options, including a much improved 32 bit implementation.  But that's for a different article.

For the course of our evening, dealers, and owners as well as the cleaning professionals had been incredibly gracious, letting us set our small carbon fibre tripods inside the ropes and walls to obtain unobscured shots.  I thank everyone who made my image making more successful, and specifically thank Dave Jolly as you'll see and the very nice fellow from Grand Touring Automobiles who allowed me to get an unobstructed shot of the interior of the beautiful Silver Wraith.  Bryan did meet one grumpy sort and neither of us will post photos of his metal flake pickup that does not evoke the wonderful history of the real truck.

Which brings me back to the wonderful Mr. Dave Jolly and his lovely wife.  Mr. Jolly opened up his Lincoln so I could grab a shot of the lovingly restored interior.  He didn't have to do that.  I was actually moving on when he offered.  Mr. Jolly and his wife also spent time with me telling the story of the restoration, correcting my own misunderstandings and errors of knowledge and were just wonderful folks.  I mentioned that I was sorry to see that the Zephyr had not won first prize as it absolutely turns on the Wayback machine.  The paint is as close to what was available in 1939 that Mr. Jolly could discover.  The duotone is not what would have come from the factory, but does nothing to prevent you from taking a trip back in time.  This is a pre-war, post-depression vehicle, of a time when Lincolns were scarcer and very high end.  It has great character with its warship prow and immensely long and elegant tail.

Mr. Jolly has done a beautiful job.  You cannot see in the photos the six inches of steel all around the coachwork bottom that Mr. Jolly had to create and bend to replace the corroded original body.  It would be tempting when doing a car like this to go for a brighter colour, perhaps with out of time metal-flake, but Mr. Jolly went with a colour that resonates and replicates the time when these cars ruled our roads.

I saw many cars that I really liked at the show, from current Ferraris, the aforementioned Wraith, the Aston Martin Vanquish, and my long dreamed for Charger R/T 440 Magnum in that electric purple long gone and never replicated.  That said, the car that inspired me most was the beautiful Lincoln Zephyr.

The images here are all HDRs done in Photomatix Pro V5 after basic editing in Lightroom.  The camera was the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the Olympus 9-18mm wide zoom.  ISO was 1600 to allow for the low light.  Exposures were a bracket of 3 frames +- 1 EV.  I used a slightly modified Enhance 2 preset in Photomatix Pro for the external shots, and a more ethereal custom setting for the interior to enhance the sense of ghosts.  All shots were sharpened in Nik Sharpener Pro and then adjusted for noise in Nik Dfine.