PROPORTION: now THATS complicated!!
The other night I went to the supermarket in the HENRY J, as I walked through the parking lot towards the car I got the most awful feeling. As I looked at the car I realized that the front wheels/wheelwell were about two inches back from where they should be in relation to the overall fender. I was sick, how could I have missed such an obvious design flaw? Sure, I was clever enough to droop the nose for the proper attitude but boy was I blind to THAT black eye! I couldn’t stop thinking about it, it would’ve been sooo cool! To make matters worse, I should have been aware of this problem, one of my secret heros, FAT JACK ROBINSON had this same problem years ago on a ‘56 F-100 truck he had built. He moved the front wheelwell 6” forward in the fender. AMAZING! Of course, once I started thinking about that, then my mind just drifted into this whole dissertation about proportion. I’ve gotta say, in my defense, over the years I’ve seen EVERY BIG TIME car builder screw up some proportion on many of the “million dollar cars ” we’ve all been subjected to! If you’re gonna cut something up bunky, you’d BETTER know what you’re doing! I remember reading a car feature on a ‘40 coupe a long time ago. It stated that the hood was pie cut 4” in front, tapering to 0” at the cowl to give the front a downward slope. Wow! I thought, great idea, then I looked at the side view of the car. EEEEEEWWWWW!!!!! The hood looked WAAYYY too skinny in relation to the big bubbly fenders! Anyway, after obsessing over my screw up for days, I finally pulled up a side shot of the HENRY into PHOTOSHOP. I moved the front wheels about two inches forward…it looked GREAT…AAARRRGGGHHH!!! Then, I changed something I WAS aware of while I was building the car but knew I wouldn’t be able to get the owner to pay for the labor. Alot of ‘50’s cars have a really high crown on the roof of the car above the rain gutters. The HENRY is particularly guilty of this problem. I took about 1 1/2” out of the crown in my photochop. I now had the “perfect” HENRY J ! I left the image on my monitor and did some other stuff, occasionally looking back at the screen. Man, now I gotta build ANOTHER car so I can get this right! It’s just waay too COOL!! I actually started planning out how I would build a new and improved version of a car I already did! I’d use an LS motor this time, and a manual trans, a more rigid chassis! YEAH!! Then I looked back at the monitor, MY GOD, THAT THING IT JUST PERFECT ! It’s like a little rocket! It’s PERFECT !! something is bothering me…as I stared at the “perfect” little car I’d realized something. It wasn’t “cute” anymore. I had the same problem when I swapped out the wide whites for the HALIBRANDS. This time I’d removed the very thing this car has going for it in the first place. It’s quirky, almost goofy looking. That’s it’s character , make it all SWOOPY and it ain’t got no SOUL !! Boy, this proportion thing sure is complicated! My head hurts! I hit the REVERT button on my photochop, turned off my computer, and went to bed!