The owners are getting out, lighting up cigarettes, chatting, easy camaraderie between drivers dressed exactly like the era their vehicles came from, like they stepped out of a magazine: loafers and bomber jackets, all cream pants and polished leather and silk driving gloves. Their relationship, cultivated through their shared appreciation of the road and the texture of a three-spoke wheel under their hands, is so nonchalant that you can’t help but laugh a little. How can this be normal? But for them, it seems natural, the qualities of a world whose novelty has long since cooled.
You recall the time you use to collect cast-iron collectible NASCARS as a child, and the obsession you had with the bright decals that wrapped around their tiny chassis. You run your hand appreciatively over the bonnet of the Rolls Royce, understanding the grooves and undulations of the winged woman affixed to its hood. This is the Lady of Speed, also known as a spirit of ecstasy, constructed in 1905 by English sculptor Charles Robinson Sykes, a graduate of London’s Royal College of Art, for the second baron, Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, an artifact of a secret love affair writ large, and a signifier of another kind of love in itself.