Old wheels did not have an easy life in Namibia. Motor cars and trucks used there during the first half of the 20th century were built like military tanks and to last for decades. Those vehicles were prepared to face the rough dirt road network, as well as the scarce availability of fuel, spare parts, and professional mechanics in vast geographical areas. They endured much hardship but enjoyed their fate, lasting often longer than their first owners. Since then, the old wheels that escaped scrap metal tips have now retired and enjoy quiet days in various locations.
I came across some of those vintage cars in the Namib desert. Their poor condition tells much about their adventurous and rugged life. Over time, their metal carcass tend to blend little by little into the desert scape. They slow and subtle transformation confirms the French chemist Antoine Lavoisier’s famous quote: “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed.”
Despite their derelict state, Namib vintage cars still exhale the spirit and the hardship of their time. Their junks retain fully their dignity. The encounter with those old wheels inspired me much interest, admiration and respect, which I wish to express hereafter through a short photographic essay.
As strong as they are, vintage cars in Namib confirm the vanity of the human ambition to subdue the Nature. The wild, beautiful and mighty Namib desert is to be respected and preserved as such.