"Walter Messerli, a trained carpenter, turned to trading in old car spare parts in 1933. On his parents' farm in Kaufdorf near Belp in Switzerland, he began to cannibalize old cars and trade in the parts he obtained. The car enthusiast simply left the empty bodies of the recycled automobiles. In 1975, his son Franz Messerli took over his parents' trade in spare parts and continued it. Plans to turn the car park created by his father into an open-air museum failed. And so they are still there today: bodies of cars from the 1930s, many from the 40s to the 60s and still some from the 1970s. Over time, the car park has become a car graveyard. Unfortunately, Messerli Autoverwertung GmbH, as it is known beyond the borders of Switzerland, will soon be history: The company's premises must be cleared and redeveloped, so Franz Messerli is giving up the demolition business.
Unusually for a car book, technology plays no role in the photo book 'Dauerparker' by Christoph ENGEL. Instead, this illustrated book documents the unique collection of Franz Messerli. The area with the weathered, mossy and partly overgrown vehicles exudes a very unique atmosphere that stimulates the viewer's imagination. What could this car have experienced? Who might have been its owner? Will people still be driving cars in a few decades? Does the car graveyard point to the past or to the future?
'Dauerparker' is a charming illustrated book that makes you think about the aesthetics of transience and the transience of automotive aesthetics. Photographers Christoph Engel and Knut Gielen have worked together for ten years for renowned magazines and corporate publications. In Franz Messerli's Car Graveyard, they have masterfully succeeded in capturing the contrasts of light and shadow, resilience and transience, technology and nature." (© delius klasing)
About German photographer, Christoph ENGEL
Photo books by Christoph ENGEL
- Gebundene Ausgabe (ohne Schutzumschlag, wie erschienen) 25 x 19 cm., 144 pp., Farb-Abb., deutsch-sprachig - GERMAN TEXT ONLY!