My post yesterday was just a little introduction to the automotive fantasyland of the past weekend’s car show here in town. Though I wasn’t, and am not, car-crazy, I have always had my own bit of admiration for the beauties of slick automotive design when I see it. I do love design, period. Cars are a clear, clean, highly visible example of the good, bad, and ugly in design. They take practical and ergonomic problems and solve them with both structural/mechanical and visual design choices, and the results present a tremendously varied array of marvels for every taste. Or none, in some cases, if you ask me.
The little ol’ suburbs where I grew up were not flashy, nor was I. So it’s just as well I had no particular need for speed or passion for fashion, when it came to cars. From when I was old enough to take Driver’s Ed, I was more obsessive about wishing I could avoid the class and the test and what to me were the stresses, rather than pleasures, of driving than about any urge to own and drive snazzy cars. At the same time, from my early teens I can recall having a growing appreciation for what made particular cars special. My first skills at determining the probable vintage of cars came from being able to internally populate and visualize them in use by their original owners, who would in my mental movie be dressed in period styles and occupied with period activities, and so they became entwined with the whole of characteristic designs of each era with which they were so associated. I never saw any of the movies American Graffiti, The Transporter, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, or Fast Times at Ridgemont High until well after their release dates, but I could see the sorts of cars that were on the screen in any of them and guess a fairly close year of the stories in each case, real or imagined.
No matter, that. What really intrigues me about vehicles, as with so many objects that capture my interest, is the stories that they themselves seem to contain. It’s the cachet of the combined looks and capabilities of the automotive machinery, yes, but far more, it’s the history of every scratch, dent, smudge, crack, and well-worn tire (or perhaps back seat upholstery) that makes me look, and think, twice.
I’ll leave you with a few more images to ponder, and just let you drive them around for a while and see where they take you.
Now I feel old – I saw all those movies the weekend they were released. Great pictures. Love those cars.
Now, now! I didn’t say I wasn’t old enough to have seen these on their release weekends! Bet I’m older than you (55 in a couple months). I’m just slow to get around to movies, is all. Maybe I’m always too busy staring at vintage cars and dreaming up their history to go to the theatres. 😉 😀
🙂 Have you beat there. 55 in January this year. I practically lived at the movies as a kid. If it came out in the 60’s or 70’s, I saw before most people.
Ha! You just reminded me of one of the few 70s blockbusters I did see immediately on its release—I went to Jaws with a bunch of friends, and I remember when the head shot up from the water, one of my girlfriends shrieked and threw her popcorn over pretty much the whole rest of us. It was great! 😉 I’m now Facebook friends with her, having reconnected after decades. Maybe I should remind her of that adventure! Knowing her, she’ll crack up at it all over again. 😀
My 57 Chevy was the peppy most responsive car I ever had,
Sent from my iPad
Ooh, I’ll bet it was a beaut! How fun. I can just picture you behind the wheel. Smart sunglasses and all. 😀
I’m in love with old cars! A Cary Grant-esque man picking me up in a Cadillac for a steamy hot date in the pier? Perfect night!
[Using my best George Takei intonation:] Oh, MYYYYYYYY. Yes, I can picture you now!
I was a ‘gearhead’ since my dad made me help him work on our cars. My first love, ’66 mustang coupe. Oh, to have that car now. .. sigh.
Bet it’d cost a small fortune, if you could even find one anybody’d sell you, now. Sigh.
😀 😀 😀
The only stuff Dad required of us was to know how to check the oil and change tires. Oh, and drive. Yeah, that. 😉