I’ve already walked down memory lane with why I get a kick out of convertibles, and Bob has reminisced about his grand old ’64 Ford Galaxie. So, staying on message with the automobile, here goes my passion for old cars. For example, I love watching White Heat, not just because it’s a great movie with one of the best movie quotes of all times – “Made it Ma! Top of the world!” [No. 18 on the AFI list] – but because of the cars the gangsters and the cops drive.
These are late ’40s whales, but I am mesmerized while watching Ma, desperate to dodge the cops, downshift and screech around the corner. The good guys, determined to stop the Jarrett gang, have access to all of the latest technology – like a radio transmitter the size of a satellite dish strapped to the roof of their car. I am so entranced by these images, I end up taking photos of the cars as I watch the movie.
My mini-obsession doesn’t stop there. I also collect photos of old cars. I mean, I’ll never be able to afford to buy one, let alone maintain one, so I might as well have a facsimile collection. Newspaper photos may be archaic one day, which means my “collection” will have value on eBay. Ha Ha. Anyway, remember I wrote about that car auction of famous people’s cars in my convertible post and a purple 1919 Pierce-Arrow, owned by the silent film star, Fatty Arbuckle? Here’s Fatty Arbuckle’s Pierce Arrow. Even the dullness of newsprint can’t dull down the lines and contours of this grand baby:
And, of course, I like old car shows, because I can take photographs of the real thing.
There is just something sexy about the rounded long hoods of 1940 sedans. They may have weighed a ton, but the devil was in the detail, such as the ornaments that graced the hoods.
I am always discovering endearing features in old cars, like the massive steering wheels, or the the exotic boldness of the color option. It seems that by the late ’50s and early ’60s, car manufacturers found pastel. Pink seats, tri-color striped seats, and mustard yellow were quite coveted.
Gas guzzlers they may have been, but the essential beauty of the design cannot be compared to the streamlined homogeneity of the modern car. There is just something aesthetically appealing, and intrinsically intriguing, about cars that were born between 1940 and 1963. (Sort of like us right-side-of-50ers.)