Wednesday, January 25, 2012


1959 Cadillac
General Motors
C L I C K     T O     E N L A R G E

The iconic car of the 1950s sums up the decade's flamboyant styling with its exuberant delight in jet fins and science fiction rockets.  It's an extraordinary playful design and the fact that it was actually manufactured seems all the more remarkable when viewed from the perspective of today's sober automotive industry.
Picture:  1200 x 800 - Deviant Art

Critics over the years have sniffed the air with disdain at the childishness of a car pretending to be something it clearly is not.  What is the meaning of these ridiculous fins?  They serve no purpose.  This is, after all, still just a car that does nothing more than go from point A to point B.  Yeah, right... like we can't inject fun into our mundane experiences.  Why not clear our closets of all those fanciful clothes whose original intent was to provide nothing more than warmth and modesty.  We fill our lives with nonsense because living requires extravagant display as therapy.
Picture:  1600 x 1200 - Street Rodder

The hardtop coupe sets you back about seventy-five hundred dollars.  For that you get your dream on wheels powered by 345 horses, power steering and brakes and a Hydra-Matic transmission.  Of course, you'll have to take your neighbors for a drive.  Naturally your next vacation destination will be within driving distance because half the fun is just getting there.
Picture:  1600 x 1200 - Auto Photo Site

Picture:  640 x 480 - Rod and Custom
  • Average Income                    5,010
  • Home                                 12,400
  • Car                                      2,200
  • Gas                                        0.25 / gallon
  • Movie Ticket                            1.00
  • NFL Champion                     Baltimore Colts
  • World Series                        Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Best Picture                        Ben-Hur
  • Best Actor                           Charlton Heston - Ben-Hur
  • Best Actress                       Simone Signoret - Room at the Top
  • Top Song                             Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin
  • Top Album                           Kind of Blue - Miles Davis
  • Best Selling Book                Exodus - Leon Uris

Alaska and Hawaii become states, Fidel Castro comes to power in Cuba, Richard Nixon argues with Nikita Khrushchev in a Kitchen Debate and NASA introduces its original seven astronauts.  The Barbie Doll hits the stores, the Boeing 707 begins regularly scheduled commercial flight, Xerox creates the copier and Hudson and Nash combine to form American Motors.

The long body line that tapers in the back giving the Cadillac its sense of motion originated with the decision to use Buick's new front door.  All large General Motors full-size cars were required to use the door to save cost.  This business constraint led to one of the more graceful design elements of the Cadillac.  Creation is a curious process.  Most auto designs are little noticed and mercifully forgotten, generating no more excitement than a washing machine if it had wheels.  Yet each automotive age gives us instances of art that define its time.  We put art into most everything we do.  It's who we are.  We can't help ourselves.
Picture:  1600 x 1200 - Auto Photo Site

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