Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Can cars be pretty?

Marja-Leena responded spiritedly to an act of casual cruelty I committed on her blog by accusing me of an obsession with cars. Heh-heh; my Blog Labels list “car” 28 times and “art” 88 (88 – count them!) times. Not solid evidence, however, since I devise and fill in the labels myself. OK, M-L I accept the charge: I’m a spanner-twirling oaf with sump oil under my finger nails and I fall asleep going broom-broom.
But why not a post combining both cars and art? That’s if aesthetics is acceptable as a $5 synonym for art. In my opinion the prettiest car ever made was a Ford. And it emerged when good old Henry J. Jr was in charge. True you won’t see many of them around Detroit these days but once, if you had deep pockets, you could buy the road version. I’m talking about the GT40, of course, built to win at Le Mans, which it duly did. Isn’t this seductive?
Back in the seventies I got fed up of utilitarian cars and decided to buy one I liked to the look of. The GT40 was beyond me so I made do with the Volkswagen Scirocco Mk 1, designed by the Italian stylist Giorgetto Giugiario; subsequent models, alas, took on a bloated Teutonic look. Here is mine parked in Dompierre-le-Bouton (in France but, of course, you guessed) and I’ve chosen the angle deliberately. Many designs fail in their treatment of the rear end, but not this one.
Finally, the handsomest car I’ve owned – an early Audi Coupé, on the Col de l’Iseran, overlooking the French ski resort Val d’Isère. Where’s the snow? It’s summer.

5 comments:

Sir Hugh said...

I always had an ambition to run a Jaguar D Type - 1954 (without the fin on the back) as a normal road car - very pretty.

The Crow said...

Those all are fine automobiles, BB. Chevrolet made some beauts in 1956: the Impala, the Corvette and the Bel Air, especially the convertible models.

The best looking truck, in my opinion (I favor trucks over sedans), is the 1999 Chevy Silverado C1500.

FigMince said...

If I couldn't have one of those Citroens that the French underground drove, I'd settle for the Citroen Goddess – with appropriately, Catherine Deneuve in the passenger seat. Sigh...

Barrett Bonden said...

Sir Hugh: Oh, I think it would have to have the fin as well. Theoretically the car had a passenger seat but I can't imagine this ever being occupied as it would spoil the aerodynamics. The space available was normally covered over with what we Brits curiously call a tonneau, the third meaning of which is Tour complet d'une voiture sur elle-meme.

The Crow: I think I mentioned at one of my US jobs I had use of office's 1970 Pontiac GTO. Good-looking, firm suspension and a real goer.

FigMince: That's cheating. With that particular optional extra I'd have been prepared to resurrect my hideous Austin Cambridge (trashed in a WW post a fortnight or so ago).

marja-leena said...

Well, I'm impressed that you've twice found a combination of German engineering and beautiful design to satisfy your discerning tastes! And I don't see any glass hubcaps anywhere.