How fortuitous that this weeks Sepia Saturday is about cars? I've been featuring men and their cars in seven previous posts which can be seen at the links below:
Part 1 a proud fella with his shiny carPart 2 a car salesman in my imaginationPart 3 Bill and Dick's adventure in ChicagoPart 4 somewhere near San BernardinoPart 5 young men and old jalopiesPart 6 a car along the Potomac River in Washington D.C.Part 7 a "Spanish River Pulp" truck in Canada
The actual Sepia Saturday post is an old advertisement for Chevrolet which got me thinking about how much ads have changed over the decades.
The basic car ad has always been about freedom; the freedom you get once you own a car. Then there's the romance of a car and how stylish it makes you look and feel. These days it's also about power; not just the power of the engine, but the power you'll have over others because of the choice you've made. Sometimes we really are so stupid to fall for all of it.
The car itself has become a sex object photographed to look almost unattainable. Glistening chrome and paint shines like lipstick on a pouty mouth. Car ads have changed, but for most people a purchase is still for practical reasons. You need a car to get from point A to point B. Some people want function, others want glamour.
A car and an open road, at least in the mind of a Californian, is almost a birthright. Ultimately we're now paying a dear price for this frame of mind, but I don't want to give up my shiny red car. It's an extension of me. When I get behind the wheel it feels like an extension of my own body. I'm thinking all those years of watching tv commercials has me right where the industry wants me...that and the fact that most of my county is two lane twisty roads that are a joy to drive.
This photo of a gentleman out for a ride along a dirt road somewhere amongst the redwoods in Northern California is a classic. A drive out of necessity or pleasure? It's just a moment captured in motoring history.