11/18/11

MEN and THEIR CARS: Part 8


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 car
Part 2 a car salesman in my imagination
Part 3 Bill and Dick's adventure in Chicago
Part 4 somewhere near San Bernardino
Part 5 young men and old jalopies
Part 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.


And for more motoring madness check out the Studebakers at my other site, Tattered and Lost Ephemera.

18 comments:

  1. He looks as if he’s just soaking in the atmosphere. I can almost imagine the lovely forest scents and sounds, and I guess the roads would have been a lot quieter, so less chance of someone disturbing his reverie.

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  2. That's a nice classic photo. Now economy and safety are important in cars too.

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  3. This is a beautiful picture. It makes me wonder if they stopped to enjoy the spot, or did there automobile force them to stop due to troubles?

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  4. What a brilliant photo to illustrate your post. I'll bet he could'nt sit there today.

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  5. Love this picture! The question mark (why is he sitting?), the road, great picture! :)

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  6. What a fabulous photo! This is one that makes you want to write a story. Given the vintage of the car, I have to wonder if his stop was intentional .... Driving was so much more of an adventure then.

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  7. Oh yes, the men and their cars, and cars and trucks and more cars....but gee what a wonderful spot along the road to sit and ponder...just how perfect the day was!

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  8. I love this photo and the thoughts you go through looking at it. Who was he and why was he just stopped there and who was taking the photo? Maybe it was just "A Kodak Moment".
    Nancy Javier
    http://ladiesofthegrove.blogspot.com/

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  9. Somehow I'd missed this blog! I have dozens of photos of my family taken by the cars. It seems that's always where they went to take photos, and my grandmother could always tell when the photo was taken by the cars people were standing by.

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  10. Keep your shiny red car and enjoy the twisties. My shiny purple car's engine has blown up and it will be a loooong time till it's fixed. Lovely photo of the man and his car dwarfed by the redwoods :-) Jo

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  11. Oh you have my sympathy Jo. My first shiny red car's engine blew during rush hour on the San Diego freeway as I was driving in from the San Fernando Valley. Poor thing never did run again. The repair cost more than the value of the car. I know what it's like. I still miss that car.

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  12. Isn't it funny how people gather around cars for photos? There's a certain pride in the vehicle and for many of us it becomes a member of the family. I cried for days when I had to give up my first car.

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  13. And there's nothing quite like driving through the redwoods...unless it's driving up the California coast on Highway 1. California does have some great scenic drives.

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  14. I love the photos above, it is a real treasure.

    Not very long ago I was in the Redwood Forest here in NZ. Awe inspiring tall trees.

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  15. a gorgeous photo certainly an ad for the great redwoods of northern CA.

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  16. Oh I like that : seven posts for the price of one. I am not sure if there is a single picture of me with a car I have owned - they have always been work horses to me and the ones I have owned have never been things of beauty. Pictures of me with computers however - now that is a different thing.

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  17. My first reaction was that the car had broken down. The driver, if that's who he is, looks somewhat forlorn.

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  18. While your picture here is splendid, I never bought into the lifestyle associated with owning a car. I never owned a car, never will... There are other means to get from point A to point B, like friends... with cars!!
    :D~
    HUGZ

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