Thursday, January 9, 2014

Who can deny wanting to look at the beautiful curves and flowing lines of a beautiful woman? We all marvel at that.  We also can’t stop noticing the beautiful curves and flowing lines of a great antique car.  It is even more disturbing now since all the cars on the road pretty much look all alike.  At least a few years ago if you spent $40,000 dollars on a Lincoln or a Cadillac you could pick them out from the pact as being something special.  I guess looks don’t matter anymore. It is more about how many gadgets does the car have on the inside including the ability to drive itself into a parking spot.

Even a 1950 De Soto Taxi Cab looked more like a curvaceous limousine than the small cabs you are luckily enough to give all your cash to.  There isn’t even a sense of practicality  anymore. Thank goodness I can barely remember the past when size mattered at least when it was a consideration of cars.  Now we drive a highway of ordinary.  Sadly, you can drive from coast to coast and not notice a single stand out in style.  Most cars are even the same boring colors too. How we can you play count the yellow cars on a road trip when there aren’t any yellow cars on the road to count.  I know, just let them watch some shoot them up movie on their device and talk to no one for the entire trip.  Gross!

Close your eyes and think of the sweeping fenders, elongated hoods and hand crafted leather interiors belonging to rare cars from collections all over the country.    There are exhibitions showing off these marvels of style, comfort and engineering at exhibitions called Sensuous Steel.   Now that is as romantic a title you can give a car ever.  Are they trying to attract women to classic car shows or are they just trying to tap into a man’s romantic side?  It is enticing though.  Call them sculptures on wheels.   Some have familiar names like Chrysler and Ford but most names are as foreign as the way they look is foreign.    These names are Waszan, Tatter, and Pierce Arrow to name a few. They are all fashioned in the style of Art Deco.

Art Deco elements are the appearance of smoothness but yet elegantly functional.  Art Deco  lavish design style was conceived in Paris in the 19 20’s and grew into popularity between the World Wars.  It’s  main thrusts were mixed traditional motifs with machine age patterns.  The style asserted an image of progress and hope in the sadness of the great depression.  Sleek lines, bold shapes and lush ornaments were incorporated into furniture, architecture and cars.  In the Art Deco era, designers strove for elegance and luxury for their wealthy clients.  Most of these cars were handcrafted.   Many of them one of a kind.  They sold for heft prices but today their value is in the millions of dollars.

Cars like the 1930 Bugatti that were custom made gifts from France to the Shah of Iran.  It had a windshield that you could crank up or down.  We can’t repeat the past but we can all try to remember the beauty and care that was once considered in all that was made.





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