Golden Memories: Cars
Perhaps too much is written about cars, but I'll risk a few reminiscences.
In the 1960's I seemed to spend most of my spare time walking down to the seafront. The main road, like all roads in the town, allowed free parking. The goldmine of parking meters, traffic wardens and fines had not yet been discovered by most provincial councils. In the height of summer not a foot of kerbside tarmac remained unoccupied by cars.
This was treasure trove to a ten year old just developing an interest in these outsize toys, and I quickly assumed a train spotter mentality as I ticked off the multifarious makes and models on my way to the beach. And variety there certainly was.
Manufacturers in those days actually seemed to value and seek distinction. They apparently wanted their models to be in some way different from the competition. What a contrast to the modern policy of sticking to fashionable orthodoxies of shape and appeal, with virtually no choice but the badge and trim.
Some designs were outlandish, it's true, but unhampered by trend and ergonomics, the licorice all sorts variety of 1940's boneshakers, 1950's jelly moulds and 60's sci-fi was manna from heaven to my eyes. Not so the near identical, utilitarian shoeboxes of today.
But I'll save the tedious rendering of wonderful lost marques for another time, and end these notes with a slightly different observation.
How amazing it is that after fifty or sixty years we still have cars with air filled tyres that often get punctured (even in F1!) and we still have car doors that unexpectedly spring open into lamp posts when we're trying to get out. Where are the focus groups when you really need them?
Postscript. Keep the computer screens for the home. It must surely be safer.