Let Me Show You My Insides

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No, really – come back! I’ve just been to the Hot Rod And Street Machine Spectacular and the crowds weren’t too bad. A few minutes hacking away in front of the Oldsmobiles with a machete and you could get an unobstructed view of the whole car.

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I’ve compiled a little visual game for you – I want you to match the exterior to the interior for the following cars. They are as different as they can be, and actually express their genre very well. If some of them look like the ruins of Berlin from the air, you have to understand that this is a valid form of the hot rodding art. It doesn’t reflect any less dedication and indeed I suspect that in some cases it does not reflect any less expense. There is some very costly patina out there.

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Complexity is not a criterion either – some of the smoothest customs and rods have the least gauges. There may be other ways that driving information is presented to the operator – I’m thinking discrete idiot lights that are more carefully attuned than Detroit supplied. Perhaps some of the drivers can hear engine revs and clutch sounds accurately – I know that those of us who learned to drive in the late 50’s certainly could. We had no tachometers to peep at – just the feel of the clutch and the sound of the engine. And if you could double de-clutch an International truck down a long hill you were bidding fair to cope with just about everything else.

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Is one seat better than another? You’ll know after a day in it. If you ever travelled the Nullarbor in the pre-sealed days you will have an acute appreciation of the upholsterer’s design skills. Either that or a bum that is so broken that it can predict the coming of wet weather…My vote for the best small car seats were the front set on the Renault 10 – pure overstuffed luxury. My vote for the worst was the 1966 VW beetle fronts – they created an chronic ache in the pelvis, not unlike that engendered by the federal treasurer.

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Of course sometimes the interior designers were not so much designing as plotting – the inclusion of plush seats, velour, and sueded finishes was made in defiance of the fact that Americans, Canadians, and Australians eat things in their cars – things that spurt and drip. They drink liquids that spill. Any seat that can be soiled,will be, and some of them can be brought to a state that would gag a buzzard. Never mind the fake walnut trim or the chrome accents – if the seat itself looks like the wreck of the LEXINGTON no-one wants to sit on it. And just trying to be clever by making it brown plush ( ” That’ll disguise the Flake chocolate bar stains, Sam…) means nothing in a drive-thru world of mustard and mayonnaise.

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Ah, but I am keeping you from your game – match them up and send the results to this blog. There is no prize but it will make you more observant when next out at the car shows.

 

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