Can You Afford To Own A Chevrolet?

Or put another way – If they try to sell you a Plymouth can you Dodge the question?

No good Nash-ing your teeth over it either…

How odd that as we pull away from the curb into the twenty-first century in Australia, we should do so in the Toyota, Subaru, Daihatsu, Nissan, Suzuki, Honda, Mitsubishi, and Fuso vehicles. Or, if we have been successfully greedy, in Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Lancia cars.

We should be hard pressed to do the same in a Humber, Standard, Triumph, Rover, Hillman, Austin, or Vauxhall.

And yet today I will go to a car show that glories in Ford, Chevy, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Willys, Cadillac, Mercury, and Chrysler. And they will be spectacular and bright…or rotten and rusty…but will reflect the best of a car builder’s skill. Very few of them will be oriental or continental. What do the hot rodders and custom car builders know that the rest of us have forgotten?

Can we be reminded by an industry that needs to stop repeating what Europe and Asia say? Can we still build what we need, for ourselves, where we live? I hope so.

 

And The Winner For 2016 Is…

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A Packard.

This is quite frankly the most glorious find on the 2016 Victorian Hot Rod Show. Parked on the outer circle on a sunny afternoon.

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The shape is reminiscent of so many other cars – Porsche, Mercury, Tatra, etc. without giving way to some of the funny little quirks that they can have. You are looking at 40’s styling, of course, and it looks to be 1948 – 1949 – or 1950. The original vehicle is so close to a custom to start with that the decision to lose the rear bumper and round the pan goes almost without saying. Mind you, if the rear bumper had been given the same body-colour treatment as the front one, it could have stayed on.

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You will also have noted the body-colour headlight rims that leave the massive streamline plus upright chrome grille to carry the front alone. As this is such an unusual car, the builder has wisely elected to allow the grille styling that Packard did to stand alone. Vintage car enthusiasts will recognise the Packard shoulders to the vertical grille carried into a streamline.

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I am still trying to research the tail light shape and to see what relation it has to the shapes of the day. Some internet pictures show originals with small flat oblong lenses as well, though in some cases they are surrounded by more chrome. This set is probably more visible than the original style.

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The interior is a concerto rather than a symphony. There is nothing overstated – it is minimalism in a luxury car. I should have looked upon a wood dash in there as a monstrosity – fortunately the designer had more style than that. The upholstery says luxury without raising its voice.

And the choice of colour is at once bold, refreshing, and historically plausible. I have found a similar two-tone style on the net in fawn and warm brown so this two-tone is perfect. And not a skull, eyeball, or smoking woodpecker decal to be seen – a blessed relief sometimes.

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The last picture is sad. Sad for the owner who will part with this beauty – sad for me because I don’t have that kind of car money. But I am so glad I got to see it.