Sunday, January 13, 2013

On Cars (or What Happened To Car Artistry?)

"Almost two weeks into the new year and this is the first blog post he puts up," you must be thinking.  Hey, I've got excuses - probably not necessarily good ones (marathoning Castle, reading on and off, sending in job application after job application) - but they're excuses nonetheless.  Anyways, something has been on my mind since New Year's Eve.

I was driving into Westchester to celebrate with my college friend Jeremy, some of our mutual college friends from the area, and some of his USY friends.  We were all going to crash there, but that's not important in the long run here in this post.  So, while driving across the bridge, I passed a white car with an angelic hood ornament that I estimated to be somewhere around 80 years old.  It wasn't decrepit or falling apart, but instead in stellar condition.  This was a seriously Nice Car.

rolls royce wraith
A Rolls Royce Wraith (Picture from Motorstown)
I don't usually pay attention to cars nowadays because they all look similar, or at least middle-class consumer cars (Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Volkswagen  etc.) do.  They do very little to stand out.  Sure, they might have a rear spoiler or something cool to make them stand out, but they don't pop, if you will.  And I'm not really a car person.  Yes, I can change a tire, check the oil level, check tire pressure, polish the headlights and taillights, hand wash the car, etc., but that's the extent of it.

But this Nice Car - it popped.  I did a little Googling (Yes, I verbed a noun, so what?) the next day based on the details I could remember (spare tires on the side of the hood, wide-eyed headlights, angelic hood ornament), and I discovered that it was a Rolls Royce, but I found a few possible contenders for what the model was.  I managed to narrow it down to a Wraith, Silver Phantom, or a 25/30, and I was satisfied at that.

"Now, why is this of any concern to us?" you're probably asking.  It shouldn't necessarily be of any concern, but more interest in an opinion.  Older cars, especially well-maintained ones, have an aesthetic that sticks around.  Look at the Wraith pictured above.  The headlights and grille give the appearance of a face.  Just think of Cruella de Vil's car in the animated 101 Dalmatians!  The side-mounted tires can be easily accessed instead of rummaging around the trunk to free the spare tire.  The wells over the tires ... well, they look cool.  The whole car looks cool.  And I like seeing cool cars, like old Beetles ("Punch-Buggie red, no punch-backs!").  Nowadays, the main cool cars are expensive sports cars, which are more or less pipe dreams for those who drive sedans, minivans, SUVs, and so on.

I guess it's a little pipe dream of mine to own a classic car like this.  I blame the Dirk Pitt novels I was into in middle school (and some of high school) and the Herbie films.

TL;DR - I saw an old Rolls Royce, which I thought was cool because of the aesthetic nature of older cars compared to today's automobile fare.

Experimental Film (TMBG)
Payne's Bay (Beirut)
Die Alone (Ingrid Michaelson)
Rocky Ground (Bruce Springsteen)
The Man From The Turnaround (Robbers on High Street)
Come On (Friska Viljor)
Meg White (Ray LaMontagne)
A Hard One To Know (Benjamin Gibbard)
Holland Road (Mumford and Sons)
State of the Art (Gotye)
Chugjug (Family of the Year)
Lost (Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra)
Yankee Bayonet (The Decemberists)

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