Thursday, January 28, 2010

The American Automobile Love Affair

I was viewing some automobile pictures the other day and realized I had photos from a visit awhile back to the Automobile Museum in Los Angeles.

The place is huge and they have hundreds of cars but these are some that caught my eye. As usual, click each photo for a better view.

First there was the little "every man" car that seems small in comparison to the cars we drive today. In the history of the Model T Henry Ford was reported to have said "You can have a Model T in any color you want as long as it is black!" Times have truly changed.

I was really surprised to see this early model UPS delivery truck.

Then into the 30's where black was still the color but you can tell from the size of the car that we are now talking a lot more comfort and huge engines. I could just imagine Al Capone rounding the corner in this baby!

Enter the 40's, Hollywood entered the picture and people seemed to have wanted something with a little more flash, and they certainly seemed to have gotten it because something other than black was now fashionable... and it was a convertible!

The 50's seemed to have created a shift in the conception of how a car should look for the every man. This model stands in sharp contrast to the earlier "every man" car we saw in the 1920's. Whoever owned this model most have really taken care of it. Notice how it sparkles and catches the light.

And then came the late 60's with drive-in's and the famous Ford Thunderbird was the must have car for such events. I remember my father buying a used one years after they came out and he was sooo proud of it!

The 70's seem to have been a period of fun cars like this dune buggie for riding around on the beach or just a fun time.

And who could forget the famous VW in the form of Herbie the love bug?

Fast forward to the future and the grandest car of all cars... the Bat Mobile! I remember going to that movie over and over to watch Micheal Keaton jump in and out of this car. It was and is still a wonder.

There were other concept cars that I could have included here but some how these seemed to have a lot more character.


  1. Firebird? I thought it was only known as a Thunderbird...Nice post, I too didn't know UPS had a model that looked like that...

  2. Chrissy,
    I stand corrected. You are right it is a Thunderbird. I did the post in the middle of the night and guess my memory failed me due to lack of sleep.

  3. Hi, Cherrie ! I loved your bird's eye view of the automobile industry ! Great pictures and catching captions.
    By the way, I still wonder why the Americans will fly Airbus, ride the TGV (High Speed Train) but spurn the same french cars we sell the world over (Germany being our number one client for that matter !) Mere prejudice ? (wicked smile)

  4. JLBO,
    This is an interesting point. What percentage of French auto production is sold in say Canada, Australia or England? I lived in Sydney for awhile years ago and don't remember seeing very many French cars there either. I doubt though that it is mere prejudice otherwise how come the Japanese are so dominate here? Could it be something else? (wicked smile)

  5. We would have answered your question.

  6. hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!

  7. Dear Cherrie, As much as I'd hate to get into any argument with you over that (really) unimportant matter, I will insist on one point : if you mean french cars are BAD, unreliable, etc. just say it clearly ! What I meant to say is that : if french cars are good enough for German, English, Brazilian, etc. buyers (even Australians since we DO sell cars in Australia !) I don't see why they shouldn't be sold in America. That's all. If you have a couple minutes to spare (to close the matter) just follow this link and read this Washington Post report (in today'issue) :
    Avec ma sincère amitié, comme toujours.

  8. Jlbo,
    No argument at all. In fact, I thought you were going to mention currency considerations, or protectionism in the American market. It was not my desire to say French cars are bad but that the Japanese seem to have mastered the art of attraction for the new car world market.

  9. Looking at these photos reminded me how much I love cars in general.