(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘cars

“Life is one big road with lots of signs”*…

 

Hay

 

(R)D has looked before at the remarkable work of the Farm Security Administration, which was launched in the New Deal to help relieve crippling poverty in rural communities.  As small part of that mission, the organization documented life in the the communities in which it worked….

These photos naturally included many road scenes, as the Great Depression had plunged rural America into a great migratory frenzy.

The photographs taken by FSA photographers under the direction of economist Roy Stryker have come to form the basis for the popular image of the Great Depression, among them Dorthea Lange’s Migrant Mother.

But I’m sure you familiar with that photo. What I want to share with you are some of the more striking images of cars and roadside life that also make up part of the collection, which the Library of Congress has digitized and made available on Flickr.

These photos capture a country on the move, attempting to make its way out of the worst financial crisis it had ever seen and into a productive future. This is intentional, of course. The photographs were intended to “introduce America to Americans” and instill pride in the country as it shook itself out of the depression…

Lincoln

More at: These Color Photos From the New Deal Show What Life On The Road Once Was Like.”  Visit the Flickr archive here.

* Bob Marley

###

As we motor on, we might recall that it was on this date in 1908, at the at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit, “Model T 001”– the first production Model T– rolled off the line.  (On May 26, 1927, Henry Ford watched the 15 millionth Model T Ford roll off the assembly line at his factory in Highland Park, Michigan.)

220px-1908_Ford_Model_T

1908 Ford Model T ad

 

Written by LW

September 27, 2019 at 1:01 am

“The car has become an article of dress without which we feel uncertain, unclad, and incomplete in the urban compound”*…

 

Langdon Clay spent two years in the 1970s roaming the streets of the Big Apple at night, photographing parked and abandoned cars.  See more of the results at “Eerie portraits of cars in 1970s New York.”

* Marshall McLuhan

###

As we slip behind the wheel, we might recall that it was on this date in 1921 that Thomas Midgley Jr., then a young engineer at General Motors, discovered that, when added to gasoline, a compound called tetraethyl lead (TEL) eliminated the unpleasant noises (known as “knock” or “pinging”) that internal-combustion engines made when they ran.  Midgley could scarcely have imagined the consequences of his discovery: for more than five decades, oil companies saturated the gasoline they sold with lead– a deadly poison.

(Resonantly, 13 years later Midgley led the team that developed chlorofluorocarbons [CFCs]– specifically, Freon– for use in refrigeration [and ultimately, air conditioning and aerosols].  Like the lead additive, CFCs were celebrated in their time…  but later banned for their contributions to climate change.)

 source

 

Written by LW

December 9, 2016 at 1:01 am

The Midas Touch…

 

In 1980 American Express teamed up with John DeLorean for a Christmas promotion, offering a limited edition of 100 24-karat gold-plated DeLoreans for $85,000 each. The response to the promotion, as to the car itself, was underwhelming:  only two were sold– though a third gold-plated car was assembled in 1983 with spare parts that were required by American Express in case one of the other two that were built were damaged.

But in fact there was a fourth golden DeLorean.  Michael Feldman, who’d paid $28,000 (including an early delivery premium) to get the first production model, decided that he’d do the plating himself.  He found an electro-brushing facility and had his car gold-plated, panel by panel, to a 24-karat luster.  The process cost him an additional $8,000– not chump change, but a comparative bargain.  Still, a golden car wasn’t the most practical vehicle in the world; Feldman sold it in 1981 to the first a series of subsequent owners.

The Golden DeLorean (note John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls Royce in the background)

Feldman’s story in full here (whence the photo above); the promotion flyer, via Dangerous Minds, to whom, TotH.

###

As we keep our eyes peeled for Doc and Marty, we might recall that it was on this date in 1956 that “Heartbeak Hotel” earned Elvis Presley his first Gold Record.  Presley’s first million-seller (and his first release on RCA, after moving from Sun), the record sat at number one on Billboard‘s Top 100 chart for seven weeks, topped the Country and Western chart, and reached number five on the R&B chart.  It continued to sell– it was eventually certified Double Platinum– and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1995.

 source

 

Written by LW

April 11, 2013 at 1:01 am

Five sweet seconds…

From our friends at The Selvedge Yard:

One of the greatest rivalries in all of Drag Racing history has to be the classic Wildlife Racing matchup– Don “Snake” Prudhomme vs. Tom “Mongoose” McEwen.  Any red-blooded boy born of that era remembers their famous Funny Cars decked-out in bright Hot Wheels  badges screaming down the 1/4 mile in a furious blur that lasted all of 5 sweet seconds.  The two faced-off in match races that raged over a period of about 3 years.  Don Prudhomme, being the stronger competitor, usually came out on top. Their epic West Coast battles, fueled by huge sponsorship deals (Mattel, Coca-Cola, Plymouth, and Goodyear) were a major draw, and their loyal fans never tired of seeing them go head to head.

At the Dallas International Motor Speedway, 1971

Per the poster at the top of this post, see more at the Peterson Automotive Museum’s new exhibit, NHRA: Sixty Years of Thunder

As we rev our engines, we might recall that it was on this date in 1982 that John Z. DeLorean, the auto industry celebrity credited with designing the Firebird, the GTO, and of course the (Back to the Future-starring) DeLorean, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to obtain and distribute 55 pounds of cocaine.  DeLorean was ultimately acquitted of the drug charges, but was soon back in court charged with fraud; over the next two decades, he was forced to pay millions of dollars to creditors (and of course lawyers).

DeLorean and the DeLorean (source)

 

(Actually) Driven…

A flight of Isuzu commercials from the 1980s.  As our friends at Blogadilla (via which, this clip) observe, it’s the more amazing because it’s actual driving…

As we tap the accelerator, we might recall that it was on this date in 2008 that (then 26 year old)  Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Montegi in Montegi, Japan, making her the first female winner in IndyCar racing history.  Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year in 2005, Patrick had debuted at the Indy 500 that year; she led for 19 laps– the first Indy 500 lead ever held by a woman.

source

%d bloggers like this: