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Tuesday, June 18, 2019
A Brand-New Car!
A Brand-New Car!
New cars today do not generate any excitement. Your next door neighbor might make a casual comment about your shiny new ride, but that is about it.
It may be because all cars today look the same. All have most of the same fancy gadgets and add-ons. In fact, they are not add-ons at all, virtually everything comes with the car whether you want it or not.
Today, when you buy a new car, you go to the dealer after shopping on- line to decide which model you want. You then take whatever is the closest fit on the lot. There is not the same kind of excitement built up from anticipation as there was in the good old days.
The few new cars my Pop ever bought were ordered from the local dealer. There were days of choosing interior and exterior colors, automatic or manual transmission. Brakes, steering, and windows were either power or manual. There were options like a radio, extra chrome, whitewall tires and even fake spokes. Once ordered, the car would not be delivered for several weeks if not months.
Cars in those days could be identified by grill and fins from hundreds of yards away. The design was changed every year so a new car stuck out. Children could identify the make and model of every car for the last 10 years…of course there were only about eight brands and they each had one model, four door or sedan, hard top of convertible, and maybe a station wagon.
Neighbors were alerted of the pending arrival of a new car. When it finally arrived, it was instantly surrounded by everyone on the block. The men would pop the hood and stare at the engine while the new owner bragged about the engines power. There was talk of straight eights, turbo something and super glide. No one knew what any of it meant, but there were nods feigning mechanic expertise and admiration.
The engine was fired up and it always “purred like a kitten.”
Women gushed about loving that “new car smell”, the roomy glove box and the comfortable seats.
Then there was the trunk. The trunks on the old new cars were huge, and bragging about the size was a requirement.
“Look at the size of this trunk, you could fit five suit cases, three beach chairs and a beach umbrella and still have room to spare.”
Loose change was tossed in the back seat for luck.
A family’s status was often based on the age and model of your car. A Ford or Chevy did not carry as much status as a Lincoln or especially a Cadillac, still, all new cars were revered.
Those old cars may not have been as efficient as today, did not have the fancy features as today, did not ride or handle as nicely as today, but they sure did bring “oohs and ahs” from everyone on the block…and oh, the size of those trunks!