Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Although they are being accused of circling the drain and there may be vultures on the fence waiting for them to fail, Chrysler aired this dramatic advertising during the Golden Globes recalling the time when their products exuded style and grace. Especially impressive in the late fifties, the evocative images both thrill and sadden- I honestly can't think of a Chrysler product since the 1981 Imperial that I find compelling. But oh, those Exner beauties...
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The joy of curating- you get to spend other people's money on cool cars, like this awesome 1972 Buick Riviera. I was ten years old when these big boats hit the market. I was mesmerized by the fluid lines and the crazy boat tail. At the time, in my GM Executive dominated neighborhood, the boattails were everywhere. It wasn't until years later that I learned the old factory idiom, "If it doesn't sell, drive it" and realized that the execs were driving these beasts because the public weren't buying them in great number.
No matter, I was crazy about them then and still am. I just look at the lines and try to imagine how they did it- the curved C pillar roof that literally turns 90 degrees to become an upper deck surface- all in the days of no computers. They bucked this baby out of wood and clay. The rear bumper had to make the engineers faint when they tried to figure out how to make it. Bill Mitchell's Stingray backlite, the ridge in the roof that repeats in the glass, a wildly styled Riviera only dash and package shelf to augment the theme- even the bumper guards are Riv-only and sharp as knives.
Oh, and she's not all show- despite the lowering of the compression ratio for 1971, this 455 has PLENTY of scoot. This particular example is a one-owner, 45,000 mile example just arrived from the midwest. Not a show horse, just a joyfully fun car from the heyday of Buick- come for a cruise in the boattail!