Laying Down on the Job

Laying Down on the Job
The Santa Monica Easy

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Will Fins Ever Return?

I love classic cars.  Actually, I love cars even before they become classic or antique.  If I could figure out how to do it, I'd drive a different car ever week. I'd love to be involved in designing cars inside out.  Of course I rarely drive now because I can walk almost everywhere I need to go because I was so lucky to live where I live in Santa Monica -- less than a mile from the Santa Monica Pier, the Santa Monica Promenade, Santa Monica College, blocks from the city library, Farmer's Market, dry cleaners, art galleries, delicious restaurants, movies, groceries, dry cleaners, wine market -- but I digress.

I saw this car in an alley off Wilshire Blvd. and 11th (thereabouts) and had to stop to look at it.
The car was in the shadows so the photos aren't very good, but as I got closer to the car and my smile got wider and wider, I just had to whip out my iPhone to take pics.  The owner was just returning to the car as I took the second of a series of photos.  I told him I write a blog about (other things) things I see in Santa Monica and asked if it was okay to include photos of his car.  He sweetly agreed even though I was delaying his departure he patiently waited for me to finish taking photos.  I should have taken a photo of him in the car.  Dang.  Next time. Then he thanked ME for admiring his car!  Isn't that sweet?  I thanked him for maintaining this beauty so meticulously for others to admire and ogle.  It's history on wheels.

Is this what's known as a land shark?  I found myself wondering we'll ever see fins on cars again.  I'm not sure what they did -- other than look sleek and scary -- and I'll bet there are tons of reasons they'll never return because most cars today are about functionality and fuel consumption (nothing wrong with that).  This car, which I think is a 1960ish Plymouth Fury just delighted me.  It came from an era of cars with fins and I remember when they were new on the road.  In my pre-teen mind there seemed like a relationship between fin size and pocket book.  Nevertheless,  I love the gender bending design elements of pointy fins and curvy bits (especially the steering wheel) all in one car.  

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the steering wheel. I know, no air bags, no padded dash, no cd or cassette player, no GPS and no iPod connector. Still, there's a wonderful quality of elegant lines, angles.

The gauge display is awesome. When this car was new it must have felt like driving in a "Star Trek" episode. Note the absence of seat belts. I wonder how the engine does on unleaded gas.


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  2. Hey love this car. I actually like it more than the model-t from my garage. It has such style and class.

  3. It's beautiful, isn't it? I hope the car's owner reads this blog -- I told him the name -- so he can see the photos he so patiently waited for me to take.
    BTW - I like the Model T because it looks exactly like the car my high school boyfriend rebuilt from the rusting frame out. We rode back and forth to school and had a number of dates in that car. However his car didn't have a heater so we were limited to summer, fall and late spring. Nevertheless - good times!