Tag Archives: 1960s

Big Beasts of a Bellicose America

SHORPY-09869u1.previewYou can read the mental state of collective America in the design of cars like this one— the strong lines, the accent on innovation, the confidence of big chrome. Until the Vietnam War, American pulchritude and some would say overweening pride, poked through the societal fabric in many ways, not the least of which was a big, fat car from Detroit. After ‘Nam, evidence of feeling puny was reflected in the awful humiliation of Pintos and Gremlins, perfectly emblematic for the truncated Era of ‘Jimmy’ Carter, the president who sat with a legal pad on his lap and asked America to tell him what was wrong and where the boo-boos were (he was one). If we all could’ve gotten a ’68 Olds Bonneville delivered to the driveway, I think we would have felt much, much better. Rank capitalism is good for the spirit, and the odor of leaded gas rumbling from a tailpipe in the morning smells like… victory.